Welcome in friends. It’s a simple Tuesday in November.
Come. Sit. Pause. Breathe.
Share with me a benediction and a writing prompt that I prepared and shared with my writer friends recently as we gathered around a hearth and crackling woodfire in Canada.
Today, we meet, you and I, wherever we find ourselves. Comrades through our screens.
I’m in comfy jeans, a cozy sweatshirt, and my tee from Mercy House that says “Be Strong + Lift Others.”
My hands tap at the keyboard to bring you words to sit with. Let them wash over you in all the best ways. In whatever way you need, for whatever need you carry.
I fold my hands.
A benediction borrowed from Brennan Manning’s spiritual director:
“May all of your expectations be frustrated,
May all of your plans be thwarted,
May all of your desires be withered into nothingness,
That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child, and can sing and dance in the love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.”
~ Larry Hine, Brennan Manning’s spiritual director, who delivered this benediction at Manning’s ordination service
Open your palms. Rest them in your lap.
Let us consider.
In one rests the word PURPOSE.
The other palm provides space for the word PLANTED.
Picture them in a quiet proclamation, maybe a three-D visual, Papyrus font….or whatever favorite font you have, slowly turning on the platforms of our palms.
Let us pause to ponder and to wonder…
Hold the words there as we hold space for some quiet.
Sit with the pause.
Continue with open palms or place your hands however you are comfortable.
Let us consider:
What might shine forth if all our expectations were frustrated? Plans thwarted? Our desires withered into nothingness?
What would it feel like to fully dance, jubilantly sing, deeply bask in the delight of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
What lightness of heart and soul might this open door of freedom offer us?
Should it bring us face to face with fear and failure, how might the love of God encompass us as we walk with Him one day at a time?
And, I’ve thought of a couple stories and I wonder….
Perhaps this is how God views us…..
My daughter begins to tell me about the walk she took this afternoon. She interrupts her own words with a laugh of pure delight. Joy sparkles in her eyes; the tone of her voice wreathed with merriment.
“Theodore,” she laughs again.” He was running in front of me and his puppy presence brings me such joy. I get so much satisfaction and happiness out of watching him…..be himself. His jaunty trot. His flop-over ears. His galumphiness. His need to circle back, to come near, to want a pat or cuddle. He lives with the expectation that I am going to delight in him.”
It was true and I was struck by the extraordinary metaphor of it.
For the greater truth was, my daughter completely fulfills her puppy’s expectation.
She is delighted with him.
It gave me pause.
My memory journeys back along a corridor of years to where my daughter, younger by eight or nine years, appears.
She’s dancing on our basement patio.
Arms flung wide, she pirouettes, waltzs, spins.
Her own dance, own combination of steps and song.
Joy wreathes her face in this story too, head flung back, as the words and notes soar in the air.
“Let it go, let it go,” she sings with fervent happy gusto.
I watch from the kitchen window.
A private audience.
My heart swells with delight and love and pure unadulterated affection watching her……be fully herself.
No plan or program or productive purpose.
Bringing me the most joy by her infectious living of life.
My love encompassing her because she’s mine.
And then I wonder…………………………
What would it look like to be where our feet are?
Steadfast, settled, centered. Savoring the simple truth we ARE the purpose. We aren’t made for a purpose or to find a purpose, but on purpose by a God who laughs over us in love because our very lives, our act of being IS the purpose.
Tears trickle on my cheeks because the truth is…..
Lean in close…..
I’ll whisper it to you.
Most days I don’t feel like the purpose nor do I believe I am the purpose.
Most days the voices in my head proclaim to me that I must strive, I must strain, struggle and scramble to find a purpose to plant myself in.
Where do you feel and find proclamation and purpose in your life, in your soul?
Where is a place your feet are planted right now?
How does it change things to embrace the belief that WE are the purpose?
Sit with these thoughts and listen.
Listen to the powerful melody and lyrics of this song, I Want To Be Where My Feet Are.
Then, pick up a pen and put words to page as you ponder these questions in your Right-Now-Life.