26 Aug 2014

Getting older, growing bolder {with cat pictures}

No one seemed to have witnessed it.

There was a huge arc of light splayed apart in its constituent colours last Tuesday. I followed the arc and it flowed towards where I lived. For the first time in my life I tried to chase a rainbow. But as I grew nearer, I realised that when we stand right under the Light, the colours scatter all around and we may not notice it!

We remember the first rainbow as a promise that a earth-wide deluge would not happen like in Noah's days. But there is more. God is not looking to destroy but to heal and embrace and make real. The rainbow is what light really is. When it shows up, we are always surprised and a little dizzy with delight -- the same way
when we stop; and remember that we all stand under the Light.

And there is this choice to notice it.

"I am the Light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but have the light of life." ~ Jesus in John 8v12

May I share something I saw under the Light?

Seventeen years ago, i decided to check out the meaning of my name. I found out that it means 'boldness'.

I sat deeper into my chair -- and the moments I was bold and the many times I was just plain scared, when I stepped away, backed off...all came tumbling into my mind.

Was I bold to choreograph a dance when I did not know a thing about dancing?
Was I bold to write that protest note on behalf of the class to the principal and so five of us got to see what it was like in her office.
Was I bold to trek off into the mountains of the Golden Traingle in Thailand with an two-week old cough?


Who we are is given to us. 

While our mom and dad and so many fussing aunties or none at all look at us and decide on a name; they had no clue what to call forth from this tiny being all packed with future and possibility.

There were hints: I was the kindergarten bully - I sat next to this clueless kid who drove me mad and I made sure he knew. But I was also the one who would cry and refuse to go because I remembered I forgot my book. I was the pretty girl my mom wanted to spend her precious little on, but when she took me to the market and after twenty minutes when I stood my ground instead of accepting any of the frilly dresses, we ended up eating fishball noodles instead.

There are times when who we are might be crushed and squashed a little; even lost to us when hurt and pain can send us hiding because we think that's the way to be safe. But we die as we hide.
come on out from hiding!

This is why it also takes this:

Who we are is called forth from us.

Was I bold to walk into a new place and people and start being their pastor?
Was I bold to call myself a 'pastor-writer' when no one else did?
Was I bold to ignore the reasonable voices that I should look after the needs of a few hundred and not stay home to watch the souls of two?

The needs call out our gifts.
The convictions of our hearts stir the cauldron of our values and prime us to activate our selves.
The faith of others, when they see our gifts and affirm them energise us to arise.

Bold - is the standing up, being loud and noticed, making a splash and causing a stir. It is speaking up, being different, daring new things. So we think.

and we stand, now, upon Grace

But as I grow older, I find my boldness surface and surprise me. In fact, it seems my boldness is leading me away from the typical places where the bold tread: decision and power centres. But I see that a courage is being nourished and honed in this strange paradox of being obscure and away from the action. This process mostly involves me seeing my fears up close and refusing to cover them up with leaves; but to accept my smallness, to weep over my cowardice and compromise, and to rest that Someone greater has named me, given me gifts, and will call me forth. 

What have you been given?
What is being called forth?

And, haha this -
o kitty! not like this!

1 comment:

  1. i think until we see boldness as Jesus did, moving us into obscurity and the personal, quiet decisions that have nothing to do with power...that is when we begin to understand boldness. the other is part of it, but Jesus' kind of boldness is the difficult kind to follow...especially if we are inclined at all toward fixing things ourselves!

    there are just too many things that can't be fixed by us alone! too many important things that must be done in quiet and obscurity!

    great post jenni:)


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