A few days ago I got a message from a good friend I haven’t seen in a very long time that said simply, “Hey, so, dust doesn’t settle around you,” and I laughed. Because it’s true. Because I’m doing it again. Because I have only very recently learned that I have these big God-given proverbial wings, and that those wings have purpose, and that I have to let them guide me. I don’t quite know what the purpose is yet but I know it’s there, and I know it’s important. I’m learning to trust it.
I have a lot of trouble operating on a need-to-know basis. I like to give all of the information and I like to get all of the information. These past few weeks I’ve been forced to operate on more of a need-to-know basis than I’m used to, both as a provider and as a recipient of information. It’s made me quieter, it’s made me more thoughtful and more reflective, and if I’m honest, it’s made me a bit more closed up and defensive. I feel like I've lost a bit of my fun side, but she'll be back; it's hard to be fun in survival mode. It’s extremely uncomfortable for me, but growth usually is.
People keep telling me they hope it gets better, and honestly, those words make me want to scream. They don’t understand. 18 months ago I sent a text message (I know!) to my husband of thirteen years and told him that by the time my plane landed and my Uber got me home, he needed to be ready to move out for good. I remember that night after he left, being alone with my boys. I got them tucked in and I poured a glass of wine, I curled my legs up underneath me on the couch and I wrapped myself in a blanket. I surveyed the literal and figurative mess around me and started making plans about how I was going to change it. It wasn’t the first time I had these deep instinctual feelings of what needed to be, but it was the first time I acted on them. It was the first time I let my wings break the roof. That was the day things got better. That was the day that I realized God has me on a need-to-know basis.
It’s Holy Week, it’s Maundy Thursday, and I don’t hold any judgement about what you believe about God or Jesus, or Spirit or Universe, or however you choose to identify or not identify your larger reason for being here, but this story is an example of the absolute need-to-know basis: Jesus gathers His disciples for a meal. He knows already that the seed of betrayal has been planted. He knows this is the ultimate finish and the ultimate beginning. But He's not angry, He's not upset. Instead, He gives love. He shocks the disciples by humbling Himself as their servant. He kneels at their feet, He washes their feet, He gives a new commandment; to love one another as I have loved you. They don’t really understand. He doesn’t give all of the information. He just simply gives love.
The fact is we are all on a need-to-know basis with God. He reminds us of this in the strangest ways; for me it’s been presented as people, as fire, as greed. Through it all there is nothing to do except love. It's hard not to be angry or fearful. I want to scream and have a fit and throw up my defenses but there’s no use to it; there’s no use in being angry or hurtful or resistant. He is using you for a purpose. Those deep, instinctual feelings are not an accident. There’s nothing to do except take that bread and wine as body and blood and know that you are just playing out your part in the story.
A few days ago I sat alone in a cafe in San Francisco and I had little bit of a communion right there over a big steaming mug of coffee with milk. I was simply overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with emotion, with gratitude, with worry, yes, but moreover with LOVE. I cried and I couldn’t stop; I couldn’t stop for almost an hour. Just a clear, raw reminder of the importance of faith. A clear, raw reminder to tell the people around me how much I love them and how much of a difference they make when they love me. A clear, raw reminder that I am going to be just fine. Communion doesn’t always happen in church. Communion is accepting your purpose and committing to walk in that light without knowing the outcome. Communion is being ready to receive as an absolute act of faith. It is everywhere, and for you, it may not come in the form of God or Jesus or bread and wine and that is fine, but you must listen for it, because it's there. You must listen for it and you must not be afraid.
It’s hard for some people to understand that this feeling, this deep knowing, it's not sad for me. This feeling, this deep knowing, it is absolutely love in it's purest form. No one needs to tell me they hope things get better. Things are better. Things are better because I’ve realized each time my wings break a roof more and more of my purpose is being revealed. I’m learning that it’s okay to be quiet, it’s okay if no one understands, it’s okay to sometimes just let my heart rest with the people I trust rather than have it ripped open all the time for the world to see. I can see all the way behind me and I know for certain there’s purpose in both, as long as it’s driven by love. I can’t see all the way in front of me yet but that’s okay, too, because me & my purpose are on a need-to-know basis. It’s better that way. I love you.