April 3, 2013

Living the Truth in Love

I'm involved in a women's ministry in which we support each other in allowing God to heal our emotional and spiritual wounds so that we can live the mission to which God has called each of us.  It took me months to discern my mission -- and I have refined its expression over time:
As a woman walking with Christ I co-create a world of deep connection where we can discover and live the truth in love by opening myself to the Holy Spirit and by communicating with clarity and compassion.
That's it.  That's why God has me alive today, to do that.  Sometimes being able to name it helps me to do it.  But not always.

I'm in a stage of radical transition in my life right now.  It's not the forced kind that might come with tragedy.  It's the natural sort that comes with time.  In short, my children are growing up.  For going on seventeen years, I have been first a mother and then everything else that I may be.  Now my children don't need me like they once did.  It seems like it happened overnight.  Of course it didn't.

Still, I find myself wildly unprepared.  In a devotion I read this morning, Richard Rohr said, "We are told that St. Francis used to spend whole nights praying the same prayer:  'Who are you, O God?  And who am I?'"  I wonder if he received an answer, because those are my questions:  Who are you, O God?  Who am I?

I get stuck on the second question.  Who am I?  I thrash around with a sort of helpless desperation as I struggle to answer it.  I approach it by way of sub-questions:  What should I do?  Where do I belong?  How do other people see me?  It's no wonder I never get to an answer or any sort of peace.  Those are surely not the right questions.

If I really want to know who I am, I need to begin with asking Who is God?  Not that I will arrive at an answer, but it is only in abiding in that question that I have any hope of approaching the question of who I am.

Who I am only makes sense in terms of who I am in God.  And who I am in God only makes sense if I have some notion of who God is.

I may not have a complete answer, but I do have a partial one, and that might just be enough.

I know that God is love (1 John 4:8).  I know that God so loved the world that He gave his beloved Son to die so that we might live (John 3:16).  And I know that the way to God passes through Truth (John 8:32 and 14:6).

So, love and truth it is.  Thus, my personal life mission.  I will never fully uncover the mystery of who God is or who I am.  I don't know where this journey is leading.  I know only that the path is paved with truth and with love.

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