Statio: Pausing Before Surrender
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
This Lent, we are embracing a tension of Christian reality, which includes the “already” and the “not yet.” Women are familiar with threshold moments. We know what it means to stand between two seasons in life and recognize that what is past was enriching and what is to come is promising, even while what is now may be disorienting.
Lent recalls Jesus’ wilderness season, which was an in-between space. God himself knew a season of unfulfilled expectation and shifting identity that was marked with dryness, loneliness, and more open space than was comfortable for a human heart. Through Lent and its practices, we follow Jesus and practice living with honesty and hope in the threshold spaces of life.
To open ourselves to God’s life in the threshold moment of Lent, at Kaleid we are practicing a discipline called “Statio,” a spiritual practice where we pause, marking a moment as we cross a threshold, recollecting ourselves and remembering God.
Today we stop at the threshold moment between the battle and surrender.
Perhaps you have been fighting for too long. You may feel weary, wounded, or simply numb to the fight. A very important thing, once energized by the adrenaline of need and threat and urgency, has lost its edge. And you’re ready to let go. Finally.
Or maybe you impulsively scoot to the side of surrender. Your quick “Thy will be done,” offered after even an inkling of struggle, is a quick band-aid that cannot quite cover what lies underneath. You’re ready to do battle, even though you already sense the outcome.
God named his own people Israel, after a man who wrestled with God and was renamed in the process. We are grafted into the household of Israel, the God-wrestler. God apparently desires to be family with the humans who wrestle.
The letting go at the end of a battle can be a beautiful transition into trust, acceptance, peace, and new life. But the battle is always the precursor.
Today, allow yourself to consider your too-entrenched battles or your too-shallow surrenders. Take a moment to sense God’s welcome to you to cross over to the other side. In that pause, remember that this crossing over is your birthright as one of God’s own daughters.
Would you Statio with us today, four weeks into Lent, as we fight good fights and listen for the invitations to peace that may just re-name us? Will you stop, breathe, recollect, and pray?
Stop: Look at the clock. Mark the time and the day. Note where you are. Perhaps close your eyes for ten or fifteen seconds to come to a complete stop.
Breathe: Inhale deeply. Exhale fully. Twice. Become aware of the gift of grace that is the life in your lungs—lungs that let you breathe hard in struggle and exhale long in surrender.
Recollect: Collect yourself. Where is your battle? Where is your surrender? Where is your wrestling? Thank God that you are part of the story of Israel. Remember God and imagine the love with which God invites you to the other side of your threshold. What is God offering to you today?
Pray: Here, standing at the middle place, offer to God a prayer of trust. You are seen, known, and loved. Worthy of the battle that has been waged for your heart.
And here is Eugene Peterson’s translation of Psalm 77, which is a wrestling psalm.
I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might,
I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens.
I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord;
my life was an open wound that wouldn’t heal.
When friends said, “Everything will turn out all right,”
I didn’t believe a word they said.
I remember God—and shake my head.
I bow my head—then wring my hands.
I’m awake all night—not a wink of sleep;
I can’t even say what’s bothering me.
I go over the days one by one,
I ponder the years gone by.
I strum my lute all through the night,
wondering how to get my life together.
Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good?
Will he never smile again?
Is his love worn threadbare?
Has his salvation promise burned out?
Has God forgotten his manners?
Has he angrily stomped off and left us?
“Just my luck,” I said. “The High God retires
just the moment I need him.”
Once again I’ll go over what God has done,
lay out on the table the ancient wonders;
I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished,
and give a long, loving look at your acts.
O God! Your way is holy!
No god is great like God!
You’re the God who makes things happen;
you showed everyone what you can do—
You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble,
rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph.
Ocean saw you in action, God,
saw you and trembled with fear;
Deep Ocean was scared to death.
Clouds belched buckets of rain,
Sky exploded with thunder,
your arrows flashing this way and that.
From Whirlwind came your thundering voice,
Lightning exposed the world,
Earth reeled and rocked.
You strode right through Ocean,
walked straight through roaring Ocean,
but nobody saw you come or go.
Hidden in the hands of Moses and Aaron,
You led your people like a flock of sheep.
The Kaleid Team
P.S. Here is a song from an in-between place, Shiloh, by Audrey Assad