Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Thank you for going with us on our journey into the practices of community--of walking with the other--over the last four weeks. We pray that you have found yourself loving some “others” in your life intentionally--with deeper gratitude, promise keeping, truth telling, or hospitality.
But it can be hard, can’t it? Sensing an invitation from the Holy Spirit to go deeper in a certain area, only to discover that our intentions outpace our actions or that our desires outpace our abilities. While the invitation to be a grateful, welcoming, faithful woman of integrity resonates, leaning into the invitation holds up a mirror and we see our own unformed or unhealed soul space. We find that we need to be deeply touched by the very gifts we want to offer others.
Back in the 1960s, the phrase “born again” became shorthand for someone’s conversion experience within the evangelical movement in America. This somewhat ambiguous, somewhat Jewish, somewhat impossible (depending on your commentary of choice) turn of phrase that Jesus used with Nicodemus in John 3:3-5 became a label, a symbolic set of words that referred to a sinner’s prayer and a decision to follow Jesus. And so, if you’re anything like us, when you encounter the words “born again,” you probably pass quickly by, receiving their meaning as “to become a Christian.”
Anyone who has spent time in a therapist’s office (or anyone who has merely driven home from Christmas with family, for that matter) knows that family is funky. Sometimes it’s fun-funky and sometimes it’s ugly-funky, but it’s always a place that exposes the subterranean realities of soul work that await us, patiently marking time until we are ready to go there.
So today we want to offer you a simple encouragement and a simple practice.
Our encouragement is this: Jesus’ invitation to be born again is a stunningly gentle and generous offer of re-parenting from the parent whose very essence is love. An offer to remake your heart, healing its wounded places with gentle, perfect love. An offer to patiently walk with you as you relearn the hard, un-learn the misguided, and begin to learn the “unforced rhythms of grace,” one wobbly step at a time.
Take a deep breath, you are welcomed as a little child--a beloved daughter--into the soul-shaping family of God.
The practice is this: Spend time this week with the invitation to be born again. Not as an “I’m in” or “I’m out” concept, but as the words of a brother who wants you to know the unburdened freedom of wholeness as a patiently loved child of God. As you ponder the words, consider where you would like God to re-parent you in this season. What are the stuck places that feel as though they are woven into your DNA; places you’d give anything to have re-formed from their very core? And then spend 10 minutes with God, reading slowly over this passage and letting yourself sit with the painful desire and the hopeful offer of rebirth in Christ.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30, The Message
The Kaleid Team