On Monday I wanted to sleep near the arc of the covenant alongside Samuel. I have the same desire as Samuel. I desire to be close to God – to be near light, filled with peace, and the ability to see clearly. The pattern of Samuel’s call, that is coming to know what or who lies behind the call of my name, is what speaks to me. That is what I am after in this workshop. What do I desire? What/who is calling me and what is it drawing me toward?
I write in the context of the dissonance that has formed me. Staying with my family means Fox News programs are shown, jolting me from my typical and chosen daily NPR morning news and once again calling more popular media and the world’s ideologies into question (both left and right). I am doing separate journaling about this and don’t think this is the space to get into politics, but I just wanted to note that that is my current and distracting(?) context.
I also write in the context of romantic partnerships as I come to know my sister’s new partner and the life and freedom they have found with one another. I am also observing my parents who are 60 and from my perspective seem comfortably married, and give each other the space to be themselves, which from my perspective means giving each other quite a lot of space. Two male partners for two very different women. My mother more traditional, less engaged in matters of intellect and politics, more creative. My sister more type A, more cerebral, professional, and modern. In our small groups, someone asked me what it feels like to “hold back”, that is to keep my mouth shut when I have something to say. It was good to recognize the feelings I hold inside within my family and how I sometimes channel these into unhealthy outlets. This called to mind the way I have observed the way my mother acts sometimes in her marriage, in our family. She rolls with a lot, and is extremely resilient (conditioned as a youngest child like me). But I think she has been held back at times. Her growth stunted in a way.
This reflection of partnership between men and women brings me back to the Samaritan Woman and Jesus that was a part of my call story. How can the Samaritan Woman and Jesus be a model of partnership? As I seek a partner in my own life, and probably more apt for this workshop as women seek to partner with men in the Church, what does this mutual relationship founded on shared vulnerability offer me and us? I believe our Church is unhealthy in that it lacks dialogue and empowerment of women. It lacks attentive listening and dialogue that calls the other into being. For me in my life, I need to first believe that I have the strength and wisdom to navigate the world in all of its confusion. For me in my life and Church, it means that I need to trust that I have valuable things to say. I think it also means finding those men and women who can listen, understand and know me as I come into being in my life and Church and fostering relationships with them. I do not want to be paralyzed by polarized politics, skepticism, or fear, but seek to courageously engage with people across their ideologies because that is what Jesus would do. That is how Jesus speaks to the Samaritan Woman and what empowers her to speak.