One of the thoughts I picked up when working with a friend is, “God writes straight with crooked lines.” While thinking about this an image of mountain switchbacks popped into my head. And because of that an image of quilted ribbon candy. Then I thought I’d like to start out every single story with, “If you’d told me this would happen I’d be shocked.” All of this happened as a direct result of thinking about prayer over the last few months, how prayer can be, is, an act of vulnerability. That’s when Fr. Joe’s #talkedtotheboss popped up in my Twitter feed.
Vulnerability is an openness to being wounded or hurt. It is something of a radical honesty acknowledging our own woundedness, and the woundedness in others. In recognizing that woundedness we have an opportunity to treat the other with kindness and the respect they deserve as well loved children of God, even when they don’t see themselves as such for whatever reason. There are times I fail to treat with kindness those desperately in need of that act that willful choosing of kindness. Ooof. Ouch.
This blog, at times, is a place of personal vulnerability. Writing about some of the personal struggles in life, and prayer. The other day I started shredding my journals. I’ve always planned on burning them but shredding will work for me. While tearing pages bits and pieces caught my attention of a rather difficult time, one that had a dynamic impact on the lives of many. And I caught myself making comments to myself about how whiny I was in that moment. The journals need to be that place where I get to pour our my heart, and here I was judging my heart in a way that doesn’t jive with what I’d tell you if you shared your journal pages with me.
Judging my own heart in an unkind, uncharitable way is imprudent. In someways recognizing that this moment in life was an opportunity to grow, and become more of kind, charitable woman I’m called to be. The fascinating thing: remembering the experience without any of the gut-wrenching pain. And there it is: forgiveness. My sincere hope is for the others involved to experience peace, grace, and grow closer to our Lord. I acknowledge my own imperfections – which is probably why I thought I was whiny – that I didn’t handle all things in that time well. Personal life weeding was/is needed.
Reading those snippets remind me that leading an examined life is necessary, rooting out the things about me that prevent me from growing closer to people and to God is necessary, and self compassion is a thing. I want more, I want to be more, I want to be kind and compassionate towards others. I want to give deeply. That involves self reflection, checking my language, checking how quickly I snap at others when I’m tired, anxious, or annoyed for whatever reason. It involves making myself vulnerable to God. Yeah, yeah, God knows it all already, he still wants and longs for me to share these things with him, hence the journal entries.
Reading those snippets reminds me of Grace. There existed then, and does now, a friendship that is difficult to describe. That in some respects I’ve tried to push away because the lens of the experience of the hurt shrouded the experience of doing our best to work together. I’m grateful for that view now. Twenty twenty and hindsight and all.
Quilting through those difficult times got me through, offered me a sense of beauty, forgiveness in the work, an opportunity to grow. At this moment quilting is currently at a standstill which is really tough as the ideas are flowing. Oooooohhh how the ideas are flowing. Tomorrow I’ll share why on TerifiCreations. It’s good. Really good.
May this Lent offer each of us the opportunity to grow in grace, and peace.