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The Invitation

Sara Groves has a beautiful song called “Loving a Person”.  In it she sings these words,

There’s a lot of pain in reaching out and trying. It’s a vulnerable place to be.  Love and pride occupy the same space, baby.  Only one sets you free.  Hold on to me.  I’ll hold on to you.  Let’s find out the beauty of seeing things through.

If you listen to the entire song, it appears to be speaking to a marriage relationship.   But, I think there is an invitation for all of us there.

This idea of being extended an invitation keeps showing up in my life lately.  At first, very uninvited.  I haven’t always taken kindly to this.  On the first evening of year one at Kairos School of Spiritual Formation I sat in the chapel pew hard hearted and bitter.  I had been so looking forward to coming to the Jesuit Center, a peaceful, favorite place of mine.  But, instead of a euphoric experience, I was just plain miserable.  I was angry.  I was sad.  I was in pain.  That evening a we were invited to all come forward to receive a blank paper in an envelope, representing an invitation from the Lord.  The leader asked, “What is God inviting you to?”  I didn’t move.  I was firmly planted in my seat.  No thank you.

Well, as it seems to work, I couldn’t shake the invitation.  Those things we resist sure seem to sneak up on us.  And so since it wouldn’t leave me alone I decided to ask myself, hmmmm, what IS God inviting me to?

As my close friend suffers a long, painful battle with cancer….  What is God inviting me to?  Be angry?  Love deeply?  Walk closely?  Yes.

As my child struggles to make sense of life and continually see things through a negative lens…  What is God inviting me to?  Be frustrated?  Love unconditionally? Walk closely?  Yes.

As circumstances out of my control bring turmoil and pain to my church family…. What is God inviting me to?   Be angry?  Love deeply? Walk closely?  Yes.

As I face the grief work ahead after experiencing  great personal loss…What is God inviting me to?  Be angry?  Love deeply?  Walk closely?  Yes.

Do you see where I’m at?  There is always a choice.  The invitation is asking us how we will respond.  It can be a mixture of many things, not all pretty.  But as Sara Groves sings Love and pride can occupy the same space baby.  But only one sets you free..

So it is with hope I must open myself up to the unknowns.  I open myself up to the invitations.  I open myself up to the pain, but also to the beauty.  To the beauty of seeing things through.

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