Looking at God, Looking at Us
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Good morning! As you know, we exploring Kaleid’s “See Yourself” lens this spring, stopping at important, God-given aspects of ourselves like our purpose, passion, and power. In the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about God’s passion in us and how our passion and our wounds are connected due to brokenness.
Let’s think about our passion for a moment. Consider your last week. Did something rile you up or cost you sleep? Was there anything you did because you felt you couldn’t NOT do it?
It could be as simple as having cleared your agenda to sit with a friend or as direct as having shared a product that has made a difference in your life. It could be as elevated as having daydreamed about solving a hard community problem or as motivated as having fought for an answer for a friend or loved one.
The things that stir us to action—our passions—often are directly tied to places where we have experienced deep need or a life wound. The Greek word for passion actually means “suffering.” Our own experience of “knowing what it’s like” for someone else can move us to show up in strong, present, and supportive ways.
As we said last week,
What we come to call our “passions”—the places where we will unreservedly show up in the world and the people we feel most compelled toward—often grow out of our deepest wounds.
Passions reliably point us to wounds where Jesus can heal us, and God’s love can move through us.
Jesus is a capable healer because Jesus was a whole human with divine passion. His loves and longings were ordered by pure relationship. They grew out of his identity as a fully loved child of a perfect parent. Through Jesus, we are healed, reborn, and reparented as our loves and longings are re-attached to God. In Jesus, God heals our wounds and connects our passion back to God’s love.
This week we ask, “What does this healing look like?”
At Kaleid, we believe that healing comes through “attunement,” which is just when we practice looking at God, who is looking at us. Through this mutual gaze, we become receptive to God’s love, we open more vulnerably to it, and we allow it to touch deeper aspects of our stories with grace and mercy. As we experience healing, God doesn’t eliminate all memory of our wounds, but rather God allows us to keep our wounds in the form of passions that ignite our love for others whose suffering has them on hard pathways that we know well.
Often our healing is not linear, but circular. We may find ourselves stirred in a direction – having a “passion” – and then discover that the passion is, in kind, stirring unresolved pain in us. As we take time to seek healing through attuning to God, we are able to move back out into our passionate space more freely than before. As we go deeper into the layers of the onion of our lives, risking love more boldly, God is with us in the journey, ready to heal the places of pain that only emerge as we trust God’s love more deeply along the way. (Next week we will talk about this process with a bit more specificity so stay tuned!)
In C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle, there is a beautiful quote about God’s whole reality, where passion lives in freedom and purity, and our fragmented reality, where passions are often brokenly attached.
In Lewis’s story, the unicorn (and what passionate person doesn’t love the idea of a unicorn being real?) says,
“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!”
Passion and pain, those two sides of the same coin, can fuel our pilgrims’ hearts to go further up and further in. Along the way, attuning to God—looking at God who is looking at us—encourages us to battle for deeper healing with a growing sense of safety and security. Slowly, our wounds become containers of God’s strong love, and we become healers, too, passionately encouraging other pilgrims to go further up and further in.
Psalm 41 – 44 are Psalms of crying out to God in the middle of wounding and pain. As you read these Psalms, note when the psalmist talks about God’s face or God’s countenance and his own face or countenance. What is the interplay between the two gazes? Notice what the psalmist longs for and how God’s help and healing are mediated through God’s gaze.
How do you practice looking at God looking at you, in love and trust? There are so many ways to do this, and it can help to name them and be intentional about attuning to God in ordinary ways—through music, through scripture, through nature, through quiet, through friendship, etc. What does today hold for you, and is there a place in your day to notice God’s gaze and to hold it, trusting God’s love?
We are grateful for you!
See you next week,
The Kaleid Team
P.S. - Join us on April 15 for the StrengthsFinder workshop! We are really looking forward to connecting our purpose, passion, and power to God’s work in the world in specific ways as Elizabeth Payne, StrengthsFinder coach, helps us to see ourselves better through our top ten strengths! The experience is “pay as you can” and it promises to be a fantastic morning of insight and delight. Even if you’ve been through Kaleid Foundations, where we touched on StrengthsFinder, you’ll find this deeper dive to be very worth your time!
Also, our Easter Silent Retreat – New Life in Christ – is on May 1 at the Ignatius House! Learn more and sign up here.
Finally, if you’d like a taste of Kaleid’s contemplative prayer times, you’re welcome to enjoy this prayer practice that we shared together a few weeks ago.