March 18, 2013: The Road to Wholeness

Posted on : Mar 18th, 2013 | By | Category: Still Speaking

This Lenten Season we have been sharing a common theme and a common journey:  “Holy Places and Places Where Our Lives Become Whole.”

Holy Places aren’t too hard to discover.  For me our sanctuary is a Holy Place.  It is a place where we have celebrated the beginning of life in Baptism and the end of life in funerals and memorials.  It is a place where we gather every week to experience God, to be with each other, to pray and share, to learn and listen for the voice of the Still Speaking God.  The desert is also a holy place to me.  I love the silence of the desert – and strangely, in that silence I hear God and I hear my own voice more clearly than I ever think is possible.

Places where our lives become whole are a little harder to identify.  As I look back upon my life, I’ve come to realize “the Road to Wholeness” is rougher and has more unexpected turns than I often wish were there.  It’s not a road to a predetermined place.  It’s not a place with a final destination address that I can enter into my GPS and get step by step directions to guide me there.  It’s a road that is kind of parallel to life.

For me, the road to wholeness almost always involves meeting someone whose love, or insight, or caring, or openness brings healing to me.  I think of my friend Florence who loved me into wholeness when I was wrestling with my own calling into ministry, and Rob who was the first man I really fell in love with, and Warren who was my spiritual guide and soul-mate, and Howard and Janie and Lisa and David and the radical nuns of the Mercy Center, and Sylvia and Sam and George & Shirley and a whole bunch more people who have loved me and helped me discover wholeness within me.  They have helped me experience the healing love of God that was in Jesus and is now embodied in us.  Without them, I would not have traveled the road to wholeness and that means I would have never experienced the peace and beauty and serenity of life and faith that I have.

This coming Sunday, we head down the Road to Wholeness with Jesus.  As he approaches Jerusalem the crowds go wild, showering him with love and affirmation.  But once he gets inside the city, the religious authorities turn the people’s hearts and minds in a different direction.

Lillian Daniel in our still speaking devotional this week says,

Children poking each other with palms in church are kind of funny. Especially when you’re not the pastor giving the children’s sermon that day.

But grown-ups who turn on each other without a second thought are scary.     Beware of the crowds that get whipped up in praise and adoration, for they could  just as quickly get whipped up in hatred and cruelty. That’s what happened on Palm Sunday to Jesus, and it could happen anywhere on earth today.

It’s good to walk along that spiritual path every year because it reminds us that no matter how broken we are, no matter how wounded we might be, no matter how  weighted down we are by the heaviness of life and the “stuff” we carry, the road we’re heading down is ultimately the road to wholeness.  Somewhere on that road we’re going to experience God’s healing love – in someone or through some place – and find healing and wholeness for our lives.

Lenten Blessings,

Dan

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