Am I allowed to enjoy Lent???? Yes, I can! I’ve had a very invigorating time in the wilderness of Lent this year. As I’ve shared before, as part of my discipline for this journey, and as part of preparing for a move, I decided to intentionally purge our home. I dove intentionally into cupboards and drawers I haven’t opened in years. Boxes came out, photos got sorted, little parcels went in the mail to family members…. It’s been great!
Somewhere along this sorting and cleaning the word ‘freedom’ began to emerge. No doubt it was related to the freedom that comes from a good household purge, but accompanying ‘freedom’ was the image of a beaver dam. I kept seeing, kept feeling, all those logs twisted together and the mud that held them in place. I began to feel a beaver dam inside me and started to wonder if there was a block inside me, a restraining wall, holding back the expression of my full self. I began to ask “What are my logs? ‘What might be holding me back from greater freedom, greater joy, greater tenderness, greater kindness, greater laughter?’.
Today I experienced an art exhibit like none I’ve ever seen before. It was like walking into a wonderland. The artist is explosively creative. I was ready not to like the show, but was completely drawn in. At one point she writes that she had never lived in a mould but has always lived in freedom.
Ah… I’ve lived in a mould or two…. I’ve still got a box of cookie cutters from my grandmother in one of my cupboards. Cookie cutters are great for Christmas cookies, but I’ve got years of living within my family’s mould! But I’ve also had years of living beyond their mould, slowly and steadily finding my own pathway. I’ve grown into more and more internal freedom, yet I do hear a Lenten invitation to experience even more freedom.
So tonight, as I’m church for a quiet Holy Week service and the scripture is read from a reflective perspective asking us to listen for a word, I hear from Mark 11, so clearly, ‘We don’t know’. I know that is my phrase to take, to savour, to mull over, to ponder, to meditate on. It quickly becomes ‘I don’t know’. I realize that one of the logs of my beaver dam is ‘I know’ and freedom comes when I can say, ‘I don’t know’ and be comfortable with that.
Freedom words: I don’t know…….I need help…….I’m sorry…….I’m wrong…….I made a mistake……..
What are your freedom words?
I find a huge amount of freedom in not needing to know everything, in being able to continue to grow and learn. As I ponder these words, I feel the dam dislodging. Can the spring rush be far behind?
I don’t know …..
Yet there are something I do know. I do know that there is a heart at the core of our universe that beats Love. I know I’m loved and I know that you’re loved too.
I’ll leave you with the prayer I found this week. It’s from Henri Nouwen.
I do not know where you are leading me.
I do not even know what my next day,
my next week or my next year will look like.
As I try to keep my hands open,
I trust that you will put your hand in mine
and bring me home.
Thank you God for your love.
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Love and prayers
Mystic in Motion
Contemplative Fire, Community Leader Canada