Conversations with God

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My entire year here has been a conversation with God that has focused on two major questions; what now and what is next. The tension is one we all face between the present and the future. I’ve had to be in prayer, reflection and conversation with this community and my broader community of friends and family to navigate this unique time in my life. All of these things have allowed God to speak and for me to listen and respond.

The question of “what now?” was answered by doing what was in front of me. Every day I was invited to be present to my work on Transit, my relationships with residents and guests and to be present both in body and mind at prayers, meetings and times of formation. I’ve continued to ask myself “How is this particular scripture that we are reading speaking to me? What in the message at our service does God have for me? Whom can I bless, whether it’s a guest, resident or member of the larger community with my presence, perspective and hospitality?” I’ve also tried to be faithful to the needs that arise in the present, of making more coffee, an impromptu meeting or task, a spontaneous conversation that erupts at the dinner table. I’ve been present to the laugher in the kitchen and chapter room and made sure to enjoy the garden and walk the labyrinth as well. Mostly, it has been maintaining my commitment to do what is mine to do, presentations for Transit, washing dishes, cleaning dorms and tidying the Chapel. These things have both provided a sense of solidity, purpose and wonder.

The answer to “what’s next?” was aided by my time in VoCare, the school for vocational discernment. I learned how to discern what I might do in the future by listening to the lessons of the past and paying attention to what brings me energy in the present. Both inquiry, stepping into the deep questions and action, taking steps forward to test and explore, have provided great clarity. My work as a resident and with Rapid Transit in addition to lectures, trainings and conversations at Richmond Hill and with friends have helped me to do the work of self-discovery that has shaped what I plan to do next. I’ll stay in Church Hill, work in community development, write, pursue life coaching and hopefully participate in RUAH.

This has been a purifying time, of hard work and commitment, of joy and laughter, of good food and good fellowship. God spoke to me through all of these things; about who I am, who He is and what he has called me to do. He has come to me “disguised as my life” and I am glad to receive the gifts of the present and the hope for the future that Richmond Hill has provided.

This is my last post on this site for a while. If you like what you read, visit me at www.ebonywalden.com

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Prayer as Interruption, Honor & Imagination

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I want to allow my life to be interrupted by God, to be open to divine possibilities. For most of this year, prayer has been an interruption to my sleep, my work, my conversations, my free time and my thoughts. At points, I wrestled to stay present, to stop what I am doing to engage God and pray for the city. At other times, it has been a respite and provided a needed refuge from my to-do list, anxious thoughts and addiction to self-sufficiency. As much as I have both enjoyed and struggled with praying 3 times a day, it has become a needed and necessary interruption. The discipline of communal prayer helps me remember to turn toward God in the mist of my busy day, to unplug from my work and my story enough to lift up the healing of the city, to ask God for help, grace and strength. I am reminded that I am not alone, that God is at work, that whatever I am thinking about, working on or dealing with, I can lay down for a few minutes. I can receive these few minutes as a gift and an invitation to listen, be renewed and focus on God. That is indeed a beautiful blessing.

Tuesday Mornings and Thursday Evenings are my favorite prayer times. I lead prayer on Tuesday mornings. I turn on the lights, light the candles, unlock the doors and read prayers and scripture. Something comes alive in me when I have to wake up a bit early to be ready and seated before everyone arrives. I get to prepare the way. It is an honor and privilege to usher our community into the heart of God. The responsibility has been delightful.

On Thursday evenings, Anne Campbell leads prayer by telling stories. This is a spirit filled time. Jesus told stories and the bible is full of them because stories are a good tool for opening our understanding and a way to renew our hearts and minds. When Anne tells stories, Chapel is transformed into a space of imagination and creativity, a space of merriment and freedom. These are words I associate with God, so I am glad Anne tells stories to shepherd us into God’s story with such dynamism. Leading prayer and listening to these stories alongside biblical stories has kept me alive and awake in prayer.

During evening prayer, Mary’s Magnificent has resonated with me. I have the words memorized but it is the way they reverberates through my chest and head that is striking to me. It feels like something is being prayed through me. Mary’s song is a signpost for me to continue to say yes Jesus, to whatever it is that the spirit wants to birth in and through me and to respond by praising God for his greatness, favor, mercy, strength, provision and help. Her response to God penetrates my being.

Experiencing prayer in these new ways has been stretching which has created more space for God

Let us go rebuild the ruins!

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Last Friday, I attended the national conference of the Association for Community Design. It was mostly comprised of urban planners, urban designers and community advocates who want to make a difference in their community. We were all at the conference and in our respective professions and communities looking to be a catalyst for a change we can see. Maybe even a change we have a part in designing and facilitating. Days like these remind me why I went into urban planning. I wanted to be a rebuilder of ruins, restorer of hope not only socially, but physically, of homes, buildings, streets, parks and neighborhoods. Most of the people I met from the conference had that same passion, so I was in good company.

Neighbors

The theme of the conference was “neighbors.” I believe this was a good place to start because community usually begins with being a good neighbor. And with that theme, we had our sessions at different galleries along Broad Street that allowed us to walk and see the area, took neighborhood walking tours to understand the history of various neighborhoods and dined at restaurants around Richmond to get a flavor of Richmond’s best eateries. We took in the landscape, engaged businesses, arts organizations, history and local residents during our time. We practiced being good neighbors by getting to know the places and people of Richmond. We did this simply by getting out, eating together, walking and talking.

Love and Forgiveness

Sitting next to other planners and designers at lunch, our table discussion prompt was “what does love and forgiveness have a role in your work?” Wow, what a good question. This was my kind of conference, going from practicing being a neighbor; walking, open and curious, to practicing love and forgiveness. In the work I’ve done in community building these two themes are much needed, as we move toward one another to help build trust and understanding. Being open to change, challenge and growth as well as doing things for the better of the larger community are important, that’s love. I also think forgiveness is necessary. In the physical, social, economic and political arena of a city, there are many wrongs that have been done in the name of the good of the city. For example, we walked the Jackson Ward neighborhood in Richmond and stood next to the highway that destroyed a neighborhood and social fabric of its residents. Yes, love and forgiveness are necessary daily if we are going to get on with the business of building community. Forgiveness can help us reckon with the ills of the past and its impact on the present and love can bring us together in the present and bind us to one another as we go forward into the future.

From Noxious to Nature

One session really blew me away, it was about an African American neighborhood outside of Houston that was plagued for about 20 years from illegal dumping. There was enough trash on these few acres of land if piled up would be taller than any sky scraper in the city. The residents called and complained for years, but nothing happened. They were plagued by air pollution, noxious odors and toxins, rodents, debris and ash from recurring fires and constant light and truck traffic from dumping. The neighborhood brought suit against the city and finally won and the dump was shut down after 20 years. To reconcile for this offense, the city cleaned up the dump and turned it into an outdoor habitat and recreational center for the community. There was such a stark physical transformation, from noxious to nature. This type of change, ma be one of my favorite things to hear about and witness. It reminds me that one day, all things will be made new, but while we are here, we get to participate in the process.

Watch the documentary “Out of Deepwood” to learn more.

Stability: Finding Home

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I am getting ready to leave Richmond Hill in another 4-6 weeks. Oh how time flies when you are praying for the city. I will have moved 3 times in a little over a year once I leave this place. Stability has been on my mind, both in how to find a home for my diversity of passions and as I wonder where my next home will be. In the mist of this transitional year and entering into another period of transition, I have been thinking about stability of place, of people and of heart. How do I find solid ground amidst all of this change?

Finding a Home for my Passions

This year, in the school for vocation, I have done a lot of reflection and discernment about the many elements that make up my vocation, where and how they will fit in the container of my life. I’m interested in community development, coaching, speaking, poetry, writing and facilitation. Twice, the same friend said “ebony, I get the image of a house when you are talking about these things.” I thought he meant an actual organization or place, but when we spoke again, I got more clarification. He said “it seems like you are trying to build a house for yourself, and this is a process of you are trying to figure out the rooms, which ones will be larger or smaller, which ones will get used the most and the least.” Yes, a house or home is a good metaphor for what I am trying to build. It’s also a good symbol for identity. I am learning to enter the mystery, be curious and experiment a bit. Some of the questions of what, how much time and energy for my passions/rooms will only be answered as I try new things, take risks and make decisions. I will have to be patient with these questions and live my way into the answers by trial, error, listening for the spirit, saying yes and no and taking advantage of opportunities in front of me. I’m looking forward to the process, even though it’s a bit scary.

Stability of Place, of People and of Heart

I now live in a new city and plan to stay here for a while. I neither live in the same city as my family or most of my close friends. Most people in our society both move and change jobs every 3-5 years. I wonder how to find some sense of rootedness and solidity of place and people in this type of environment. Returning home is a theme that has come up for me, finding home in God and myself, and the places I can come back to where I have deep connections, rootedness and relationships.

In this changing world, I’ve adopted the notion that I have to find the home in myself, in my own skin and soul. Part of that is making sure to stay connected to the spirit of God within me and knowing the quiet place that is my refuge, where I find God. Wherever I am and God is, I am at home. At home in God and with myself. I must continue to engage in the practices and disciplines that help me come back to myself and return to God. For me that is having times of silence, reflection, medication, journaling, walking outdoors and sitting in gardens. Certain psalms, prayers, scripture passes and songs bring me back to a solid place, within myself and in the arms of God.

There are also people that are connected to specific places that feel like home to me. New York where my family lives is a place I call home, there are people who love me, familiar and caring and supportive people; my favorite places to visit, eat and be. There is an element of home in Charlottesville as well. I know both of these places well, can drive on auto-pilot, and can run into an old friend on the street. I love the familiarity. When I go to both these places I recognize a part of myself that seems to have been missing.

Some of my friends also feel like home, when I go over my friend’s Leonette house, she feels like home. She has known me for over 10 years, we can laugh, do something fun or do nothing. I know I can go into her fridge and closets to get what I need. Likewise, so many of my other relationships is Charlottesville feel like home. I am known, I feel a freedom to be myself. No matter how long I am gone, when I return, we pick up where we left off. This comfort and companionship is priceless, it’s also soul satisfying.

Richmond Hill, now feels like home, a spiritual home, where my love for contemplation, the city, racial justice come into one. The ethos, the people here, the mission and vision feel like home to me. It’s a place I can come back to for guidance, direction, discernment.

Richmond, is new to me, but it starting to feel like home. A place I can build a life, a place I can make a difference and hopefully build that metaphorical house we are talking about.

The only ways I have found to maintain a sense of stability in this ever changing environment, is to I know the places I call home, in God, in myself, in others and specific places/spaces in the world. I hope to go out and explore the world through life and work and return to these places and people as often as I can or as much as is needed to solidify my soul.

Put on your walking shoes

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I read somewhere that if you are stumped, in a creative black hole or want a new perspective on a problem, then taking a walk can switch something in your brain, so that options and opportunities open up. It spurs creative ideation, settles negative emotions and changes moods. I love a good walk. For 3.5 years I walked down the same beautiful street to work, watched seasons change, paying particular attention to the sounds and beauty before me. It was my morning and afternoon meditation. Rain, sleet, snow or sweltering heat, I walked because it brought me life and peace. It opened my eyes and my heart.

Twice in the past month, I got a chance to walk my neighborhood. On Good Friday, a group of churches did the Stations of the Cross at 12 different locations around the neighborhood. We walked, stopped, prayed, read scripture and listened to reflections from people from the various churches. As we walked from station to station, someone lead the processional with a cross held up before us. It was quite an experience. The walk put brick and mortar, pavement and parks, people and silence, earth and sky as backdrops to the Gospel story. I reminded me that God is not just in a church or chapel, he is outside in our everyday lives, on our streets, with us as we walk. He shows up in nature and his creation. This walk grounded me in that reality and to the truth that I am also a part of his ongoing story.

The second instance was the week before. It was a nice day and our formation facilitator decided to take us outside for our monthly reflection on one of the rules of life. This month, we were reflecting on the rule of hospitality. We were instructed to walk as a group and search for things within our general neighborhood that we thought represented hospitality. Someone pointed out our chapel, we invite anyone from the community to pray with us at 7am, 12pm and 6pm. Another person pointed out the school that is one block a way, as a representation of not just a school, but a community facility. The laugher of the children she could hear from her window was hospitable. I pointed out the prevalence of front porches, people sit on them, watch, listen, are available to their neighbors. Front parches also promote safety, as the presence of people sitting outsides provides “eyes on the street.” As we passed a cleaners, one gentleman noted that the woman there was always kind in her service to him. When we got to the main road, one of us stopped and pointed to the flowers out in front of the beauty shop as a way to be hospitable and make the business and street attractive. The best example of hospitality came out of the front door though. Marie, a stylist came out and asked us if she could help us, engaged us in a conversation about her business and even gave everyone a discount. She was genuinely open, interested and willing to provide service and assistance. She made all of us feel welcome. We returned home feeling expanded and surprised from the experience.

It is amazing what you can see and find if you put on a new lens. Whatever we go out looking for, we tend to find. A walk can be a break from something, an adventure, a means of transportation, a prayer, a ceremony or just a way to stay awake to the life, beauty and hospitality that is present around us. I hope you pay close attention on your next walk, I am sure you will be surprised by what you begin to see. I am sure this new seeing will reveal something of God’s beauty, truth and goodness to you.

Do you know what time it is?

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While driving on 64 west, I was behind a truck when a pebble ricocheted off one of its wheels and landed in the center of my windshield, leaving a nice little chip. I looked at that chip for weeks, knowing I probably needed to go get it checked out. I was foolishly hoping it would remain small and I wouldn’t have to do anything about it. About 4 weeks later, I got in my car and realized that the little chip had stretched out across my windshield and created a 12” crack. Darn! I called my insurance company immediately. As it would have you, chips are easy to fix and can be repaired free of charge under insurance. Cracks over 6” however require replacement and are right under the insurance deductible amount. Waiting to do something I knew I needed to do from the moment that rock hit my window, had cost me $206.27. That’s quite a price tag.

This got me wondering whether there are other places in my life where I’m waiting and procrastinating on things that need to me addressed, changes/decisions that need to be made, and opportunities taken. Perhaps the cost is getting greater or the burden harder to bear with my inaction. I wonder how it is happening for others. Maybe there is a job that needs to be left, career changed, a venture that is ready to be birthed, a relationship to end or friendship to start. Is now the time? What exactly are you waiting for, is waiting benefiting you or costing you?

On the flip side, I am a believer in God’s time in the ecclesiastical sense, that there is a time for everything under the sun. I also believe that there is a holy waiting that can occur and is a blessing. It may be a season to sit down, rest, heal or learn; to cocoon, not to butterfly. Transformation happens in the cocoon. We must discern whether it is time to act or time to wait. I don’t want to act when I should rest. I don’t want sit on the couch when I should act on those things that are in my heart to do. How will I know what time it is?

This is where living life as a conversation with God comes into play. Consistent conversation with God can help us discern what season we are in in different aspects of our lives. In one area, it may be a season of waiting, in another, action. You would have to know how to listen to God and the ways in which he speaks to you in and through your heart and life. Is it through prayer? Spiritual friendship? Scripture reading? Silence? Resonance? Listening to and reflecting on your days?

I pray you seek God in ways that resonated with you, so you can hear him speak. In this new season, I pray that you know where He is inviting you to act and where He is inviting you to wait.

Accompaniment

I’m always on the lookout for good questions. Questions that get me to deeply reflect and discover something new or move me to greater intentionality. These two questions were about accompaniment, someone to travel with you on your journey.

  1. Who do I have accompany me on my personal and professional journey? To offer me strength, support and encouragement?
  2. Who am I supporting in their success?

After spending 8 months traveling the world alone, I learned firsthand the benefits of companionship. Nine times out of 10, whenever I met someone that I could tour, travel, eat, talk or volunteer with, it always make my time better. The good times were more beautiful and the tough times were more bearable. On the last day of my ATW trip, I was rather tired and not interested in meeting anymore new people. I randomly got into this conversation with Mark, a Spaniard who had just moved to Australia. He was having some trouble understanding the English of our tour guide, and though I didn’t really want to talk I begin helping him out. After the tour, we ended up spending the entire afternoon together at Bondi Beach, had dinner and spent the entire next day together hiking in the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney. Those were a few of the best days of my trip. Some of the burden of trying to figure out what I was going to do, where I was going to go and watching over my person and personal belongings was shared when we were together. Likewise, we also shared in the beauty of the scenery, food and our love for old school hip-hop. I doubt I would have even taken the hike by myself, but with someone it was feasible and enjoyable.

Likewise, in my entrepreneurship class, we have accountability partners to help us through the class. We discuss our ideas, fears, get feedback and offer whatever advice and encouragement we can offer. We also get support from the other women we interact with in the FB group. This interaction is priceless. Similarly, my coaching program advised us to create an advisory board, a group of people with varying expertise that believe in us and our business. Accompaniment. Sometimes we have to be vulnerable and ask for the help and support we need, other times it comes naturally. Either way it’s a blessing. Whether it’s a church community, family member (s), a small group of faith or friends, an accountability partner, mentor or spiritual director, I’ve learned the role that support (a living cloud of witnesses) plays in my spiritual journey and professional success.

The second question was more penetrating. I knew I had a lot of support, but who in my life needed my support? After reflecting, I was inspired to be intentional about “paying it forward” and supporting someone else in my life that may need support. Last, Tuesday, I set a weekly appointment to meet with one of my co-workers, to simply see how he was doing, share information and support him in his success. I’m exciting about the journey, my own and witnessing his.

  1. Who is supporting you in your journey? Where might you seek out this kind of support?
  2. How are you contributing to another’s success? Who in your life needs your support?

Wilderness Gems

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Last week I read about the Israelites murmuring and complaining in the Book of Numbers, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Throughout Exodus and Numbers, there are many occasions when the Israelites, complain against God and sometimes suggested going back to the slavery of Egypt. Freedom and this new way of living that was lean and relies on God is almost too much for them.

The wilderness, by virtue of being in the dessert is not a place of comfort. It’s a lean place, one in which all of our faculties are tested and stretched – mental, physical, spiritual and emotional. The Israelites wondered in the wilderness for 40 years searching for the promised land, Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days being tested and tempted by Satan before beginning his public ministry. For Lent, we enter into the wilderness by fasting in hope and expectation of Easter. We simplify, we get down to some essentials, give up some luxury, addiction or harmful habit or way of being. I gave up sweets and every night after dinner my faculties are tested and stretched. I have to calm the internal uprising. No the wilderness is not an easy place and most of our wilderness seasons are far deeper than passing on dessert, seasons of loss, disappointment, failure, uncertainty and depression. I felt like I had my own personal wilderness for a few years, a time of wandering.

One of my colleagues asked, “How was God forming them in the desert?” What did the Israelites learn in the wilderness that prepared them for the Promised Land? It seemed like he is stretching them, increasing their capacity of uncertainty, inviting them to enter into a relationship of daily provision. Over and over there is crisis – no water, no food, and outbreak of serpents – and then God’s rescue. Over and over they learn their own hearts…their response when things don’t happen immediately, their way or meet their expectations. We see their impatience and hear them complain. I always want to yell at them from my vantage point, but I would have and probably done the same lament and murmuring. In their wilderness wondering they were shedding the bondage and slave mentality of their old life and preparing their being and character for the new land. They had to learn how to live daily by God’s provision, trust, how to hope, and problem solve and live in community.

In waiting, wandering and wilderness places God is doing something, he is shaping and stretching us for our future…Helping us see ourselves more clearly and know and see Him in a deeper way. In my years of wilderness, I learned how to pray, how to be still and listen to God. My patience was stretched. I learned how to care for myself, set boundaries, how to live in and rely on community. In those months and years, my character was refined, and I believe I’ve become more human, more myself. I shed some things and new things were born in me. I have a greater capacity for both joy and sorrow, to bear mystery, to see God and listen to myself and others. During Lent, often I learn what I can do without so that I can make space to feast on God and the goodness of greater simplicity.

What are you I learning in Lent that is preparing you for Easter? What have you learned in the wilderness times of your life, how did those times form you?

Speak!

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I was sitting across the table from a close friend of mine in a dimly lit restaurant. In between us wine were glasses, bowls of soup and a plate full of appetizers. Around us was the hum of constant chatter. We were continuing an ongoing discussion of how she could engage more in her work environment and personal life, to speak up and use her voice. She spoke of all of the reasons why she doesn’t speak up: she is not confident on the topic, if she feels like she won’t be heard or it won’t make a difference or she’ll be criticized. I asked her what the cost of her silence is. The price paid for silence is a piece of who she is gets lost as does what she can bring to the world. We were having this very conversation because it was beginning to cost her too much.

I was in a training the other day for women entrepreneurs. One of the biggest fears some women have, said the speaker, was the fear of failure, the fear of success, but also the fear of being seen and criticized. She said THAT is the reason why some women are afraid to start their business, to write their book, of blogging to attract business and spread their ideas, of giving trainings and teaching workshops. They are afraid of putting themselves “out there.” The cost of this fear said the speaker, are unrealized dreams, unused potential and unshared gifts. It costs us a piece of ourselves.

A few weeks ago I was at a talent show put on one evening with a group of community leaders. We were sharing our songs, poetry, words and stories. I had not come prepared to share anything. I wasn’t really afraid, I just didn’t feel like putting myself “out there.” But a poem was rolling around in my head and in my heart, the poem “Speak.” It seemed like its title was an invitation or a command maybe to do that which the poem demanded I do. I have rarely been able to resist a request to perform it. After much back and forth in my head, I decided to share my poem, my gift and little piece of myself. It was well received, people were moved and a number of people came up to me afterward saying it spoke to them. I am not sure what the cost would have been of not sharing it, but the benefit was that a few people’s hearts and minds were touched. That is priceless. Sometimes I need to hear my own words.

This year I have made a commitment to be more vocal about how I feel. I want to speak more from my heart, not just my mind. And, not only do I want my words to speak, but I want my life to speak, for me to be and share more of who I truly am. I believe there are perspectives for me to bring to the table, fruit for me to bear, visions and dreams for me to share and/or make reality and work that is mine to do. I must get about the business of finding and using my voice, sharing my gifts, speaking my truth, of living and living out loud. It simply costs too much not to, to me and to the larger world.

In the spirit of this post, here is my poem Speak

Being You and Blessing the Broken

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Each month, we together for a time of spiritual reflection to discuss one of our 12 rules of life. These are the values and principles that we live by in community. This month, we reflected on humility, defined in our rule as: living one’s life in perspective, in a commitment to assess and honor one’s own gifts and those of others.

I had always thought of humility as making oneself low or less, but never thought of it as honoring our own self-worth as our definition suggests. Our facilitator pointed out that the word humility originates from “humus” (earth) or being “of the earth. In this vein, maybe being humble is coming to terms with the fragility and limitations of our humanity while also realizing and accepting our gifts and those of others. I like of idea that humility allows me to just be who I am, not trying to be more or less. To know what I am and what I am not is freeing. I don’t need to put on airs or lack self-esteem. I can step up when necessary and operate in my strengths. I can recognize when I am out of my league and I can do simple things like scrubbing a toilet without feeling degraded.

During our time together, we reflected on the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi and the Beatitudes. “Wabi Sabi” embraces beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” Wabi-sabi finds the most basic, natural objects interesting, fascinating and beautiful. We had pictures of Japanese pottery with gold lined cracks. They were broken and put back together, but the cracks are what made it lovely. I recalled a walk I went on a few months back, taking pictures of things that were imperfect to find the hidden beauty in them. There was an abandoned brownstone with cracked windows and vines up and down its side, a cracked foundation with a plant growing up and out of it and then the cracks and humps in the brick sidewalk that made the landscape more interested to traverse. There was much to find that was broken, even more delightful to search for the beauty in it. Similarly, on my trip around the world, I often found the most beauty in the lowest places, like slums and orphanages or “of the earth” in the most natural landscapes. Those are the Wabi Sabi memories that I cherish, the people and conversations I had in those place are forever etched in my mind and heart. I can call them Beautiful Brokenness

Next, we read the Beatitudes to witness how God seems to bless the least, last and those who are lowly…the poor, meek and persecuted. Jesus makes it a point to be amongst those on the fringes of society. Last Monday, I heard a speaker refer to Christ as the “down low God.” A God who comes down to our level to see into us, eye to eye in relationship. He also blesses us. Likewise, our reflective assignment was to think of our own small or imperfect places and bless them. I wrote my own Beatitudes, thinking of myself, those close to me and humble people and places I encountered oversees in which their struggle was a blessing.

Blessed are those who journey, seek and search, they shall encounter God in many people, places and many times within themselves.

Blessed are the widows who care for orphans, they shall give abundantly out of their poverty.

Blessed are the children of slums, they are like treasures hidden in mines.

Blessed are those who have been deeply wounded, their wounds shall provide healing for the nations.

Blessed are those with worried and wandering minds, they shall have the one thousand opportunities to return to God.

Blessed are those who walk alone in the dark, God shall be their guidepost and companion.

Blessed are those who linger in uncertainly, they shall be invited into the mystery of God.

Blessed are those who have lost themselves and disintegrated in the unknowing, divine hands shall find them and put them back together, more whole and holy.