There are days I wake up with a heaviness in me, remembering the fight of the night before, the less than holy words, and the aggravation of living in a world that contains people that do not think the way I do, value the things I value, or see the world as I see it.
You know, people that are not exactly like me.
While longing for freedom, I feel my own postural bent towards oppression, grasping for control, even as I desire to walk alongside.
These are the days when my God-given imagination is suppressed, as I’m unable to see the image of God being revealed in others because I want them created in the image of me.
I feel it in my bones, the ache of walking in flesh.
I know why Adam and Eve hid in the garden.
Because I hide, too.
How can I contribute anything of love and beauty to this world, when as James says, out of one side of my mouth I bless God our Father, but with the same tongue I curse men and women made in his image? There is no room for creativity in this ecclesial futility. It’s meaningless.
A chasing of the wind.
Planning an event to raise awareness of modern day slavery when it is the chains of my own slavery I am feeling.
Parenting a little boy who only wants to throw tantrums as I am shaking my fist at God.
Loving a spouse who isn’t responding as I want him to and then throwing it back in his face.
Being a friend who longs for life-giving relationships but killing them with impatience and obstinance.
The sun shows up everyday, regardless of hurricane or earthquake.
All creation groans, waiting for the redemption of death, dormancy, until finally springing into new life. The world practices this pattern.
I decided that the most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was show up for my life and not be ashamed. Anne Lamott
Stepping into the Sun. Throwing off shame. The inner groanings of our weakness being transformed by a Spirit who knows our ache, who transforms our sighs into prayers lifted.
Handing it to the One who has faced all these same temptations.
And so we rise.
Out of the practices that reap death.
We’re somehow lifted out, as only Spirit hands can do.
We continue to show up, in this together. This crazy mess is not ours alone to figure out.
It never was.
So we practice presence.
Just showing up.
No matter how battered or bruised or broken. When it feels easier to stay in chaos, to hold onto bitterness. When we have nothing left to give.
As if we were created to.
Because we were created to.
Tasting the sweetness of grace, giving and receiving, whispering love when voices that appear stronger are shouting hate.
Oh how we are not bound by the same old, same old. Systems, formulas, programs. Fear of never being enough.
When my heart becomes entombed.
When my identity hides in the shadows.
When the not yet kingdom does not seem possible today.
We rise. Like the sun.
No matter how timid our steps, we take them together, practicing rhythms of grace, peace, truth.
Out of our daily deaths, we continue to allow the Spirit to move us forward, propelling purpose where futility reigns, filling in the cracks of our imaginations with creative form correcting the chaos, and allowing life to flow both in and out.
The heaviness lifts, if only for a moment, as the groanings of creation, human, and Spirit together give praise.