One humid summer afternoon, Remy got to missing his dad, who was in Japan doing fieldwork. After searching around the house, I found him in the backyard sitting on a rock and crying tears that were so sincere and alone that I immediately cried right along with him--out of both empathy and also a sense of joy that he, after a mere five years on this earth, was able to feel so deeply for someone else.Because I was crying, I was short on words, but I carried him inside to an overstuffed chair and let his little heaving body fill in every space on my stomach and chest. We stayed there for a long time without speaking while he calmed--he seemed to want to melt right into me until any hurt he felt was gone. I had already been thinking a lot about bodies and the spirit, but that moment brought new clarity to my abstract ideas and tentative conclusions. My body is home to my children. I lie between my children each night while they fall asleep and they reach out in the dark and stroke my face or reach for my hand. It's like the reaffirmation of both their place in the world and their place in a larger plan, as they run their tiny hands across the familiar and tangible landscape of my body. My body for them is a manifestation of home and home is what the spirit has always felt like for me.There have been times in my life, more than I'd like to admit, that I've spent copious amounts of thought and energy trying to rearrange the home of my body. Roughly pushing furniture around with dissatisfaction, barging in with the latest trend, sitting at the window wishing my home was anything other than what it was. I think, like many, I've been harsh to my body, spoken unkindly to and about it. Watching Thea move through the world with almost comical confidence has shifted my paradigm. Since she has been around, I slowly, one step and one day at a time, began reclaiming confidence in my body. I feel fierce in protecting her confidence and I've learned in order to do that I have to protect my own. I've learned that in order to be an efficacious woman with any sort of spiritual power, I first have to love my body.
Ashley mae Hoiland
You’re thinking, maybe it would be easier to let it sliplet it gosay I give up one last time and give him a sad smile.You’re thinkingit shouldn’t be this hard,shouldn’t be this dark,thinkinglove could flow easily with no holding backand you’ve seen others find their match and build something greattogether,of each other,like two halves fitting perfectly and now they achieve great thingsone by one, always together and it seems grand.But you love him. Love him like a black stone in your chest you couldn’t live without because it fits in there. Makes you who you are and the thought of him gone—no more—makes your chest tighten up and maybe this is your fairytale. Maybe this is your castle.You could get it all on a shiny piece of glass with wooden stools and a neverending blooming gardenbut that’s not yours. This is yours. The cracks and the faults, the ugly words in the winterwalking home alone and angrybut falling asleep thinking you love him.This is your fairy tale. The quiet in the hallway, wishing for him to turn around, tell you to stay, tell you to please don’t go I need youlike you need meand maybe it’s not a Jane Austen novel but this is your novel and your castleand you can run from it your whole life but this is herein front of you.Maybe nurture it?Sweet girl, maybe close the world off and look at him for an houror two.This is your fairy. It ain’t perfect and it ain’t honey sweet with roses on the bed.It’s real and raw and ugly at times. But this is your love. Don’t throw it away searching for someone else’s love. Don’t be greedy. Instead, shelter it. Protect it. Capture every second of easy, pull through every storm of hardship. And when you can, look at him, lying next to you, trusting you not to harm him. Trusting you not to go. Be someone’s someone for someone.Be that someone for him.That’s your fairy tale. This is your castle.Now move in. Build a home. Build a house. Build a safety around things you love. It’s yours if you make it so.Welcome home, sweet girl, it will be all be fine.
Charlotte Eriksson
Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than they love the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest and sacrificial. God hates this wishful dreaming because it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. Those who dream of this idolized community demand that it be fulfilled by God, by others and by themselves. They enter the community of Christians with their demands set up by their own law and judge one another and God accordingly. It is not we who build. Christ builds the church. Whoever is mindful to build the church is surely well on the way to destroying it, for he will build a temple to idols without wishing or knowing it. We must confess he builds. We must proclaim, he builds. We must pray to him and he will build. We do not know his plan. We cannot see whether he is building or pulling down. It may be that the times which by human standards are the times of collapse are for him the great times of construction. It may be that the times which from a human point are great times for the church are times when it's pulled down. It is a great comfort which Jesus gives to his church. You confess, preach, bear witness to me and I alone will build where it pleases me. Do not meddle in what is not your providence. Do what is given to you and do it well and you will have done enough.... Live together in the forgiveness of your sins. Forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer