Beginning of Holy Week. Bread in my mouth, wine on my tongue. Hymn song, stained glass light, walking through a cloud-spattered morning waving palm branches and calling my Hosanna to the crows above. I pray in the shower, the steam rising from my skin. Besides driving in the car, it is one of my favorite places to pray, where I am naked and vulnerable before my God, without armor and distractions, cut off from the things of this world. Just me.
I am convinced that I have become crazy, that the soul thirst I have been feeling for months has consumed me and I embrace it, flinging myself into an awe too great for words, at this existent Great Spirit that I happen to call God. I am a soul with a body, a spiritual being, connected to the universe in unimaginable ways. We all are. This is the spring of my reawakening. I swear I can feel myself growing. It’s all starts and stops, fits and spurts, but it’s happening in a wave of vulnerability and connection and humbling and exalting. I hunger for words, from the Bible, from Jesus, rediscovering Paul (I used to really dislike that guy), but also from women of faith I respect: Sarah Bessey, Jen Hatmaker, Anne Lamott, Rachel Held Evans. Reading histories of the Bible, discovering how it was written and how it has been passed to us over centuries. And I still have no answers, only questions, but the questions exhilarate me. I love not having the answers.
Lent has been a practice in trying to embrace and accept who I am- even the messy, the unlikable pieces- instead of working to be someone I’m not. Trying to show myself grace even as I work to give others even more grace. I’ve started to realize that we all have the answers, that we are all living the best way we know how, and I am learning to accept everybody for exactly who God created them to be. I’m learning that people of faith come in all guises- that the definition of faith is far greater and more radical than I ever understood. I see now that there is no black and white, no either/or. There is both/and, there are gradations of gray, and God is in all of it. I try to worship not only with my voice, but with my eyes, with my hands, with a smile. And I see God everywhere now. He is in the sacred stillness of ritual, in candle flame, in the grass under my feet, in the songs of birds, in books, in the rude patron, in the garbage, in awkward silences, in the growth. And I’m amazed all over again.
The vulnerability, the opening-up, the deep gratitude, the connection, recognizing the souls of others- this is holy.