Friday, July 20, 2012

I don't think we can recover alone.

I am writing about this because I don't think we can recover alone. I think we need an uprising. We need to see each other, and see ourselves in each other.

I was pastoring a church in Canada in l996 and after one beautiful service a woman came to the front with uncontrollable sobs. She was probably in her seventies. Single now, I seem to remember.

She cried. I held her. Then finally I was able to ask her what she was thinking. Her reply shocked me. "I am so ugly."

I am so ugly. 

I was 41. I thought women in their 70's were over that. But over what? Over being a human? Over knowing themselves and living in the bodily experience of self as reflected by others?

She was not a 70 year old woman. She was a woman. She had lived 70 years. She carried a mountain of abuses and insults and diminishments, some pointed at her and some floating through the air and caught by her like a dust mote on her sweater.

We talked and God showed her a different self. I looked at her and God showed me a different self too.

Later I heard she had joined the the youth ministry, had been taking mission trips with several teams, and was one of the most beloved, outrageous, fun youth leaders in the church. She lost her self consciousness. She became free. She lived with eyes looking outward instead of standing with shame and looking in.

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