Do you ever feel God calling you to a journey, and you want to go, but you've got too much stuff? That's how I've felt this whole Lenten season--burdened by my junk. I probably have, spiritually, about forty suitcases, twenty-five weekenders, thirteen carry-on bags, a couple of hundred backpacks, trunks stacked to the ceiling, a few dozen garment bags, more tote bags than I can count, and full pockets. Actually, let's face it, I've got more stuff than that. That's just all I can see from the position I'm in at the moment. The room is full of my things. Somewhere in a corner I sit on one of the trunks, and yell, "I'm ready, Lord!" But not only is it impossible for me to drag all that stuff with me, I find that I can't move from out of the corner.
"Lord," I say, clutching a leopard print garment bag full of suits someone gave me that don't suit me, "I want to go, but I've got all this stuff. I'm so sorry." I start crying because I really want to go, and I have no idea how to leave my baggage behind me I've had it so long. In some ways I actually believe my stuff is not just a part of me, but it is me. It defines me like my name does.
But He makes His way to me, my maze of bags no obstacle to His determination. He takes my hand and gives me that dazzling smile of His. He looks at me with those deep, brown eyes that I can just lose myself in--and often I have. He doesn't even call me to come, again. He just tugs at my hand. I realize in that moment, as in so many others strung together, shining like colored glass beads, that He is Love incarnate. So, I go.
Even though at first I tried to grab a rose brocade train case full of make-up.
Even though the sense that I've forgotten something important lingers in my tactile memory, and my hands feel weird--like they should be holding something more substantial than the wine soaked bit of communion bread I clutch in one of my palms that He gave me for later. For nourishment.
Even though when I'm with Him, I'm not always sure who I am.
Even though I don't know where He'll take me.
Even though I'm so tired He has to carry me for a while.
Still I go with Him, wearing the Passover blood of the Lamb to cover me. There is only myself, Him, and His other loves for company. My sole comfort is that He is with us, despite the burdens I (we) barely left behind. But this isn't about me and my failure. This is a Holy time. I am in a Holy space, simply because I took His hand, and He is with me.
Every Passover, I think of the words of Alla Renee Bozarth. I think of the journey God calls me to this very day--this very moment, and I give him my weak, small, and shaky hand once again. He always takes it. But of course He would. He asked for it in the first place.
May you be blessed by Alla's Passover Remembered below:
Pack nothing. Bring only your determination to serve and your willingness to be free. Don’t wait for the bread to rise. Take nourishment for the journey, but eat standing, be ready to move at a moment’s notice. Do not hesitate to leave your old ways behind fear, silence, submission. Only surrender to the need of the time to love justice and walk humbly with your God. Begin quickly, before you have time to sink back into old slavery. Set out in the dark. I will send fire to warm and encourage you. I will be with you in the fire and I will be with you in the cloud. I will give you dreams in the desert to guide you safely home to that place you have not yet seen….I am sending you into the wilderness to make a new way and to learn my ways more deeply. Some of you will be so changed by weathers and wanderings that even your closest friends will have to learn your features as though for the first time. Some of you will not change at all. Some will be abandoned by your dearest loves and misunderstood by those who have known you since birth and feel abandoned by you. Some will find new friendship in unlikely faces, and old friends as faithful, and true as the pillar of God’s flame. Sing songs as you go, and hold close together. You may at times grow confused and lose your way….touch each other and keep telling the stories….Make maps as you go, remembering the way back from before you were born…. So you will be only the first of many waves of deliverance on these desert seas. It is the first of many beginnings your Paschaltide. Remain true to this mystery. Pass on the whole story….Do not go back. I am with you now and I am waiting for you.
"Passover Remembered" by Alla Renee Bozarth