Sunday, June 30, 2013

Moving with Jesus

Moving from Virginia to Minnesota is no simple thing. And I don't just mean the climate changes. There's the physical stuff: packing boxes, sorting stuff. Every item came into our lives somehow, and usually there's a memory attached. So there's emotional baggage to sort through, too. As boxes and tape run out, memories renew.

Don't get me wrong. The physical work means inhaling insulation from the attic, stiff muscles in the morning, multiple showers throughout the day. And emotional work is significant. I found myself nearly in tears while disassembling Jackson's loft, which was made from the bunk bed that was his first "big kid" bed, the site of countless nights of story, prayer, and song. 

But I'm thinking tonight of the spiritual work of moving. The part where you look for Jesus and wonder about what it means to follow someone who you know is only going to take you to the cross. Sure, there will be wonderful encounters where wholeness happens, when there's room at the table for a stranger to become a friend. There will be water into wine, explosions of extraordinary grace and joy. And there will be moments that go the other direction and turn wine into ordinary water. Sad but true

Moving is essentially a spiritual activity. You trust that someone, even God perhaps, is walking with you. You discover in someone else's kindness, which in your emotional limbo you're fairly sure you don't deserve, a good you don't expect is there.

You develop a healthy relationship with stuff. A kind of unattached attachment. You like the things you call your own, but discover you can live without them. You're glad to have the comfort of a familiar tie or painting, but realize it doesn't make you who you are.

Jesus was a wanderer, it seems, itinerant. He called disciples who wouldn't stay one place for long. Did he anticipate our consumer culture, when he told his followers to take nothing with them (advice I'm not sure how to follow)? And what of his admission that the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head?

There's something to this journey that is decidedly uncomfortable. I want to grasp the future, hold tomorrow in my hand. But in my day-to-day discipleship I marvel at the trust it takes to walk with Jesus, ours in him of course, but also his in us. 

In between...

Blessings and peace,