Seven church women went on a Boundary Waters Canoe Area pilgrimage. We range in age from 51 – 72. Some had never been to the northern place of mythical and real power. Some had been in the wilderness years ago but with aging and knee surgeries and the constant lap of “I can’t do it” self talk washing over consciousness, saying “yes” to the challenge took courage.
We loaded ourselves into three canoes. All that we needed for subsistence was packed into packs and over the waters we went to make camp and life together. The learning and growing and celebrations began even before the first paddle as each woman came to claim her desire to face fear and self imposed limitations.
Each woman portaged a canoe. Each woman “took the back”. Each woman gained a greater sense of her own ability to shoulder and carry and trust and laugh.
We are changed.
Isn’t that the way? We focus so often on limitations that are flat-out fiction and while we while away our days in the small of our scope, the loons are singing, the water dancing and the embrace of God inviting always always always to the celebration of our power and being.
Strong women we are, newly awakened and canoe-throwing fine.
The gnarl is near constant:
How is it that we as followers of Jesus are grounded in the biblical vision of justice and to speak of such things is near blasphemy?
I hear almost weekly of those who boycott worship at church because of perceived “politics”. They don’t want to hear so much about the growing and glaring inequity between the rich and poor. They don’t want to hear about the teachings of Jesus that have to do with serving as societal corrective to the mad romp for power and privilege which seems to be our assumed due. The cry of the earth and the inclusion of the outcast are voices to be muted whilst pew sitting since to speak of biblical vision is to collude with some sort of political conspiracy.
Oh. When the voices of the prophets as sounded through scripture and throughout the ages are unwelcome in our sanctuaries, we are on rocky ground.
It is tightrope walk, this living of the gospel. Nets we have, but the wobble of stepping out is real. God grant us the courage for the living of these days.
Bats make me nuts. I know, God created them and they eat mosquitoes and they are worthy of respect and appreciation and they scare me near nuts.
I was on a solo visit to the cabin recently and deeply asleep when a scratchy sort of not-quite-right noise awakened me. We have had problems with squirrels in the past, so I thought fierce and quick thoughts/prayers about my fervent desire that squirrels not share my bedchamber with me.
I fumbled for the light, turned it on and swoop, over my head was nightmare on wings (for me). In a low-ceilingned and small room was a bat, confused and scared and I went about nuts.
I ushered it out to the main room and slammed the door. I put towels on the floor to block any possible entry and assured myself that the problem would keep until the light of day and turned off the light and darned if that bat didn’t reappear in the dark. Twice.
I bailed out and slept in the bunk house. But that bat is with me yet.
Anyone who has gone through divorce knows that the soul-rent of it all will never be fully mended. Places of vulnerability are pushed into harsh of day, and everything taken as given is suddenly up for grabs. Place and people become overlaid with supposed judgement, memory, loss, and a sense that reclamation may perhaps never be. And it never is, at least in the uncomplicated ways of the past.
Healing, when it happens, is amazing grace.
I have been held by a powerful force throughout my life: a rollicking group of college friends with whom I made music and kin and life.
One of “our” babies got married last month, and I was asked to officiate. The clan gathered, including my three children, my husband, and folk who had known me as the wife of a beloved other. I was anxious, and worried, and hope filled. After setting out on my own, after long spans of silence filled with my own imaginings of outcast status, we gathered.
And we laughed. And we sang. And we danced. And we loved.
Watching my children cavort in the power of the zany love was like being able to watch my own heart as it was lapping up the grace.
You can be home again; Home in the company of people who are walking stories of your unfolding: college exploits, new babies, trips taken, harmonies shared, and love alive and real in the not-yet to come.
Home is good.