Imagine with me that you are seated in a room with a group of mostly strangers. You find yourself in a circle, seated next to someone whose name you have just heard but already forgotten. Good thing they have a name tag on. Abraham’s Theme from Chariots of Fire plays quietly while you sit together in silence.
As each person begins to share a bit about themselves you are continually amazed at the vulnerability everyone has so easily slipped into. Each story is told and each time you are amazed at how much pain and joy one person could possibly hold.
What you are being shown here is that as each story is told there is one steadfast rule.
Save your words. Save your explanations. Watch your impulse to say that there is a reason for everything. There isn’t. Each story is to be met with deep listening and a holding, together. This is no time to bind another’s wound, it is not yours to do. It’s frustrating watching other’s pain without the ability to stop the bleeding. You want so desperately to stitch up the gaping places. But that is not to be.
What you don’t know is that these wounds will begin to heal. As the story spreads, it is held by each person, relieving a bit of the weight. Just enough so that the one who is so bruised is able to begin to look to the source of their brokeness and begin the restoration there.
There is so much to adjust to. The quiet, the slowness, the listening, the mystery. All these are welcome but so countercultural, it takes time to find your groove.
But it is found.
The past two years I have attended Kairos School of Spiritual Formation. This coming weekend marks the end of my time there, at least for now.
What Kairos offers is many things, but it is summed up with this…
“Going deeper into God’s love, in God’s time.”
The timing of this experience was amazing. Many of us were surfacing from searing loss. Several of us had no idea of the loss that was waiting. But here we were, brought together for it all.
I can find few words yet for my time here.
That only makes sense.
As this final weekend approaches I find myself falling asleep at night and waking with the same thoughts.
Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.
Those things we are given that are beyond words so often are just each other. For a time.
So, for a time I sat, listened, shared, prayed, sang, ate, took walks, gazed at stars, laughed, and cried. For a time I did this with a group of once strangers who are now people I love beyond words.
As this weekend approaches I am grateful, but grieving the end.
And just like always, there is nothing we can do to fix this, but hold open our hands to one another and go deeper in God’s love. For this time. .