Thought Bubbles and Sound Bites by Lisa Hunt-Wotton
I love to journal and have always journaled. From time to time I sit down and go through my journals because there are often nuggets of gold that you forget about. It is also a brilliant way to reflect on where you have come from and it solidifies where you are going. Its amazing to look back and see the changes, the prayers that are answered, and the growth that occurs.
So today I thought I would put down a series of sound bites or thought bubbles. These are the ‘one liners’, the golden paragraphs that have threaded their way through my life. I hope you can get something out of them.
“Whether the knowledge of the mind leads to God or to despair depends on the heart”. Henri Nouwen
Pain and Brokenness:
In the western world we are afraid of pain and brokenness, it is seen as weakness. We don’t become wise because we live in fear, we are so afraid of pain. We value success, and success has practically nothing to teach us on the spiritual path. On the spiritual journey it is pain that transforms us. Jesus came to teach us the way of wisdom , to liberate us from the the lies of the the world and the lies of ourselves.
Name your discontent. Name your reality. Articulate your experience so that you can move more deeply into the life of the spirit.
Our pain is universal. It opens us up to the pain of others. ” We either transform pain or we transmit it”(Rohr). Spirituality, at its best, is what you do with your pain. We must reject wealth, religion and power. Jesus enters through our wounds.
Until we are emptied in the wilderness we cannot minister. Jesus was tempted by Satan for forty days in the wilderness. He was with wild animals but angels took care of Him. There are both wild beasts and angels in the wilderness (Mark 1:13). In that season of barrenness, testing and trial we will face wild beasts but angels will watch over us and care for us.
‘The soul is spacious, plentiful and its amplitude is impossible to exaggerate. Your soul is God-in-you. This is your true self’. Richard Rohr – Immortal Diamond.
Liminal space is a threshold. It is a dark space, a place of transformation. It is leaving what is established and normal and moving into the in-between space. Liminal space is God space, crazy time, grief, transformation and a place of trust. Transformation comes when something else falls apart. Like Jonah it is being swallowed into the deep and being spat out onto a new shore. This is liminal space.
At some time we have all have been thrown in a pit, thrown out of the boat, thrown out of Egypt.
This is a painting I did last October called ‘Liminal Space’.
It is a picture of leaving one world and being on the threshold of entering another.
Love and Forgiveness:
Love is the way of life.
Accusation, paranoia, suspicion and blaming are from the accuser who is the father of lies.
We must forgive.
Its about forgiving people who lie about us, betray us, reject us. The cross is about how to stand against hate without becoming hate yourself. How do we stand against that in a way that we don’t become a mirror of the same thing.
If we do not love our enemy, even the enemy of our own soul, we will never see the whole picture of the Gospel.
Jesus is love and love casts out fear. Fear comes from a need to control and we are not in control anyway. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. If we give in to fear we will never move to the next level.
We need to be free from pain, fear, love of man, social order. We cannot trust any system, church or secular space but must stand in a place of both light and darkness.
‘We are living in an age where the second type of prophet is emerging. The first style of Prophet – that of Moses – says that you can be free. The second – the way of Jesus – speaks to men and women who consider themselves free. To them he says, you are enslaved.
This way is harder and rarer. You cannot be a prophet until you’ve discovered in yourself that which you accuse others of’ (Rohr).
The most magnificent image of transformation is Jesus. He is the bridge hanging between the good thief and the bad thief. This is an image of the two parts of us all.
We must be bridge builders, in fact WE must be the bridge in relationships and in situations. One who is able to span both sides, to understand both sides, to hold the tension and to be able to bring reconciliation.
‘How we do relationships with others is the best indicator of how we do relationship with God. Relationships are the earthquakes which shake our ground and lead us to new places’ (Rohr).
“Franciscan monks believe that nature and creation was the ‘first bible’. If we can honour and listen to Gods first bible we will be well trained in how to honour and not misuse the written ‘second bible'”. Fr Richard Rohr
When talking about the bible, William Bumbrell teaches that one covenant starts in Genesis and ends with the renewal of all things in Revelation.
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Recommended Reading: To purchase just click on the image.
Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go by Richard Rohr
One of Fr. Rohr’s bestselling books, St. Francis’s ancient call to the simple life, where joy, not dry theology, helps us build relationships and find peace in ourselves.
In Falling Upward, Fr. Richard Rohr seeks to help readers understand the tasks of the two halves of life and to show them that those who have fallen, failed, or “gone down” are the only ones who understand “up.” Most of us tend to think of the second half of life as largely about getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite. What looks like falling down can largely be experienced as “falling upward.” In fact, it is not a loss but somehow actually a gain, as we have all seen with elders who have come to their fullness.