There are always themes that tend to emerge when I pay attention.
Right now it has been the significance of small kindnesses, the need, both physical and emotional of so many that is so evident at every turn, AND the flipside, of the ability of all of us to meet those needs at various times and in various spaces and how so often when it is right it takes so little effort. Also, this idea that I am called to meet those that I can, but also to trust that others will step in as well, and to learn to discern when, where and how to step in, to fix, to let things be, to release.
In paying attention I have been reminded of many things:
I have been reminded that not every problem is mine to solve,
I have been reminded that I have a lot more to give than I realize,
I have been reminded that kindness- no matter how large or small- can transform moments, individuals and lives,
I have been reminded of the power of presence,
I have been reminded of the gift of being present,
I have been reminded that I am much happier when I pay attention to where my joy, my love, my kindness overflows and giving from that space,
I have been reminded that I need to include myself in the grace and kindness I offer.
In this interview, Krista Tippett from On Being interviews Nadia Bolz-Weber: Seeing the Underside and Seeing God: Tattoos, Tradition, and Grace . Pastor Bolz-Weber talks about the idea that we are here to be a community to one another, that we are here to help carry the burdens for each other, and to offer grace.
“And so it’s like this thing like I don’t think faith is given in sufficient quantity to individuals necessarily. I think it’s given in sufficient quantity to communities. The same with that whole thing like God will not give you more than you can bear. I don’t think God will give you more than a community can bear. And we’ve individualized this thing of faith so much.”
And ever since hearing this interview I have had many things from it that I have been pondering and playing with. One is how many times I have been taking on things that are not my own, letting the heaviness weigh me down and missing out on being present for those who are here in front of me who I am called to be there for. I have been missing the grace that is present in so many ways. And secondly, the freedom that is granted when we can rely on each other to help shoulder the burden.
Currently one of the families that I love and cherish is going through a difficult time, and seeing the community rally around them, seeing the love that is shared, the prayers that have been sent, the ways that they have been held has only reminded me that we are that community. We are here to offer grace, to offer love, their burden is too much to carry alone, but together, together we will walk through it.
has been showing up in my reading, my conversations, my thoughts and prayers a lot lately.
So I am paying attention.
Grace, the power of it, the spaciousness in it, the lightness of it. It is something that has been fun to play with, to continue to ponder.
And so I ask you. What have you been paying attention to lately?