Dragged into Healing at Wild Goose

Wild Goose Festival 2014Last week I was given the opportunity to share my experience, strength, and hope at the Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, NC. Most of the time in the rainy, humid mountains was spent eating and enjoying each other’s presence. Friends old and new created a space to be authentic and to discover parts of their selves that had been veiled by the bondage the world as we often perceive it.

There is a danger to creating space. New spaces are often ambiguous. Mary Douglas, in her fantastic volume Purity and Danger, talks about the danger of ambiguity. In short, as I wrote elsewhere:

When ambiguity gains momentum, it threatens ordered experience, and threatens the boundaries that shape identity socially, psychologically and spiritually. Ambiguity is then marginalized by the accepted order.

When we make ourselves vulnerable and transparent to God and to each other, we expose ourselves to the danger of transformation. Transformation is to become a new creation. But this kind of transformation isn’t all that pleasant because it is ambiguous. We stop being who we believed we once were and find fear in that space between the depression of mourning the past and the anxiety of an uncreated future. Somewhere we sit in between tenses in the flow of the present moment. This is a mysterious place and it is threatening.

But that’s where reality lives, isn’t it. God does not just live in that mystery, but is the source of that mystery. Perhaps God is that mystery. So we fear it. We shun it. We avoid it. We seek control to minimize the dangerous idea that we can be completely transformed by a reality, a God, we can’t possibly comprehend in full, or even in part. Rather than let God liberate us and heal us, we marginalize God and shackle ourselves to delusion and pride.

Resurrection of Christ Icon

At Wild Goose I was free to be who I was at that moment. I was transparent, exposed, and vulnerable. I threw myself into the dangerous mystery of ambiguity and danced in the rain. I rested. I went to the risen Christ and he took my burdens. I was liberated. I found healing.

I discovered that the essence of liberation is to find rest in God.

I spoke about the nature of salvation in Orthodoxy. The resurrected Christ pulled Adam and Eve out of the tomb as he redeemed the past, present, and future in one cosmic event that defeated death. From that moment, we no longer needed to be held in the bondage of death, but were given a new lease on life eternal.


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