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Contemplating Powerlessness - A Reflection Written Just Before COVID-19

Occasionally, I reflect on journal entries from earlier moments in my life as a means of gaining perspective and learning from prior periods of growth. I wrote the following piece just a few months before the pandemic began - in December of 2019. I had no idea just how further the proverbial “rabbit hole” of powerlessness, isolation, and community would go…

Journal Entry - December 19, 2019

I've been contemplating what it means to be whole in a community with others, which by definition includes disagreement. I find myself going back to something I learned in seminary: that I have my autopoiesis (who I am), my blessing seed (my potential for all that I can be), and my community (my connection to all that is). Dancing within the flow of three is a lifelong humbling and imperfect journey for me. It's complicated by the isolation of chronic illness, and frustrated by the reality that my disability prevents me from engaging as I'd like!

Powerlessness. Step ONE in the Program.

I found my way to theology through the spirituality of church basements. The basement felt safer than the sanctuary... it still does.

There's so much I feel powerless over right now, and I know I can't change any of it. Resting on God is the way I've learned to live my life. This taproot to the Divine deepened in Seminary; though it wasn't until I faced my own immense vulnerability in the midst of serious chronic illness that I was forced to let go of the opinion of others. Excruciating treatments and incapacitating pain leveled me physically, yet I persevered day by day to find a path to healing. Some of the people in my life started to ignore me, while others whispered that I was faking it. Still, others called me a burden to my face. How was I to respond to such accusations? I couldn't, so I let them walk away, and I began to notice the miracle of those that walked IN. The experience of receiving help without conditions was so emotionally overwhelming that it changed me and taught me some very important lessons about what it means to be a part of a family, a friend, and a minister.

I don't believe I can fully let go of the opinions of others, though, as we are communal beings and the pain of estrangement can be too much to bear on top of chronic illness. Yet, it is this suffering that keeps me on my knees, humble and willing to accept the path that God lays out before me.

My journey into TheoArtistry and Ministry began with a simple prayer on the day of a church service that changed my life - "Speak God, thy humble servant is listening." This has become my living prayer, as I move and breathe every day. Amen


I am beginning a casual forum to discuss spirituality and theology in a way that I hope is accessible, open, and engaging. Rather than lecturing, my approach is rooted in a long tradition of embracing questions and doubts. It’s a place where I will share some of the things that I am thinking about, and I would encourage participants to do the same (although it’s not required). If you are interested in joining - even silently because you are curious or you feel the nudge - let me know! I will add you to the group. I hope some people will want to participate because I think this could be a wonderful way to have a community into 2022.


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