oy! It sure feels like summer this week! I hope you are finding ways to be cool.
It probably does not come as a surprise, but I’m reading a new thought-provoking book. It’s called, “Our Unforming: De-Westernizing Spiritual Formation,” by Cindy S. Lee. Some of you may really enjoy reading it as well.
Here are a few thoughts I am sitting with.
“Rather than thinking of prayer as an activity or practice, I like to think of it as sharing space with God. Sometimes in prayer, we have conversations with the Spirit, and on the days when we’re not sure what to say, we may simply sit in silence together. In that space, God sees us clearly. And on the good days, we see God clearly too.” (p. 5)
“We dissect body, mind, and soul into separate, disconnected entities… Karen Baker-Fletcher explains that the Eastern church understands the Trinity as three relations or movements in one nature… Movement in one causes movement in the others. In the same way, our selves as body, mind, and soul are not separate entities but are intricately connected. When our bodies are weary, our souls will inevitably be weary. When we overemphasize the mind, our bodies and souls will be neglected. When our bodies breathe oxygen deep into our lungs, our souls expand too. Emotions are actually experienced in all three. When our emotions are wounded, our bodies, minds and souls will all feel the stress… We are meant to experience ourselves as a whole and not in parts.” (p. 6).
“I still remember the words that began my unforming…: “One day you’ll make a big mistake, but the people around you will love you anyway. On that day, you’ll be free, and you’ll be able to more fully receive God’s love for you.” (p. 19-20)
This book is reminding me of the gentleness of God. So often, church leadership culture mirrors business culture: “Grind or die!” But the culture of Christ’s church is pretty much the opposite: grace. generosity. acceptance.
Lord, as we “share space” with you this week, let us bring our questions. Let us release the need for constant progress. Let us recognize that you didn’t just come to redeem our minds. You came to redeem our whole selves. Let us recognize the rhythms of your grace. In Christ’s name, Amen.