This week Daniel & I started a journey group/grace group/safe place… whatever you want to call it with an old friend and some new friends. It is a set aside time over a few months to honor our stories, look thoughtfully at our journey, have the bravery and honesty to look at our inner selves, to reflect on how we have been hurt - our wounds (are they healing or festering?), how we have hurt others (which we all have), how we view our bodies (with kindness?), forgiveness for the hurts, reconciliation when possible, rebuilding for what has been broken down, honesty over the despair and grief, a safe place to acknowledge pain, strong healthy vibrant souls who stand in the nakedness of hope, unabashed beauty of dignity and individuality, wrestling with the scars of evil, the daily hum-drum of ambivilence, and so much more. Everyone’s story is important. Community can be life giving. Here is another risk for us, another step towards rebuilding connection, community, organic life and love by listening to one another and allowing space for peoples’ stories to be heard, guarded, protected, honored, and supported. May much healing take place. These journey groups have been some of the most meaningful, valuable moments for Daniel & I - and some of our true friends. An examined life, a shared life - for me - makes a richer life. Friendship and community are precious, precious.
I hope everyone finds some sort of venue like this whether unstructured with friends or in a structured environment at first if that is what you need. Because... each person matters. Everyone has a story. Your pain matters. Your dignity and beauty and strength matter and can make this world a better place. Let your voice be heard. Let community surround you. Let weakness and struggle be a place to connect and share how you and others' have overcome and covered some new ground. Let healing and growth be part of your world. Yes, I’m in. Scary but good. Right now, I'm especially sensing the need for a few women to come out in strength, in their beauty and make the changes, insights and steps they need to live more fully and deeply. God be with us.
We caught the sunset at Lake Michigan last summer - with girlfriends of 30 years. Fellow travelers precious to me.