(via kind over matter)
This can be a biggie for me… every one of us taking responsibility for our lives. I was having this conversation yesterday with a friend about her anxiety blossoming during the holidays. She fusses over her kids and the grandkids, wants everyone to be happy, goes to great lengths to make sure the food is always prepared and perfect… and it’s already stressing her out. She almost misses the chance to really see her family and love on them because she’s too busy. I asked her, “Isn’t there a huge difference between saying to everyone ‘Don’t you see the effort I’m putting in here?!’ and wondering why they don’t fall over themselves to appreciate you versus seeing that everyone would be so pleased just to enjoy YOU while you’re all together?”
From Oprah’s Finale last Spring, she talked about the sign above:
“Nobody but you is responsible for your life. It doesn’t matter what your mama did; it doesn’t matter what your daddy didn’t do. You are responsible for your life. You are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others. One of the best examples of this was Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor [TED talk here] who was on the show talking about the book, My Stroke of Insight. She was a 37-year-old, Harvard-educated brain scientist who suffered a massive stroke in the left part of her brain. She couldn’t speak or remember her own mother, but when doctors and nurses walked into her room, she knew from the right brain who was on her side. She could feel their energy. Dr. Taylor sent me a sign that I have hanging in my makeup room. It says, ‘Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.’ And I ask the same thing in my home and at my companies. Thank you, Dr. Taylor, for that simple but powerful lesson.”
I wanted to take a moment and introduce St. Peter’s Fireside, a fledgling church nestling itself in Vancouver BC. Based on John’s gospel, the story this church calls it’s foundation is in two parts. In the first, John details Peter’s denial that he knows Jesus three times. The second shows Peter literally scrambling out of a boat and paddling like a Labrador Retriever towards his friend, his Savior, where he receives a warm welcome and healing. This new church has been on my mind lately because I am going through my own transition between firesides, from denial to healing. What I love about this church is the Spirit moving within it, shown especially through adherence to the calling that Julia and Alastair Sterne hear, even if it means leaving the comforts of “home” and creating a new one.
Every movement has a message, one that can be promoted through words but even more evocatively through visuals. And I absolutely love the symbolism Julia and Alastair have brought into this representation of the body drawing together up north. I’m seriously considering this as my first tattoo.
The guiding concepts within the logo are:
- The flame which represents the two fireside scenes in John’s gospel (John 18:15-27; John 21). At the first fireside, Peter denies Jesus; the second Jesus reconciles Peter to himself. As a community we come to Jesus broken and we find grace, acceptance, love, forgiveness and the beauty of God.
- The dove represents the Holy Spirit. After Peter is reconciled to Jesus, he goes on to Pentecost where the early church is birthed and receives the Holy Spirit (Acts 2). The same Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove. As a community we want to be people who yield to, and rely upon, the empowering presence of God the Holy Spirit.
- The letter f . Clearly, ‘f’ is the first letter of the word fireside. In a way, emphasizing this letter focuses one on the word ‘fireside’, on the event itself instead of Peter. As a community we will recognize that we all have our own stories, our own firesides, and that our stories place a vital role in understanding our place in God’s story.
- Finally, and this is a bit of a stretch, our mark makes an abstract cross. Peter denies Jesus as he heads towards his crucifixion. It is because Jesus went to the cross and resurrected that Peter can encounter him at a second fireside. As a community we want to recognize that the cross is central to this narrative, and our own lives.
Tonight’s apex pose in class was Compass… And the “challenge question” was: If you were to continue walking in the same direction and in the same way as you are now, in a year, what would your life look like? Who would you be? It’s not necessarily about where you would end up, because even with a Heaven, I don’t think we ever reach a stopping ground, where it all finally settles, like there’s a gravitational, generic experience we “end up in”. Just like a Compass, our faith provides balance between where we are now and where and who we ultimately long to be. And in just pointing the way, our inner compass charges us to simply walk the path we choose.
Through these lyrics we are hopefully resolved: ‘This is your life, are you who you want to be?’ … Well?
“Send me out into another life, Lord, because this one is growing faint. I do not think it goes all the way.” – W.S. Merwin
“Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.” – Anne Lamott
Thank you immensely to my reGroup friends. You know who you are 😉
“Lettuce not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.” – James Thurber
“Our spiritual journey must lead through the desert or else our healing will be the product of our own will and wisdom. It is in the silence of the desert that we hear our dependence on noise. It is in the poverty of the desert that we see clearly our attachments to the trinkets and baubles we cling to for security and pleasure. The desert shatters the soul’s arrogance and leaves body and soul crying out in thirst and hunger. In the desert we trust God or die.” – Dan Allender, “The Healing Path”