“Wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God, my God.” Ruth 1:16
I may always be afraid, but I will also have great courage. I feel the Spirit moving all around me, in me and through me. I am surrounded by God’s dear ones.
Dear Alice and Elena,
You are precious; beautiful images of God. May you always recognize the holiness of your beings. You have given me the gift of being an unconditional lover. You remind me every day that even in pain and frustration and struggle there can be joy and love and goodness. You show me how important it is to be my fullest, most vulnerable, most creative self. You desire for me to let down my defenses, to let go of my distractions and to just be present to who you are, who I am and who we are as a family and in the world.
You continually risk being exactly who you are and you gently invite others to do the same. You speak what needs to be spoken, without anger, without judgement, but with great clarity. You hold each person’s dignity in your heart even when you are tired or angry or sad. And you allow yourself to be tired and angry and sad especially when dignity is denied.
I see you. I know you. I love you. And I will weather storms with you. You have taught me what it feels like to be an anchor in the midst of a crisis; How to love and hold someone so that they don’t get lost; How to share pain so that it isn’t a crushing weight.
Dear Cheryl and Joyce,
Your faith heals so many of us. You show up with your alabaster jars day after day and you know that Jesus will be there. You dare to lead in a church that rejected you. You carry equal parts of joy and sorrow and you love with holy boldness.
To those named here and those I carry in my heart,
As I imagine a painting of God’s kindom, each of you brings beautiful color and shape to that painting. I want to paint with you. I imagine our painting to be infinitely expansive. I imagine that the more painters there are, the more beautiful the piece becomes. And even though we are creating it now, somehow it has always been there waiting for our hearts to see it.