Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Good Kind of Sore

Daily Devotion - April 16

I will send a brief message each day
while we are pausing gathering in person.
- Kara

I have been "off"  or "on vacation" the last couple of days, which is a strange thing in these times, when we are all at home every second, and all the work, play, sleep, meals, fights, entertainment and rest happens right here, in the same space, with the same people. Every. single. day.
I joked beforehand that for my vacation I decided to just take a staycation, chill in sweatpants, catch up on Netflix, that sort of thing.

The first day, I woke up with fire in the belly, and I cleaned my house for 8 1/2 hours. (That's 2 1/2 Les Miserables and 1 Hamilton on the main floor before moving on to the bedrooms).  I cleaned like I have never cleaned my house in my life, (unless I was moving out). I moved all the furniture. I got inside the baseboard heaters and between kitchen backsplash tiles, I washed inside drawers, sorted the pencils from the pens from the markers, took apart the french press.
Probably other people clean like this all the time, but that's not me.  I usually hate cleaning.  But this time, it felt cathartic, healing, somehow.

Singing opera and scrubbing floors got me out of my head and into my body and my space in a different way.  I woke up sore the next day.  The good kind of sore.

What is getting you out of your head and into your body?
What is making you inhabit your space differently?

These last few days, I've also noticed that the waves of shock and disbelief, loss and grief, boredom and frustration - they keep coming.

I keep reminding myself that if we let them wash over us and move through us, they pass.  If we avoid them or resist them, they stubbornly set up camp in the periphery and wait till we let our guard down to overtake us.  We can't keep our guard up all the time. It's too long. Maybe we can't do it at all anymore.
Maybe that's gift.

Every day, sometimes more than once, some one or another of my family drifts up to me, limp and bereft, and says, "I don't want to do this anymore."
And I take a deep breath and respond, "I know. This is really hard." And I give them a hug.
And I don't try to fix it.  Or make them feel better.
That's not easy for me - I want to fix it. I want them to feel better.
But it helps to know I actually can't fix it.  And it helps to remember that to move forward we need to feel what we are really feeling.

But also, we've been listening to 80s rock ballads during dinner every night. Loudly. And singing along. And sometimes getting up and adding some drums or air guitar if we can't help ourselves.
And too, the dog must go outside for walks - so we must go outside for walks as well.
These things are getting us out of our heads and into our bodies too.

Easter Season lasts for 50 days.
50 days to watch for resurrection.
This is a singular Easter season in our lives. It's preset to remind us at every turn that we can't make resurrection happen. We can only watch and wait for it.
We can't fix it, feel it, or believe it into being.
 We can only get ready for it by being right where we are, feeling just what we feel.  We can inhabit the space we are in, and move inside the bodies we are given.
But this is right where God is.
And this is just where new life comes.

Instead of praying with words and thoughts, ideas and instructions, let's use our feelings and body to pray today.

Perhaps, tonight before we go to bed, whatever time that is in each of our homes, we might pause, reflect, and pray in this way, and so join our hearts:

First - feelings:
Try to go back and name every feeling you felt throughout the day, without judgment. Just noticing.  Maybe even jot them down if it helps.  Offer the feelings to God as a prayer.(If you need some feeling words to put to your sensations, here's the feelings list. And if you're struggling to put words to what needs today felt met or unmet, here's the needs list again.)

Then, movement:
Why not sing the Doxology, with the motions that our children taught us?*  As many times through as your voice and body wish.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
(Standing straight, bring hands to prayer pose in front of chest, then extended widely out)

Praise God all creatures here below!
(Raise hands and face straight up toward sky, then bend at the waist and drop hands to the floor)

Praise God above the heavenly host!
(Lift arms wide and circle above head so fingertips are almost touching). 

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!
(Hug self and rock back and forth).**

(Hands back to prayer pose)

*All (four of) the LNPC kids made up these motions in 2008, at approx. ages 2, 4, 6 and 8 (two Roots and two Lucases, Jim and Linda Duncan's grandkids). The oldest of them is graduating high school this year, Congratulations McKenzie Lucas!

*This motion came about when McKenzie and Samantha were asked to come up with a symbol for "Father" and they immediately wrapped themselves in a hug.  It stuck through the whole phrase as the feeling of the closeness of God, right here holding us.  

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