In the post Undoing My Life, I talked about a time when I kept expecting to be rejected but encountered love and acceptance instead. That experience was wonderful and scary.
As the Rejected One, I protected my heart from the inevitable pain of being discovered to be less than I should be. When God undid that persona, I was able to let down my guard and trust that Deb and Jeff really do love me.
Saying that out loud makes me so vulnerable. What if they don’t love me that much? What if they read this and feel bound by it? And what if they can’t keep loving me?
I’m like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade when he finds himself trapped on the edge of a mountain with a deep chasm below. To get to the other side, he must step out into thin air, trusting there will be something solid under his feet to support him. He takes one step, then another. We hold our breath and watch until he reaches the other side where he hopes to find the Holy Grail. What I hope to find on the other side is a trust in God’s love that is so solid that I’m unafraid of rejection.
But to get there, I must teeter in mid-air–heart pounding, hands trembling–relying on the faith to believe I really am loved.
I don’t know which comes first. Does an experience of God’s love enable us to be vulnerable with others? Or does being loved by others open us to God? Either way, whether it’s trusting an invisible Deity or somewhat unreliable human beings, love is a risky business.
But I’ve said it before, I’m not going back. Not to Egypt and not to the security of being the Rejected One.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Questions for your Lenten pilgrimage:
- What happened this week that opened you to love?
- What made you want to guard your heart?
- Spend time talking with God about both experiences. How do you feel about what happened? How do you imagine God feels?
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Over a thousand customers have “shopped” at New Life’s Community Free Store of Children’s Clothing (and other items for children) since it opened in 2009. Seventy-five volunteers from the surrounding area–diverse in ethnicity, belief and background–work regularly to sort donations and/or run the store two mornings a week. The Free Store has helped refugees, new immigrants, and those on low incomes make ends meet as well as helping customers in any income bracket live more sustainably. The Free Store cares for the earth by making it easy for parents to reuse clothing and by keeping thousands of pounds of used clothing out of landfills. “Loving others the way Jesus loves us,” is the store’s motto. “Everyone gets that,” says volunteer manager, Wendy Holland. “I’m totally stoked by how I have seen lives changed by the love and generosity of donors and volunteers.”