For the daughters of Grace...
The phrase "it's a process" keeps me encouraged. It allows me to mediate on patience. It reminds me that the cultivation of the inward woman or man is an intimate, meticulous undertaking that often spans years.
It is not always easy for me to be patient. I am an imperfect woman - anointed with femininity and responding to life with the level of awareness that my experiences have afforded me. I am human. Sometimes it seems as though my efforts to move forward are misguided or in vain. At other times it seems as though the love I give, my best attempts to sow do not fall on good ground. Yet what I have come to realize more and more is that it is only my job, my call to sow. Surrender to Life. The Most High waters with rain showers, shines the light of the Sun (Son), and allows the decomposition of the old woman or man to enrich the soil of life. I plant. I sow. "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same" be obedient to the process. The Most High gives the increase. The Most High grows the harvest.
God is Sovereign.
For me, life has not always been easy. For everyone else this is also true. In this moment, I recall a conversation from my past with a peer. I listened as she expressed how she felt like a fool - she felt stupid for loving a man that mistreated her, abused her (her former husband). In that past moment I listened, intently listened without response. And we sat together along still waters. Sometimes to really hear "a word from above" one must sit still, hold their position until Christ says, "take up your mat and walk."
God is God.
I've learned and I am learning to wait, to sit still and hold my position until the currents of life begin to ebb and flow in a way that erodes resistance. God "troubles the waters," The Most High "stirs up the gift" of love. The Holy Spirit opens and prepares the way. But as God does so, to our human eyes, it often looks like chaos. As my life moves forward, I work to discipline my gaze and allow myself to see through the storm. The eye of the storm is a calm center - order in the midst of chaos. The winds of life blow and the waters move, trouble and stir.
God is Sovereign.
I've learned and I am learning to see through the storm and to wade courageously through the wind and waves. I am grateful to my Ancestors, all of my fore-mothers for showing me and my peer the way. The beauty of learning and acquiring a piercing gaze is that when I allow myself to see the Divine Eye of the storm by keeping my eyes steadied on Christ I have found that I go from wading through water to walking on it.
10 years have past since that conversation with my peer. And during those 10 years I have experienced so very much. Today, in a sense, I have a former husband of my own. Today I had lunch with my peer and I believe we both have come to understand that we, as women, are not foolish or stupid for loving. My peer and I have experienced 10 years of Divine Cultivation. We have waded in the water for 10 years. We have come this far by faith.
God is love.
I've learned and I am learning. Life is a process. Today I walk on water. I am grateful for my journey thus far because I have come to know that love is not a banner of weakness or shame - does not bear characteristics antithetical to righteousness (what is holy and just). Love is a banner of strength and spirit-filled confidence.
As I write, I am reminded of one of my favorite love stories, the love story of Ausar and Auset. We, male and female, are created and purposed to love and be loved. "God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the [tame] beasts, and over all of the earth, and over everything that creeps upon the earth." The dishonor, the weakness and shame does not reside with women who love. To love is to honor life. We, as women, are not weak. We do not bear "the mark" of shame like Cain. To be a woman who loves without abandon is to be a woman endowed with Divine Wisdom and Intelligence.
"Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
~1st Corinthians 1:25, KJV
"We live in the world but we are not of the world." And if we, as women, are not careful the world (patriarchy and rugged individualism) will have us believing that we are foolish and stupid. If we are not careful, the world will have us believing that we are weak and shameful. Truly, the foolishness and weakness never resides with those who give love, it resides with those who dishonor the gift.
"Do not be misled, my beloved brethren.
Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].
And it was of His own [free] will that He gave us birth [as sons] by [His] Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures [a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself].
Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.
For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires]."
~James 1:16-20, AMP
For me, understanding the process of life comes by "enduring until the end," to have faith until a season of learning has come to a close. To know God is to hold to Her/His cultivating hand. To know love is to discipline our gaze, to gird ourselves with courage and wade through our fears. I am afraid of storms yet I pressed and I continue to press forward anyway, anyhow.
ALL POWER and ALL GLORY belongs to the Most High. To call a woman (or man) who loves foolish, stupid, weak and shameful is, in direct effect, to call God foolish, stupid, weak and shameful. Is this not profane? Is this not blasphemous? As I write, I am reminded of something Malcolm X once stated, "If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing."
Women and men alike...hold fast, walk worthy and keep your heart.
May we all hold then wade until a peace beyond this world's ability to understand rest with us. To have peace in the midst of chaos is to indeed walk on water. There is no failure in love, in God. May the mistreated, the abused, the disregarded, the low in worldly stature, the unseen continue in love. May we continue in God until everyone's understanding is full grown...until what is above, is so below.
As it is in Heaven, so let it be on Earth. Amen and Ase.
"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood. Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
~1st John 4:4-8, NIV
Love is sovereign.
The Eternal Return