Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Episode 33: Dear Preacher-Man

Dear Preacher-man,

(I did just write "preacher-man," it's true. This is not to deny that there are, in fact, called, gifted preacher-women. There are. I know so many that my heart cannot hold them all. This letter, however, is not for them. These words are for our preacher-men, those who preach while also wearing the power and privilege traditionally associated with a body identified by society as male). 

Your body does not look like my body. We do not begin at the same starting point and we are not marching toward one destination. And so, as a woman in your pews from time to time, I'd like to offer you a few pieces of homiletical insight:

The pulpit is not your confessional. Preacher-man, I admire your vulnerability and your willingness to share the places where you are broken and in need of God's grace. We are indeed all broken as you say. But your sin is not my sin and your confessions are not my confessions.  When you speak of your tendency to control things, I can only think of the places where I have felt helpless in the face of sexism or disempowered by implicit and explicit homophobia. When you call me to deflate my ego and condemn my pride, you make the assumption that I struggle beneath the burden of control and access to power. Be careful preacher-man, be careful  (and read this).

You do not speak for me. You are wise preacher-man, I know. You are learned and you have read the commentaries and studied the scholars. But be careful. You know Greek and Hebrew, it's true. But you do not know what it is to feel the hand of a stranger slide up your back because they feel entitled and permitted to touch you as they please. I have seen your commentaries, the whole series (hardcover and impressive, I know).  But you have never been denied an opportunity because you "remind someone of their granddaughter" or are just "too cute" to take seriously.  Be wary when you speak in absolutes. Use caution when you enlighten me about "what the bible says" lest I need to remind you that your body is not my body, your bible is not my bible. Context, preacher-man, context.

Embody God's word with care. When you point your finger at me preacher-man, I cannot help but think of the countless men who have pointed their fingers my way before. When you talk of God's judgement and your face is twisted in anger, I reflect upon those who have devalued me, cornering my personhood with their aggression.

Preacher-man, I am thankful for you. There are so many good versions of you out there whom I love, respect and value. They are gentle and kind. You are my friend and my colleague. Behind your pulpit you have such power. All I ask is that you wield it carefully, thoughtfully, and with great love. Your sins are not my sins. Your body is not my body. Your understanding of God's word is not mine.

With Great Love,
The Woman in Your Pew

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Episode 32: On why we must keep dancing...

Last Wednesday night nine college students, two clergy women, and a social worker serving the Department of Mental Health gathered to discuss systemic oppression and institutional brokenness for two and a half hours.

Heavy conversation? Yep.
Heart breaking? Absolutely.
Overwhelming? Uh huh.

Did it end in a two minute dance-off and a giant, love-filled group hug with the retiring social worker in the middle? It sure did. After discussing the intersection of racial and socioeconomic oppression as it is made manifest in some of our largest government systems, dancing was, after all, the only logical next step.

"Where is the hope" one of the students asked-"it all feels so big" another one added, "and I feel so small."

I've been thinking a lot about smallness my friends, about the way another's words, a system's brokenness, an institution's places of hurt, can bruise and wound, dehumanize and injure. I can't make all of that pain go away even though, Lord knows, I try. We try. We will keep trying.

But, I can--and we did--dance.

Because, as the prophet and poet Alice Walker reminds us, "hard times require furious dancing."

And without our "faith, without (our) determination to believe in liberation and & kindness, without (our) dancing" the gospel might not have any space to break through.

And so, we danced, right there in the State Hospital where our class was being held. We hugged, right there, in the midst of the heavy truth of our conversation, and we will keep on dancing still. Will you join us?

The world has changed:
Wake up & smellthe possibility.
The world has changed: 
It did not change without your prayers 
without your faith
without your determination to believe in liberation kindness; 
without your dancing through the years that had no beat.

-Alice Walker

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Episode 31: Ten Couples Turned Our World (and we woke up married...again)

My soul cries out with a joyful shout that the God of my heart is great, And my spirit sings of the wondrous things that you bring to the ones who wait./You fixed your sight on the servant's plight, and my weakness you did not spurn, so from east to west shall my name be blest. Could the world be about to turn? 

The Canticle of the Turning. Sarah and I chose this hymn as a part of our ceremony two years ago. On that chilly October day 70 beautiful voices joined in robust four part harmony (God bless those Mennonites) and we sang of a world that was about to turn. Standing there in the chapel at Bethel College, the turning seemed possible but was still so distant, so hard to make out, so far away. 

My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of you justice burn. /Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, And the world is about to turn. 

There's a lot of turning left to do. There are lots of tears left to dry, so much hurt in our world. But in our little lives, in the complexity of Sarah and I's beautiful and ever growing covenant with each other, the world really does seem to be turning and turning rapidly. 

Though I am small, my God, my all, you work great things in me, And your mercy will last from the depths of the past to the end of the age to be./Your very name puts the proud to shame, and to those who would for you yearn, You will show your might, put the strong to flight, for the world is about to turn.

Ten brave and beautiful GLBTQ couples stood before a Missouri court and demanded their rights. And while salvation does not come from our legal system and hope does not rest in the laws and bindings of our country--our rights do.  And now our state must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. 

And just like that we had rights, here, in the state where we are building our home and praying our tiny family into existence. Praise be to God.

From the halls of power to the fortress tower, not a stone will be left on stone. Let the king beware for your justice tears ev'ry tyrant from his throne...This saving word that our forebears heard is the promise which holds us bound, 'Til the spear and rod can be crushed by God, who is turning the world around.

It's step y'all, a beautiful, significant step.  Thanks be to God. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Episode 30: On Holy Fierceness

Last year in one of my courses, an intelligent, dynamic young female student began her statement with the following: "well, I don't know if this is right but...".  I immediately stopped her and asked her just why she felt the need to preface her (intelligent, right on target) comment with words of self-doubt. (Don't worry, I asked the question gently--she wasn't embarrassed). And then, as a class, we spent the rest of the hour in what may have been the most important subject matter we covered all semester: why have women been taught to diminish themselves? Why are they often encouraged to step away from holy, confident, bold, fierceness?

"I might be off target here but...."

"This might sound crazy but...."

"Maybe I'm wrong but...."

Later one of my students asked me why I had stopped our conversation about feminist theology mid-sentence to focus on "mere" conversation patterns and my answer was two-fold.

The first, most obvious answer: feminist theology seemed like the perfect time to have a meaningful conversation about the ways women have been taught to dismiss themselves before they even begin to offer their thoughts.

The second answer, the one closest to my heart and my journey: well, her name is Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt.

Dr. Hunt was the Academic Dean during my time at Vanderbilt. She's now the President of Chicago Theological Seminary in Chicago.  Once, while waiting to board a plane and head to Mexico for an immersion course, I stepped aside and let several folks (who had been quite rude and aggressive toward our class) step in front of me because I could sense that they wanted to. Alice leaned over and simply asked me a question: Why. 

"Jamie, why did you let them step in front of you? You have every right to be in line and get on that plane."

Months later, in a conversation with classmates, Alice stopped me mid-sentence, right after I had said something along the lines of "well, this might not be right but..." and with the same firm voice, asked me again: why. 

"Jamie, why do you dismiss yourself? You are smart; you are intelligent; you should speak." 

This past semester, as I heard this fiercely intelligent young student of mine begin her own self-deprecating remarks, "I don't know if this is right but..." I felt the question, perhaps the most important question,  rise to my lips, why....why diminish yourself? 

Why say anything other than words that proclaim your strength, your competence, your worthiness in these theological discussions? 

In that moment, I found myself giving thanks for the women who have taught me and for the holy fierceness they model--in their teaching, their preaching, their living. There are so many of them after all, so very many.

Alice. Viki. Terri. Ellen. Melissa. Janetta. Helen. and the list could go on ad infinitum.

Here's to holy fierceness y'all.
Holy fierceness that often walks in the room rooted firmly in both gorgeous heals and prophetic boldness.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Episode 29: Homophobia, Jam, & Faithfulness

There's a part of me that's Mennonite. It's the part of me that fell in love with a Mennonite girl, that lives simply and is moved to tears by four-part harmony. It's the me committed to peace and potlucks, Jesus and homemade jelly.

Like most traditions, Mennonite Church (USA) has been talking a lot about homosexuality. The talk, for the most part, feels rhetorically violent, exclusive and unhelpful. I'll state the (very) painfully obvious: it hurts to be told you're not wanted.  My chest aches as I watch so many I love be alienated by the traditions that formed them--"issues" debated over their very bodies, scripture up for grabs at the cost of their families. Recently conversation has felt more difficult, more divisive, perhaps even hopeless at times.

In the wake of some particularly hard conversations around sexuality at the denominational level that unfolded the week before last, Sarah preached a sermon that brought me to tears as we worshiped with the good people of St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship (a congregation that welcomes all with great joy). You can read her sermon here. To see Sarah, this called and beloved woman of God, offering a sermon, clearly living out her call to congregational ministry in a tangible, prophetic way, it made me cry and it got me thinking...

What does faithfulness really look like? 

What do you do when your tradition labels you as "out of line" and counter scriptural? What happens when your body, your family and your life are deemed unfaithful by one of the traditions you love and claim?

What does faithfulness look like then? 

Faithfulness takes all shapes and forms but for me, it looks like filling up baskets with zucchini from our garden. It's knitting dishcloths and baking bread on Sunday mornings.

Faithfulness is strawberry jam, made with loving hands, waiting on your shelves in the basement to get you through the winter.  It's gathering with dear friends around a dining room table and singing a prayer before supper; it's choosing to love and give even when you're told you are not welcome.

Sarah and I won't be accepted by all the churches which bear the symbols of the denominations we love; our family will be judged unfaithful by some, but thank goodness it's not ultimately up to them.

Thank goodness our human efforts--our living, our loving, our seeking peace, and striving to follow Christ when we can--thank goodness they are enough.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Episode 28: On Waking Up Married

Loving Spirit, loving Spirit,/you have chosen me to be/you have drawn me to your wonder/you have set your sign on me

Tomorrow morning Sarah and I will wake up married. Yep, you read that right. At either 12:01 a.m. or 2:01 a.m. Central Time (we're not quite sure about time zones) Sarah and I will be legally married according to the state of Washington. If you're confused, read more here. 

Legal rights are great. I'm a big fan. I'm thankful.

But in some ways tomorrow morning is just an ordinary day.

It's an ordinary day because on October 6, 2012, Sarah and I stood in front of many friends and family; we opened our lives before our God and the church; we broke bread and drank wine, and it was then--there at the table--there before a sea of faces singing in four part harmony, that I made a commitment and a covenant to spend the rest of my life with Sarah Nichole. 

Friend and lover, in your closeness/I am known and held and blessed;/in your promised is my comfort,/in your presence I may rest.

These lyrics from a favorite hymn of mine were our vows to one another then and they remain the vows we hold this evening.

Whether or not a judge or a court or a country acknowledge our love for one another; marriage or no marriage; rights or no rights; our covenant remains the same.  Our covenant with one another, with you--our dear family and friends--and with our faith community and our God; this has not changed. 

Loving Spirit, loving Spirit,/you have chosen me to be/you have drawn me to your wonder/you have set your sign on me

Tomorrow we'll be married y'all.
It's amazing and, you know, it's just an ordinary, blessed, sacred, simple day.  

Thanks be to God. 

Thanks. Be. To. God.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Episode 27: Open Hands (my invitation from Henri, Richard, and Thomas)

It might seem counter intuitive to some of the less-than-flexible among you (ahm, Klaassen family, I'm lookin' at you), but my favorite sitting position is the classic human-ball. Curled up, knees under chin, arms wrapped around my shins--this is me at my most comfortable.

I like snug spaces--right next to someone I love in a one-person easy chair (sometimes much to their dismay), relaxing in a tiny hammock--the smaller, the tighter the human ball, the better.

Those of y'all who know me (easily-excitable-jump-from-one-thing-to-the-next-heart-on-her-sleeve-me) might be surprised by my spiritual companions this summer-- for about the past month I've been journeying with the contemplatives; Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen....

It hasn't made me into a calm and serene human being; sitting still for more than ten minutes is still difficult; finding the quiet center still makes me crazy; but it has got me thinking about this human ball of mine, this posture I assume so often.

In the end, a life of prayer is a life with open hands--a life where we are not ashamed of our weaknesses but realize that it is more perfect for us to be led by the Other than to try to hold everything in our own hands. 

I read these words of Henri's (yep, we're pretty much on a first name basis now) while curled up into a ball, one hand holding the book, the other wrapped around my drawn up legs....and I had to stop and pause for a moment...

Nothing about my posture was open--back curved, knees to stomach, head resting in the space between legs, I was closed off, drawn-in....

....what if, for me, contemplation looked like opening up a bit--unfurling myself--trying life with these open hands Henri praises?

What if this curling up and drawing in, wasn't just about comfort? What if it was a way I tried to close myself off, protect my heart, shield my spirit...wrap my fingers around the undercurrent of mild anxiety that usually flows through me and attempt to contain it?

Maybe, for me, a foray into contemplation is an unwrapping, a slight letting go, a loosening of my grip?

I do not know where you are leading me/I do not even know what my next day/my next week, or my next year will look like./As I try to keep my hands open/I trust that you will put your hand in mine/and bring me home./Thank you, God, for your love./Thank you./Amen (from With Open Hands, Henri Nouwen)

I type now with legs stretched out in front of me, back straight, chin up...it's not much but it's a start, a step toward open hands, a step toward this invitation to unfurl, free my spirit, root myself in all that is.

May it be so. 

Thephoto was taken by friend of mine Max Cooper; you can check out his work (and hey, maybe even pay him to take a few pictures) at his website: a dark topography.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Episode 26: On Bodies (We Can. We Can. We Can.)

Bodies always get me y'all.

I'm a sucker for the lines of humans--our figures, shapes, the way all our pieces fit together.

We are complex and simple and fleshy and lovely.

Often I find myself lost in a wave of awe at the ways our veins and tissue wind together, connecting, giving us life...I'm in love with hips and thighs and stomachs, throats and cheeks, broad smiles and freckled noses.

But then there's my own.

Like many women, I have struggled with my own body. I love the idea of it--the rounded hips perfect for resting a baby on someday, the broad shoulders that can hold the weight of another's world--I like my body figuratively, love it even, but in all of its realness, in all of its sometimes pimply-so-quick-to-bruise-wobbly-bits fleshiness, there's no love lost between my body and me.

In fact it sometimes feels like all-out-war: Jamie Lynn vs. her Grandmother's hips and her Mama's thighs, round 27.

But then, every year, the beach happens.

I carry a sea kayak to the ocean and slowly insecurities about pale inner thighs are replaced with the strength of my arms.

I throw myself into the water, salt and sea washing over me, and thankfulness for knees and strong calves floods in while fear of failure, fear of fat, fades away.

Running this morning with Sarah Nichole, my limbs strong and competent under me, my mantra of you are not enough, you are not enough, you are not enough was replaced with a song of I can, I can, I can. 

We are beautiful y'all--all of us--beautiful, beloved, whole.

We can. We can. We can. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Episode 25: Annoying Problems & Sandy Solutions

I've got a problem y'all. (Well, truth be told, I have many problems but let's just focus on one of them for the purpose of this blog).

It's a great problem as far as problems go but it's still a problem.

My problem: I love my work, my vocation, so much that sometimes it's almost impossible to get myself to stop.

Ministry, serving a small college as Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Life, it's simply incredible. I cannot believe that I get to do it everyday.

I'm not sure why I've always been so startlingly aware of what a privilege it is to do what I do but I'm guessing it's related to the fact that I didn't always know it would be possible.

Deviating from the "norm" in any fashion has the tendency to sideline even the most called, capable, beloved children of God and--as many of you know--loving, well intentioned institutions (the church) sometimes prohibit these gifted men and women from living out their call and vocation.  As a woman in love with someone of the same gender, living out my call was not always guaranteed. But somehow the stars aligned and by sheer luck I found myself in the right place at the right time--a church that affirmed my call and a region of the church who would celebrate that call with me and my congregation through the ordination process. Praise be. 

And so I am always very aware that it is a deep joy and a great privilege to do what I do.

That brings us, once again, to the problem at hand--now that I actually get to do what I am called to do everyday, I've got to learn how to stop, how to set boundaries, how to rest.

I haven't figured it out quite yet and for the past three years, Lord knows, I have been trying with questionable success. But this time I've got a surefire plan--one I'm almost positive will work:

Step One: Compose an automatic reply for my work email account. Done. 
Step Two: Pack a bunch of food, local wine, a few swimsuits and leave Wyatt (bless his heart) in the care of trusted friends. Done.  (Wyatt is our cat, not a child, calm down).
Step Three: Load up the car, put bluegrass on the radio, and with Sarah Nichole in the driver's seat, make our way toward the Outer Banks to be with dear friends who know me better than I know myself--stopping only to visit a few other dear ones along the way.
Step Four: Wine glass in hand, sit in the sand and look at the stars.

This is my plan y'all. I'm one lucky girl and I am nothing short of thankful.
Here's to the coming week of sand, laughter, contented sighs and lazy-summer-day-naps.
Thanks be to God.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Episode 24: Open Windows and Overheard Words...

Highs in the 80s, open windows, potted flowers....the stuff of Spring.
My soul rejoices in the sun...there is much good, great thawing that comes with the end of winter. 

But open windows are also dangerous it seems...it just depends on the sounds floating through them. 

"That's the house where the lesbians live--they've really done a great job with it; I tell you, those lesbians really know how to work..."

Why yes--we have done a great job with our house. And yes, it's true, Sarah and I are hard workers--but, strangers standing on our sidewalk, we can hear you and labelings folks, well, it's just not nice. 

"Those lesbians...."  Our names are Jamie and Sarah.  You could call us your neighbors, beloved children of God, sassy and theologically educated; you could say Reverend if you really want be to respectful; lesbians is just fine too I guess...but that's not all we are. 

We must be careful with the words we choose, the conversations we have...windows are always open somewhere, our beautiful, intensely vulnerable hearts are always there, always catching the subtle signals, the whispered words....

Open windows can be dangerous but, praise be, they can also be life-giving, startlingly simple and utterly faithful:

the woman sitting behind me in church today--as Sarah broke the bread, lifted it and spoke the words of institution this morning, this beautiful, elderly soul in the pew behind me, she murmured along.  "This is my body, broken for you..." Word for word, phrase by phrase, she whispered the invitation and as her voice mingled with Sarah's in my ears I thought--yes, this is the sound, the song, that we choose. 

And when Sarah issued the invitation, "This is God's table and all are welcome here," this woman, well into her 80s, breathed a contented sigh and said "thank God and Amen."

Sarah sits now and plays the piano, Be Thou My Vision greets the folks who dubbed us "those lesbians" as they stand on our sidewalk. 

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

We must be careful after all. There are open windows everywhere.

We choose faithful words--whispered amens and broken thank God's--we choose music and heart-felt praise. The question then, for us, for the neighbors in our yard, for every heart--what words will you speak? What song will you sing? 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Episode 23: It's not (really) about World Vision....

Recently my Facebook newsfeed has been full of responses to the recent string of decisions by World Vision around their discriminatory hiring policies that exclude GLBTQ individuals. I'm glad people care; I am thankful that a discriminatory policy such as that of World Vision doesn't slip into practice (again) unnoticed and without protest. I am deeply aware that this public outcry (at least among my friends and loved ones) signals a continued change in the way our world and our churches approach those who are something other than heterosexual.

One day we will all be welcome and celebrated--at God's table, at the dinner table, everywhere. The outcry of so many against World Vision's decision testifies to this coming truth.

What troubles me though--my fear--is that we might be tricked into thinking that this type of open discrimination, this explicit exclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer folks, is a rare thing. Because World Vision, a national organization, publicly reversed its decision to hire GLBTQ men and women-we're aware of their less than loving practices.

World Vision's practices aren't new and they aren't an isolated occurrence.

Everyday, in countless towns, cities, and neighborhoods, discrimination against GLBTQ folks happens. Whether through subtle glances, blatant gestures, written policies or unwritten "norms," I never know just when I will face exclusion, rejection, hate, or discrimination. I have to be prepared for it, with my defenses up, all of the time.

And so, my friends, my family, all the amazing allies out there: I need you to be outraged now at World Vision, at the brokenness in our world...and I need you to be outraged tomorrow (and the next day, and the next). I need you to continue to protest for change--in big and small ways--because I cannot bear this burden alone.

Change comes when we journey together every day, through the large and the small, bearing witness to another world, another way of being.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Episode 22:In Celebration of Allies

Recently, I gathered with family. Not the family I was born into (although they're pretty great too) but the family that chose me when I was accepted at Vanderbilt Divinity School and took up residence in the Disciples Divinity House in 2006.  A few weeks ago, almost 20 ordained Disciples of Christ clergy (most of whom I came to know and love before they were "clergy," during that ever important drink-margaritas-and-sing-hymns-on-the-front-steps-at-midnight stage in their clergy development) gathered in Nashville to reconnect and reflect on our journeys in ministry thus far.

I was not surprised that our time together in Nashville was good for my soul. It didn't shock me that I could pick up right where I left off even though I hadn't seen some of these folks in several years. I expected the deep sense of homecoming, the sensation of being back with loved ones....it was wonderful; it was life-giving, but it wasn't a surprise. 

What I wasn't prepared for though, what shook me to my core, was the overwhelming sense of gratitude I felt when several of my peers in ministry shared stories of how they have lived out their call to be an ally with me on my journey as an openly GLBTQ clergy person.

I cannot speak for all folks who serve the church while also living outside of the dominant conceptions of gender and sexuality, but I have subconsciously learned to function with the expectation that there will almost always be someone in the room who disagrees with foundational pieces of my identity. Whether they think it's sinful to be gay or whether they are shocked by the fact that a young woman can be clergy, whether they've been hurt by Christians or wounded by those in a position of religious leadership, my 5'6'' frame often represents a whole lot of "baggage" and strong opinions for at least a few folks in our world.  Because of this, I have become skilled at operating with at least a bit of defensiveness and an eye toward self preservation in most situations.

And so a few weeks ago when we gathered, I wasn't ready, wasn't prepared, for the casual retelling of moments, the sharing of stories, from several of my straight clergy colleagues. They spoke of encounters when they had risked their own privilege, jeopardized their own power, to stand in solidarity with me and with other GLBTQ folks within our denomination and within the church at large. They didn't share in order to boast; they weren't proud of themselves; they simply described decisions they've made in their ministries. 

Some of the stories were small--they were about one-on-one conversations with parishioners, subtle sermon references to equality and love, but--all these weeks later--I still carry each of these stories with me. I am so very thankful for those who choose to walk along side me, who raise their voices even when I do not feel safe to do so.

Tonight I celebrate the allies, those who stand beside, who journey with, who with their words and sermons, actions and leadership, turn our world toward justice, toward peace, toward the kingdom.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Episode 21: The (Excruciatingly) Quiet Center

Oh Advent, oh Epiphany, so much room for quiet, thoughtful, reflective, prayer.  The liturgical equivalent to mood-lighting, Advent in particular seems to be a time when candles and shadow laden waiting, stillness and reflective postures are the order of the day.  Don't get me wrong--I love a candle and somber, stoic, silence as much as the next theologically-educated girl.

My ADHD, however, does not love it--not one little bit, not at all.

You see, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a friend of mine. He and I have spent lots of time together. Since childhood ADHD has gifted me with a nervous twitch in my foot and teary eyes anytime I have to sit still for too long. When I see the words "silent reflection" printed in a prayerbook, my inner-pastor thinks "yes, let's do this, let us be still so that we may know God." But the ADHD within me immediately argues--"let me get this straight," ADHD says, "you want me to be still, calm and quiet and you want me to think and be prayerful, at the same time. I don't think so."

Often we privilege the quiet, the stillness, the space without movement and words as somehow more spiritual, more holy, more inherently reflective.

The truth though, for my whole and embodied self, is that when I am asked to be still, it is the stillness, the lack of energy and momentum, that consumes my thoughts.  My brain doesn't find peace in the stillness, my spirit cannot soar when I am consumed by the energy of rest. Silence is not where I find God.

This year I am trying to make space for stillness. I know that it is good and valuable and that there is much to learn in the resistance I feel rising within me anytime I try to pause for a moment. But I also want to celebrate what it is to be gifted with ADHD...ADHD is another way, a beautiful way, to be in touch with the holy. It is jumping from thought to thought, following flights of fancy and pursuing, whole heartedly, energy and enthusiasm.

So...let us be still so that we may know God and
let us run, jump, bounce and follow fleeting thoughts--let us do that too.

(my internal response to a request for silence often looks a bit like this.....)