BeautifulFeet

Back in the spring, a rectangular card arrived in my mailbox. A distinctive font scrolled across an ombre watercolor wash of blue and at the top three words: The Open Door. I held the invitation to join a small group of women from around the country — speakers, writers, authors, artists, ministry leaders; the only commonality our faith in Jesus and call as bearers of hope.

As I read the invitation and explanation of the vision, as I held the small bronzed key that accompanied it, I shook my head. Why me?

I most certainly am not a superstar blogger with my beginner WordPress blog (and all the best intentions to update it). I’ve only just begun speaking. My primary ministries are in my home, our school and with women over coffee, story and prayer. My freelance writing career hasn’t yet gotten off the ground. My name has never graced a book cover. Really, my primary vocational nudge seems to be Love People. Why me?

And yet, because of my journey to stand firm on a rock of confidence that doesn’t turn like shadows, because of my desire to live fearless, because of the tremendous faithfulness of the Spirit who shows me one next step after another and another, I said yes. I walked through that open door and chose to keep believing I belonged.

Not like one belongs to a secret society or insiders’ club, but the way one allows Love’s eyes to lock with her own, to watch the mouth that forms the words, beloved, and to nod, Yes. Yes, I am.

During one of our first group conversations together, the circle of 12 women acknowledged the voice within that had asked “Why me?” The voice of comparison and exclusion that most of us know too well, the one that takes up daily battle against the voice that speaks, “You are welcome here.”

As sisters, we agreed that why me? had no place in our gathering, women uniting in distinctive and complementary gifts to be about God’s Kingdom come.

LakeSunset

Mountain top (or in this case, lake side) experiences are hard to put into words for lots of reasons. Not the least of which is that even if I were able to name each moment I lived over those four days at Priest Lake, holy mystery wends like invisible thread through hours and minutes, words and silences, meals and wine, tears and laughter. The movement cannot be contained in bullet points and action steps, nor in poetry and prose for it is within these present days of mine and also beyond them.

On Sunday night, as Michael and I lie in bed, I poured out glimpses of being seen and known (both collectively and individually), of beholding Love’s power, truth and grace. I recounted the time of prayer and foot washing on the lake — Jesus granting pictures and words, the very water we poured out — and how I fully expected him to walk the mirror of stars to where Francie and I knelt.

I told him of how one’s ability to speak piercingly wise and another’s to make you laugh ’til your jaw aches and another’s to put handles on ideas and see what is not yet as if it were and my ability to abide in love mean something not only for one another, but to the still-being-woven tapestry of Hope that covers a dark world.

And as I spoke to Michael in the dark of our room, the words why me? whispered again. But this time, instead of snarling voice to silence, they were still small voice of invitation. Why me? asks how, in Mary Oliver’s words, I will use this one wild and precious life. It asks what I will do with the gifts I’ve been given.

Why me? is a proclamation that I am seen and uniquely loved, an agreement that I’m treasured to be a torch bearer, healed to be a path clearer, rescued to be a lie killer, received life to be a truth proclaimer, joined to the heart of God to be a lover of souls. Why me? asks how these days will be an overflow of the blessed sisterhood and Holy Welcome offered me.

So grateful for you and this community. You all are so dear to me. Wondering, friends, what is your why me? What is your open door

{“Beautiful Feet” photo credit: heart sister Tammy Strait}

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