Calling on the Shy Side of Power
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Good morning to you! Another school year is wrapping up, as is our walk through two Kaleid lenses this year: See the City last fall and See Yourself this spring. We will be spending some easy time this summer with the book The Very Good Gospel, and we plan to return to our lenses for a deeper dive into See Others, the third Kaleid lens, beginning in September. Thanks for journeying with us!
How about a quick power recap? Our power is what we express in the world. Living with godly power means embodying love in our place. Godly power is rooted in our image bearing nature, and it is complemented by our vulnerability and expressed in love. But, when our fear distorts power, we experience control, diminishment, and exploitation. Jesus showed us healthy human power: love that willingly offers itself and empowers others, especially the marginalized. As we allow God to heal our power dynamics, we practice agency that both blesses and has good boundaries.
The healing work is the good work and the slow work and the important co-laboring work that we do with the Spirit of God.
And so we come again to the Ignatian Examen, a prayer practice that helps us to notice God’s healing in our particular hearts around our particular power dynamics—so that we grow in love, vulnerability, strength, and interdependence.
Perhaps you have noticed that we continue to recommend the Ignatian Prayer of Examen as a way to notice what God is doing in us and to live into our purpose, passion, and power more clearly. We do this because, as Parker Palmer says, the soul is shy. Examen brings a stillness and attention that allows us to catch a glimpse of our own inner life, inviting our soul out from behind all of the hiding spots that we inhabit so freely.
“The soul is like a wild animal—tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient and yet exceedingly shy. If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out. But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree, the creature we are waiting for may well emerge, and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek.”
Today’s suggested practice and reflection is simple.
1. Consider the word power. What needs to be called out in you for you to experience healthier power dynamics? You may want to read the list of words below and see if any resonate with you as invitations, desires, or needs:
· Receiving and Giving
Now, with your word in mind, enter your time of prayer with this version of the Examen:
2. First, welcome God’s presence. Spend a few minutes giving God thanks for anything that comes to mind.
3. Review your last 24 hours, remembering what happened and how you felt about it.
4. Now, notice God’s presence by reflecting on the word that you chose, asking the Spirit to show you where that word was present in your life over the last day—in yourself or in others around you. Ask the Spirit to also show you where that word was absent in your life over the last day—in yourself or in others around you.
5. With your review in mind, ask the Spirit whether there is any repair, healing, or amends that you can offer to yourself or others.
6. Finally, look forward at the next 24 hours. Where will that word show up as a need, desire, or invitation? What is your intention as you think about God’s presence, your power, and that word? Ask God for what you will need.
God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. - 2 Timothy 1:7, The Message
We appreciate you!
The Kaleid Team
P.S. We would LOVE to have you join us for The Very Good Gospel book club on June 14 and 28! We are having dessert and drinks and wonderful discussion!