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Relationship Goals

Last week my friend called me with this crazy story about a woman washing Jesus’ feet with expensive oil and her hair.

“Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at the table. Mary therefore took a pound[a] of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”  John 12:1 – 3

After my friend read the text to me she asked me what I thought, she was planning to preach from that text on the following Sunday.  I said I thought that it all must have been quite a scene: the men all sitting around after dinner and Mary getting this really expensive bottle of oil and washing Jesus’ feet with her hair in the middle of all of that.  In another passage describing the same story there were even her tears involved in this foot washing ritual.  This all must have been pretty unusual, such an uninhibited expression of love.

I then tried to figure out if I had any friends that I loved this much.  Enough to go and get my most expensive bottle of perfume and pour it all out on their feet and wash their feet with my hair while they were having dinner at my house.

My mom was the only person that came to mind.  I would do that for my mom. If I knew that my mom weren’t going to be with me much longer I would pour my most expensive oil on her feet and wash her feet with my hair and tears.  Just so that she’d know how much I loved her.

Mary loved Jesus and she knew that he would not be there for very much longer. I am inspired by the freeness in her expression, particularly today – in such a censored time.  The fragrance in the freedom of her love for Jesus filled the entire house then and it has the potential to inspire our imaginations today.  Maybe we don’t have to figure out any more about this story than that. Relationship Goals.

 

 

 

On Friday my yin yoga teacher mentioned that we’re basically translucent. She was describing an autopsy video that she’d watched where the practitioner shined a light through layers of human skin, tissue, organs and bone and all were illuminated.  This made sense to me because all of these layers are porous, including bone, so of course light would shine through us.

This all made the idea of that ‘our felt sense of separation is an illusion’ a lot more real for me.  Many smart people have said this, like Einstein. And what if this idea of denying the flesh really has to do with denying any notion that we are disconnected from each other and all of life?

We are ‘one body,’ no?

It’s taken me whole weekend to get this out and to process my thoughts on this.  And what does this have to do with love?

Well I think it’s the answer and the cure to the darkness.  We have to love all those separated little dark spots in the body where no light is shining through right now.  Knowing that’s it’s possible, that light can penetrate those areas  –  those dark spots in us and in others.  It requires radical acceptance and maturity, I think.

Light

 

Our Daily Bread

I say the Lord’s Prayer almost daily and lately have found resonance with this idea of asking for daily bread. “Give us this day our daily bread,” we say. Jesus’ prayer asks for today’s bread, not yesterday’s or tomorrow’s.

Can I live like this? – I ask. Accepting and digesting only that which is available today. Not overly concerned about past or future but here, now, trusting that today’s bread is enough.

Can we?

Let Yourself be Done

Last night I was listening to an interview between Oprah and Wayne Dyer.  It had to do with Dyer’s studies of the Tao Te Ching.  In the interview he said a few times that the Tao teaches that we are to do nothing, rather we are to allow ourselves to be done.   He also said that Tao means “the way.”

I thought this was interesting because I’d been thinking about Jeremiah’s visit to the Potter’s House all week.  I thought that would end up being the theme of my Spirit Flow class in Wayne last night but instead I felt compelled to talk about prayer.  But this morning I talked about the Potter’s House in my Saturday 9AM Clifton class: God told Jeremiah to go down to the potters house.  Jeremiah found the potter there working with his clay, it took one shape, then fell apart and then the potter reshaped the mess into something else.  God said to Jeremiah ‘just as the potter does, can I not do this with you?’

And yesterday on a call with mom she referenced Malachi 3:3 which has to do with being refined by fire.

And this morning I rediscovered a quote attributed to Michelangelo  “there is a statue in every block of stone.”  As if to suggest that we are masterpieces waiting to happen, the excess just needs to be chipped away.  we need to be formed, and reformed and refined.

So back to this idea of being done. What if we did less doing and more allowing?  What if all we really need to do is be present and allow our lives to take shape in the ways that they were designed to?

“Be still and know that I AM God.”

potter_jpg

 

Light up the Darkness

Last night in Cheryl Barclay’s Bob Marley Yoga class she opened with his simple quote ‘Light up the Darkness.’ It made me think of this dark closet that I have  in my apartment.  I interact with this closet on a daily basis and yet I’ve never turned on the light in there.  I have a general sense of what’s in there and have learned how to navigate it in the dark.

But I did this thing the other week, I screwed in a light bulb in my closet and turned on the light!  It was really a moment. I found all sorts of things, both useful and unnecessary.  Many things were thrown away and others repositioned and reorganized.  It was a little breakthrough for me.

This morning I told this story in my yoga class and encouraged us all to turn on the lights in our metaphorical closets and really deal with our stuff.

Imagine that!

Yesterday a friend asked ‘What’s your life full of these days that makes you feel alive?’  I responded by saying that my life is full of ‘doing more things that scare me.’  Things like turning on the light, exposing.. dealing with.. clearing out..  letting go… correcting.. repositioning… reorganizing..   It’s scary but its making me feel alive too.  And its a more authentic way to live; better than feeling around in the dark, I think.

Light up the Darkness

 

 

 

An Adulthood Crisis?

I’ve been listening to Marrianne Williamson’s talks lately on YouTube. She’s said that we have a “Crisis in Adulthood” in our country – a lot of kids walking about in adult bodies. It’s interesting to think about and I have been all week.

This shows up in our relationships- we can be selfish, having a ‘what can you do for me?’ sort of attitude. Or blame others when things go wrong rather than look introspectively and ask ‘how did I contribute to this?’  Or maybe we have tantrums or punish when we don’t get our way?

In Paul’s letter to Corinth, he says “when I was a child I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I reasoned as a child but when I became a man I gave up childish things.”

Perhaps It’s time to give up childish things? Instead of taking, give. Instead of blaming, take responsibility and self-correct. Instead of pouting and punishing, accept.

Do the Work

Life has been really good lately.  I am doing work that I love, I have a great therapist, a new trainer, new patterns and habits, I’ve met some new men and I’m going on new dates; and I’m being more intentional about connecting with my friends – not just on social media, but really seeing my friends and spending time with them. When we connect, my friends say “what’s happening with you, Friend?” And I often say “not much,” but that’s not really true so I have been updating my instagram page more often  – taking photos –  to remind myself of how awesome and new each day is. Each moment.

This morning in my Spirit Flow class, I taught from John chapter 5 verses 1-8.  Its the story of a man who had been laying by the pool of Bethesda for 38 years, waiting to be healed.  When Jesus encountered him he asked: “do you want to be made well?” the man responds by saying that nobody is there to help him into the mystical waters when the pool gets stirred up and he never gets in there in time to get his healing.  Then Jesus responds by saying “Pick up your mat and walk!” and the man is instantly healed and starts walking.

A few things about this teaching:

  1. The man had a long relationship with his affliction.  As so many of us do. Who would we be without it?
  2. He was close to healing but had never been healed himself. He’d seen so many other people healed, laying by that pool for 38 years.  But he was still sick.
  3. His healing required him to do the work! Jesus said “do you want to be made well?” its a question we all should ask.  Yes we may know our affliction and even be comfortable with it but do we want to be made well?  And his answer.. “well nobody has helped me…” No. Nobody is coming to save you.  instead you must do the work. Get a therapist, join a program, find a community,  a church, engage a life coach, find a  yoga studio, a trainer, a gym, get on E-harmony, quit your job, get out of that relationship, let go, change your habits, clean your house, be intentional, start. Whatever it takes, you know what you need to do because you have seen other people healed. Do the work. It may not be easy. But it’s up to you to pick up your mat and walk.