What if we assessed the wilderness? Not to control, but that so when we emerge we truly understood every inch of our bodies, the spirit within those blessed bodies and our needs?

Having lunch with a friend today I had this joyful occasion of being seen & hearing another person’s story. And, for me, there is nothing more enriching than being heard, seen & listening to one another’s stories.

How often do we listen to our own story? Are we telling it honestly? Are we hiding pieces?

When asked to share my story today my insides leapt with joy & then fear —  my inner monologue screamed “but what if you don’t like what you see here?”

Somewhere in the art of story telling; truth sharing we bought into the notion – “I’ll only listen if it makes me feel good,” as opposed to I’ll listen because it matters, it’s real and I want to be a witness to your experience.  Because asking for someone’s story doesn’t mean just hearing the pieces that you favor, it means all of it – even the somber.

People were lined up to be healed and hear stories with grand miracles from Jesus, but no one really wanted to hear about Jesus dying.

No one was hearing it or having it – until they asked for it. And, maybe another reason they asked for Jesus to die was because they did not know themselves.

What is foreign to us and pushes us outside of our closed systems of oppression is usually a GOOD thing.

Someone told me not too long ago that being a free radical was a good thing. The description was a person who floats in between all groups, holds them and doesn’t adhere to any system at all.

Jesus was a free radical. I would like to continue leaning into being a free radical where I love fearlessly, move between groups, hold people well and also hold my own body well.

Assessing the wilderness means naming who we are, what we are made of and also how we experience one another.

Jesus’ wilderness was emotional, testing and exhausting – but once emerged I’d like to imagine Jesus knew himself.

So as I take my somber with two lumps of truth, I’ll remind myself to rend my heart of unneeded things and renew the rhythm of which it beats and who it beats for.

Creator,

Show me the things I am made of  – unlock the pieces of my story I have washed over and help me stay present for the moments when others around me need to be held. Jesus, I want to be held by the spirit in ways I miss. There is so much harm in this world, around me and weighing down my friends. Grant us peace and make way for justice. As we move through the wilderness that is this season of lent – show us who we are, what we are made of and how we can experience one another.

Amen.

Lent Images8

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