clothed in grace

 cynthia bourgeault, in her book, wisdom jesus, explains that righteousness to the old testament writers meant a ‘being in the Presence of God’ so that when Jesus suggests that we ‘hunger and thirst for righteousness and will be filled’, he is speaking to the intensity of a longing to be deeply alive within God’s aliveness.  my longing is God’s longing to be in me and when i yearn, as i have been so yearning of late, i come into resonance with my deeper heart-knowing, that place of resonance with God’s wanting to be alive in me.

 i wonder. might we also take care as we explore our place in the world
and enter in to new relationships to not take our clothes off too soon?  this is a conversation that seems to be coming up alot as i have been witness to the pain of persons stuggling to learn when to jump into bed with their newest love, and when to keep their clothes on for awhile.

there seems to be a delicate balance between having compassion for the woundedness in the humanity of the other and not letting the other stomp upon the sacred treasure of your heart. often, in the process, there arises the need for compassion for self when the stomping occurs, a way in which to reclaim the holiness of the heart,  a need for gentleness and understanding for one’s own needs and desires that led us to close our ears to the truth of what the other is doing to us. it seems sometimes that the yearning in our hearts keeps them open to the stomping.

yet we are not called to be in a casual relationships, we must enter into them fully with our hearts. but perhaps we can be in relationships that explore the other deeply before entrusting the sacredness of our ‘body’ into the other’s hands. the irony here is that when we take off our clothes to soon, the relationship frequently fails to deepen and the initial sacred gift of self becomes a ‘casual’ fling.

our desires…goodness that they are, filled with God as they are… can
lead us to make ourselves vulnerable to those who are not able to receive the holiness of our offering. we know that the response is not to withhold
ourselves and harden our hearts. (after all, we have tried that in our previous relationship and learned it only harms us more because we close our own ears to our heart’s messages). how can we then hold our desire before us, honoring its goodness?….i suppose one way would be to always listen…is this fulfilling my heart’s desire?

perhaps the only real protection we have is to take the clothes of our
desires off in the presence of god, who sees the beauty of our offering, who
yearns with us to bring something to life in our flesh. to return to this inner
sanctuary, day after day, perhaps right in the midst of our external movements, is to be beheld as sacred by Love despite what the other sees.

this morning the passage that came up in lectio for me was from 1 thessalonians, where paul suggests we ‘put on the breastplate of love and the helmet of hope, for God did not appoint us to suffer’. i wonder what that looks like? is it like the blanket i was imagininglast evening?

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