In this episode of Wayfarer we'll hear a story from Gerard Howell and music from Jane Tatum.
It's week two of Lent. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, this journey uncovers things I’d rather let lie. When we venture out into the wilderness, into these quiet spaces, we encounter old ghosts, wounds that still haven’t healed, guilt over things left undone and shame for our hurtful words.
Sometimes, even Jesus looks strange--muddied with old images of God formed in fear-steeped traditions, covered with vestiges of a great vengeful eye watching intently for any misstep, tainted with the amalgamation of perfectionistic parenting, power-hungry preachers, and embedded moralities that shame any variance.
Sometimes when I try to enter into silence and contemplation, I worry about what I’ll find. Who will I meet? Will it be that vengeful God that still haunts me from long ago? The one that constantly threatened punishment? Will it be the God that demands perfect obedience without question? Will it be the God that is ashamed of me and cannot look upon my sinfulness?
Our anxieties can sometimes make it hard to see what God is really doing. And in the end, it must come down to faith. Who is this God we seek?
As we look, at the story of the woman at the well, we find a God who is not ashamed of our bad reputations or our social status. We find a God who doesn’t demand perfection or look for ways to punish. Rather, we find a generous God who goes way out of the way to meet with someone on the margins. This God opens up the past in a way that is healing and transformative--embracing all of us, and welcoming us into a generous communion.
I hope you see that God that knows you fully and loves you completely, not in spite of your shortcomings, but because you are beloved.