There has been an abundance of much-needed soul-filling in these parts recently, and I'm ultra-aware of this in the midst of the barren, Lenten, landscape. It began with an opportunity to share on my favorite Gospel passage (Matthew 25: 31-46), a beautiful conversation on Veronica's active role in Jesus' passion--her inability to stand by, if even to momentarily hold the gaze and offer what she had to the suffering Christ.
It continued on Wednesday evening in a conversation of young women on Brene' Brown's TED talk and book The Gifts of Imperfection, where she describes our collective experience of shame as a feeling of insufficiency--not being enough. This theme of 'enough' comes up with great regularity for me, (and if the researchers are right) I suspect you, too. How easy it can be to shrink back, whether because I cannot see my own identity as beloved or am afraid that I am no longer called by that term of endearment. Sometimes, I shrink from that experience of belovedness for fear of how another might perceive my self-assurance. This isn't exclusively a female experience, but it surely plagues women's self-perception. In fact, one Theologian has written about Jesus' continued invitation to women in Scripture to 'stand up.'
Does anyone else think that the Christian community should have a leg up in this department--statistically even? Shouldn't Christians be the anomaly in the studies of self-worth? God tells us over and over of our status as beloved children of God and so often our inability to see our tremendous worth is no different than it is for those who seek accolades of their worth from the world. This is worth some consideration, I think.
So the readings for this weekend are noteworthy and nothing short of providential:
'Rise and do not be afraid.' -Matthew 17:7
This is the theme for the retreat I'm headed to this weekend with some friends who know my heart, intimately. I'll be paying particular attention to this theme in hopes of some insight or added wisdom. In the meantime, my prayer for myself and all who doubt their complete, God-given worth, is that God might move in real, tangible ways, to remind us that indeed we are enough--that nothing we have ever done or not done has earned that status--it is the core of who we were created to be.