Remember, re-member

Remember me,

re-member me,

the prayer of thousands echoes

down the years….

knit me together again,

as you did when you

dreamed me into being…

re-member my

fractured heart,

my battered soul,

my inmost being

where I am coming undone…

re-member this world, where

in brokenness

and in beauty

your touch remains….

and echoes of your words

remember,

remember me,

cause us to recall how gently

you walked,

how deeply you loved,

how much you gave….

perhaps our deepest healing

comes in full and true remembering

that we might be re-membered…

 

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By repairing broken ceramics it’s possible to give a new lease of life to pottery that becomes even more refined thanks to its “scars”. The Japanese art of kintsugi teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride.

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Guests

To be the guest,

dropping in,

like a pebble in a pond,

sending out ripples

of love,

of grace,

to receive love, grace…

to be reliant on the welcome

and hospitality of others,

to simply be…

vulnerable,

open,

real….

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is this

our call?

(Luke 10: 1-23)

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The choice….

I choose life,

free,

full,

unfettered

life…

life giving,

life enhancing ,

living,

not bowed,

or cowed,

unafraid

life….

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life in the one

who lives in me,

and in whose life

I find myself

alive again, and again…

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I choose life!

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to some things then

I have to die!

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becoming…

how do I become my truest self,

tell my deepest truth,

live my fullest life…

How?

How?

By letting go,

by setting myself free from me,

by being centered and held by

something larger,

something smaller,

love,

YES LOVE,

love that holds and heals,

love that knows the smallness of self,

and, the unboundaried fullness of love,

love that wants to dwell in loves presence

in fullness, unfettered, undaunted fullness…

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How do I become….?

I dwell in love…

for love

dwells in me…

 

dancer

 

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Potential…

Imago Dei,

Image of God,

in me?

The words do not trip lightly

from my tongue,

and do they describe

what is within?

Are there divine fingerprints

upon my heart, is there holy DNA

within my soul

calling me

beyond my imagined smallness

calling me to dare to give myself

to the full potential of being….

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Imago Dei

in me,

in you,

in all…

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on speaking….

when I speak today

may my words be rooted in love,

may they come from a still place

where peace is found,

may they be laced with grace,

inspired by the desire

to communicate wisdom…

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when I speak today

may my words be healing words,

even if they are not received as such,

may they do a divine work

that shows they are not fully mine…

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when I speak today

may I do so to respond to others,

not to prove myself right

or others wrong…

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when I speak today

may it be because I have taken time to hear

what others are saying,

and not to over-rule or over-power…

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when I speak today

may it be because I have been silent first….

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on vulnerability…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am pondering the power of vulnerability, the power of the words I am sorry, and the freedom found in the choice not to defend a stance but to be open enough to another or others, in a way that can make ongoing dialogue and relationship possible. This it seems to me is a huge challenge for us in our world today, and also in our personal and working lives. So many lines are being drawn to define who is in and who is out, who is right and who is wrong, who is acceptable and who is not.

I don’t like being wrong, but I often am, and when I am and someone calls attention to it my first reaction is often to supply excuses or worse blame others, and to defend myself against what feels like an attack. In many ways it is a natural response, it masks the vulnerability I feel with a barrier and my then defended self begins to construct a higher and more substantial barrier. I become brittle and that brittleness is actually weak and easily shattered, revealing the quivering mess within. Shame has a big part to play in this. Anyone familiar with Berne Browns work on Shame and vulnerability will know where I am going.

So I am beginning, to explore another way, a way of being that says to the one bringing the critique or criticism, let’s talk, I may have been wrong or unclear here, or it seems like we are looking at this picture from different standpoints… in short anything that will allow an openness and a dialogue that might prove to be helpful.

As I ponder the pattern of Christ, who emptied himself of all power and status, clinging to nothing, and simply being content to rest in the purposes and love of God, I see the pattern for another way. The strength that it takes to turn the other cheek, or to walk an extra mile, whilst both being subversive actions, are actions of strength through vulnerability. In my experience in most situations of misunderstanding there is often no right and wrong, but a miscommunication and the viewing of a particular issue from a differing view point, this can be even more problematic when one or the other party holds different facts, or interprets facts differently.

How then do I begin to live in an undefended way, well first I have to own the fact that I could well be wrong, and have the grace to say so, and yet have the courage to also not only listen to the story from the others point of view, but also to tell mine. To hold an open attitude that not only gives but receives forgiveness is essential, this is risky living, but I believe that it is essential if we are to learn and grow together and to make difficult relationships or situations places of possibility.

There are of course exceptions to this, and I am not expecting that this would be a way forward for cases of abuse or severe bullying, or cases where actual harm might be possible. There are always exceptions, but that does not mean for most of us most of the time that the risk is not worth taking.

Perhaps to risk vulnerability is to place ourselves in the flow of divine love, where many possibilities find their roots… perhaps to be vulnerable is to let love be real. I will finish with the words of a hymn of that title:

Let love be real, in giving and receiving, without the need to manage and to own;
a haven free from posing and pretending, where every weakness may be safely known.

Give me your hand, along the desert pathway,
give me your love wherever we may go:
as God loves us, so let us love each other,
with no demands, just open hands and space to grow.

Let love be real, not grasping or confining, that strange embrace that holds yet sets us free;
that helps us face the risk of truly living, and makes us brave to be what we might be.

Give me your strength when all my words are weakness,
give me your love in spite of all you know:
as God loves us, so let us love each other,
with no demands, just open hands and space to grow.

Let love be real, with no manipulation, no secret wish to harness or control;
let us accept each other’s incompleteness, and share the joy of learning to be whole.

Give me your hope through dreams and disappointments,
give me your trust when all my failings show:
as God loves us, so let us love each other,
with no demands, just open hands and space to grow.

Michael Forster
©Kevin Mayhew Ltd.

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