[Matthew 10 – from The Message]
So Jesus prayed for helpers and then went out and picked them. Again, an interplay of asking, receiving and doing. Why is that so hard for me to grasp? He calls them and then sends them – pretty quickly and unprepared, it seems.
But perhaps it is the going itself that makes them able.
It is as if he says, “Try on this new paradigm – and do it publically. Go and offer life, even as you learn to take it in. Some will listen, some will not – and you, in the midst of it all, in the dailyness of it, in the walking and conversing and healing and touching, in those moments you will begin to know the Spirit and learn to go with the flow – the true flow – not of conventional wisdom, but of the truth of God. You learn to trust in moving, not in standing still. You see the contrast of the current worldview and the Spirit when they encounter one another – and sometimes clash. The world’s deepest DNA, however, still holds God’s fingerprints and follows God’s way. It will prevail – not through coercive or dominating power – but through the irrepressible strength of love’s design.”
You care about little things. So, when I feel little, I can still know your care. In fact, little can be big. Last can be first. Power is not always powerful. You will stand with me, when I stand with you. And sometimes, standing matters. Sometimes, standing is the most powerful statement to be made.
The thing is, the new frame works in all frames. It must touch every interaction. You cannot use power with or for family and expect different dynamics in other spheres, even when those closest to you suggest that different rules apply at home. You can’t employ privilege for yourself or your family and then work against privilege on principle. You must step outside the power frame and into the relational frame. (That is a challenge I’d just as soon avoid. Which is, of course, evidence of my trust in power, rather than love. Auuugh!)
And the most important relationship is the one with God. That must be first. Even when you fear the loss of a loved one, you must cling to God. That is the only relationship deep enough to hold, deep enough that no terror can dislodge it, no death can overcome it. It becomes the ground upon which all others rest – for none other can stand the strain.
It is big enough. It is also small enough. It works in giving. It works in receiving. Start with what is in front of you – a cup of water, a kind word. Every time your heart practices the new frame, you learn a bit more, you hear the message a bit more clearly, you begin to know and understand. It is not about rules, but about love – a whole different system of exchange, where neither giving nor receiving diminish those in the exchange.
[photo by paolobarzman per cc 2.0]