What do you consider sacred? Aidan Rogers shares a story which will have you stretching and thinking about what it means to be sacred. Her story telling is beautiful. I hope you’ll read her post, answer her questions in the comments, and head over to visit her blog. For more information about Aidan, see the bio at the end of the post.
“Would you provide a benediction on the 5th?”
It was a simple question my mother asked me, and I responded without hesitation.
She shook her head and walked away, and I reached over to grab the television remote. I had been working on the 5th in my head for at least a month. It was our first big family reunion since the matriarch of our family, my great-grandmother, had us all down on the farm twenty years ago. Back then, I was just a little girl. Today, not so much.
I had planned to spend the 5th just staying out of trouble. Trying to be a better, more grown-up version of myself. Trying to establish myself as a strong, but fun, young woman, a good friend, an enjoyable presence. I had planned to spend the 5th trying to relax and just be myself. To let my family, who I don’t get to see as often as I like, see who I really am.
The irony is that who I really am is a newly-ordained Masters of Divinity student working her way toward board certification as a chaplain, all because God has called me to share life’s sacred moments with people.
I regretted my “no” as soon as I said it.
I think sometimes, the difficulty of having people close to you is that you start to relax around them. They get to see your good and your bad, who you are when you’re relaxing and not trying to really be anything. They get to know sort of your baseline and how you operate. They see you in your natural state.
The people you share your space with know so many of your secrets, it’s hard to remember to show them your sanctified side, too. It’s hard to remember they need to see you in more than your natural state; they need to see you in your created state, as you were really intended to be.
So often when we’re trying to make an impression on this world, at least for me, we’re tempted to stretch ourselves ever thinner. We push out into wider circles, step out into bigger spaces. We reach for the horizon and, if we’re lucky, we touch it, for however brief a moment. But I think sometimes we’d be better off digging deeper instead of reaching broader. Putting down roots instead of growing branches. Standing firm on our own two feet and declaring who we were meant to be.
There’s a trick to this, and it sounds a bit callous. We have to stop living for those around us. The people we share our sacred space with, those closest to us, they have a front row seat to our growing process. They see clearly our hypocrisy, our fallen moments, our weaknesses. They know all our secrets, and it’s too easy to live a shallow life hoping they won’t call us on it. If we don’t profess a bigger thing for ourselves, nobody really notices our little things. But we can’t let this keep us from the depth of all we are.
We have to live, particularly in our sacred spaces, for the God who calls us. We have to live listening to His whisper. We have to live knowing who He’s created us to be and claiming that, even if we don’t get it perfectly right. Our families, our friends, our loved ones need to see us not just reaching out to our world but reaching into our hearts.
The 5th came and went, and you know? It was pretty nice. I spent the day serving, laughing, and loving. I spent the day owning my weaknesses and stepping into my insecurities, taking every opportunity to immerse myself in the beauty of family, a treasure I am just coming to understand in my young life. And just as we all gathered round to start to eat, I prayed a benediction over my family like it was something I was called to do.
I barely remember what I was so worried that people might say if I dared to pray in front of them. But almost to a man, my family gathered ’round me said what I had hoped they would say:
What would it mean for you to touch your heart instead of just touching your world? What if you stretched down deep? Who needs to see that from you?