About “The Journey”

I have loved to read since I was a little girl. However, writing is a more recent love. During my years in seminary, I discovered that I loved researching topics I wanted to learn more about and putting words together in ways that expressed what I had learned. By learning to be present in every moment, I discovered the joy of reflecting on life around and within me.

Also, during that time, I embraced seeing the world with non-duality. I realized that most everything had a “both/and” that must be seen and held in tension. That creative tension, seen in God, Me, my Neighbors, and all creation, opens up the world to wonder and awe.

Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

– James Baldwin

It’s not enough to merely notice. I agree with James Baldwin. Once we see injustice or harm, will we allow compassion and mercy to arise? Will we slow down and take the time to feel our own and other people’s feelings? Can we ask, “Tell me more?” Will we give our full attention to what is occurring? For me, these are the key questions that help love begin to flow.

Then the question, for me, becomes, “What is mine to do?” I grew up in the era that proclaimed that women could, and should, be all things. I believed Helen Reddy. But that was wishful thinking on my part. It took several significant, unfixable incidents in my life for me to begin to accept what is. Some things just are. There are other things that someone else is better suited to handle than me. Some things I am suited to do, but the timing isn’t right. I’m on a journey now to build a life that includes caring for myself in preparation for the moment when I’ve listened and discerned that it is the time; this is the thing I can do to make a difference.

Writing helps me process what I see, to pay attention, and discern. You’ll also find book reviews and reflections about things I’m thinking or wondering about that are going on in the world. My prayer is that something resonates with you and is helpful along your journey.

Finding Freedom to Feel Our Feels

The first time I saw the video below of the breakdancing gorilla, I laughed out loud. I was so jealous of the ability to be completely engaged in a fun activity and not give a moment’s thought to what anyone watching might think. Take a look at the video and ask yourself this question . . . Could I do that if I knew people were watching me?

If you are like most people, your answer was probably, Not ever! I would be so embarrassed if anyone saw me! Or, I would be making a fool of myself if I did that!

What types of feelings do you allow others to see? Are there emotions you push away and don’t even allow yourself to feel? In general, White American culture has taught us the rules of which emotions are allowed and when and how to express them acceptably. Our families, the region of the country, and even religious affiliations affect these rules.

It’s not just the negative feelings that sometimes are pushed away. Even joyful exuberance can be squashed by a culture that sees it as embarrassing or over the top. Sometimes family members can cancel out your joy because they fear other people looking at them. The gorilla video inspired me to write this poem.

Freedom to Feel
A kitten endlessly fascinated with a moving dot of light,
trying to capture something that is only a glimmer.
A puppy chasing its tail.
Amusing himself, delightfully oblivious that it’s attached to his body.
A gorilla splashing and twirling in a wading pool,
Playing, letting its body move with glorious abandonment.
What am I afraid will happen if I allow feelings to escape and be seen?
Is it anxiety or fear of someone shaming me for allowing exuberance?
to break forth as laughter or silliness?
Do I worry that grief or sadness will be rejected or silenced?
Does the dread of being embarrassed cause me to abandon myself?
For a split second, I am completely in my head,
Unaware I have a body.
But then, I return to myself with a question.
“What was that feeling?
Explore where it lives,” I say to myself.
“Name it and let it dwell with you for a while.
Let it set your mind, body, and spirit free to be true to itself.”

Suzanne Yoder, 2023

Becoming aware of these old patterns and what to do instead can become a spiritual practice that frees us to become more physically and mentally healthy.

A recent example from my life came when I stopped to examine how my family dynamic shows up in group discussions that raise uneasy feelings to rise in me. In Active Hope, How to Face the Mess We’re in with Unexpected Resilience & Creative Power by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, the reader is invited to reflect on how they respond to conversations about our world’s ecological and political turmoil. After some reflection, I could identify that when these discussions are filled with hopelessness and despair, I feel the need to redirect the conversation to a more hopeful tone and try to name what we can do within our sphere of influence. I convey that it’s not so bad; it could be worse.

The next exercise asked me to consider the root cause of the reaction and how it affects the other people in the conversation. Wow. I realized that I was reenacting how my mother dealt with any of my unhappy feelings by pushing them aside and focusing on anything she could find that was positive. When she did this, I felt unheard and that it was not ok to acknowledge negative feelings. I’m sure my actions have had that effect on others, and I want to learn to react differently.

A Spiritual Practice of Feeling Emotion

Because many of us have difficulty noticing, expressing, or interpreting our emotions, we need new tools and methods for healthy living. I’ve developed spiritual practices that are helping me. I hope you will find something that resonates with you.

Noticing the Feeling

The first step of the practice is to identify that we are experiencing emotion at the moment. We probably aren’t in the habit of observing the feelings as they arise. We may have been trained to believe that we must keep moving and that being able to react quickly is a virtue.

Noticing a feeling, separated from other people’s actions or our response, isn’t easy. Research has shown that emotions only last about 90 seconds. If we live in the fast lane of commerce and busyness, we will likely miss that there even was an emotion. In addition to other good reasons to slow the pace of life, we will benefit from having the space to notice what is happening within the mind and body.

Give yourself permission to simply notice for a while. See if you can separate the feeling from the event that created the emotion and the action you take.

Locating the Feeling in the Body

Finding the spot in your body that is reacting to the feeling may be even more difficult than noticing them for those of us who are in our heads too much. I spent most of my life ignoring my body, pretending that what I thought and did was more important. The body was just along for the ride.

I didn’t know how to find the emotion in my body during everyday activities or how to stay with it. I knew where stress was stored in my body and used all kinds of things, such as food or work, to numb out and divert attention from the need to deal with the source of my stress. I was afraid of facing my feelings; even if I did face them, I didn’t have the tools to deal with them. I just reacted, and that didn’t always work out very well.

The process sounds easy. When you notice a feeling, locate where it lands in your body, and then lean into it for the 90 seconds it takes for the feeling to run its course. You will then have more capacity to determine the action you want to take that is consistent with your values. For me, it still requires some serious practice. I have had to learn to be ok with needing and taking time to consider what actions to take. Yoga and meditation have been helpful because of the focus on body movement and breath.

Choose some low-stakes times during your day to practice locating what happens in your body when an emotion arises. Perhaps try it as you read an article or have a conversation with trusted companions.

Naming the Feelings

I’ve found the next step in this practice equally tricky. I didn’t have the vocabulary to name or understand how to describe some of my feelings.

Dr. Marcia Riggs introduced me to the feeling wheel some time ago, which changed my life. I was astounded to discover that there are only a handful of basic emotions but many variations for each. Using the wheel to trace the feeling to its essence was so helpful.

If naming and describing feelings is difficult, search for feeling wheel images online and pick one that resonates. They are all similar. Another good resource for identifying and understanding emotions is Brene Brown’s book, Atlas of the Heart. She has a great way of telling nuanced stories that help distinguish between similar feelings.

When I have a complicated experience (either positive or negative) with layers of emotion, I find it helpful to grab a copy of my feeling wheel and a highlighter. Spending time highlighting and tracing the various feelings to the core emotion often brings valuable insights. I grab my journal to write out everything I’m feeling and thinking. I try to uncover the beliefs or habitual ways of reacting that I need to unlearn. I may even discover a need that isn’t being met.

It’s never too late to reflect on how an experience made you feel. Be gentle with yourself as you spend time reflecting with your feeling wheel and a journal. Of course, if the feelings are painful, talking with a counselor can help you process them safely and can assist you in finding new paths of action.

It’s a Process

I must keep reminding myself that integrating all the parts of myself, joyful, sad, anxious, or content, is a lifelong process. God created our mind and body, including our nervous system, to help us experience the fullness of life. However, it is so worth the journey. This internal work has benefited my physical and mental health and relationships.

Spend a little time with yourself this week and see what you uncover!

For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;

Ecclesiastes 3: 1 and 4 (NRSV)

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

Bravery, Trust, Love

The thought-provoking poem below was a prompt in my writing group this past week. We were invited to read it through, Lectio Divina style (read through two times, noting what words or phrases stand out, read a third time and meditate on their meaning), and then write about what came up. My mind went immediately to lessons I’ve learned from the cat we lost last month after 16 years and the new puppy who has entered our life. Thank you, Lynxy and Niko, for teaching me new ways to think about bravery, trust, and love.

Western Edge

I need you
the way astonishment,
which is really just
the disruption of routine,
requires routine.
Isn’t there
a shock, though—
a thrill—
to having done
what we had to?

Unequally, but
in earnest, we love
as we can,
he used to mumble,
not so much his
mouth moving,
more the words
themselves sort of
staggering around lost
inside it . . . Now
show me
exactly what
you think being brave

Carl Phillips – 1959

Hello Niko. You cute little puffball.

We’re already sharing so much love. I knew you were truly mine the first time you flopped over for a belly rub. I am astonished at how much I am enjoying you. Phillips says in the poem, “Disruption of routine requires routine.” For the past 6 days, you have completely disrupted my life, but a new routine is unfolding. As I sat on the floor beside your potty pad last night for the third time, trying to coax you to piddle, I was remembering getting up every two hours when we first brought my newborn daughter home from the hospital. That was a long time ago, and it seems now that it was over very quickly. I can already see you’re a fast learner, Niko, so it won’t be long until we will move into a new schedule. Please, God, let it be soon. I am old now and need my sleep.

It’s a thrill to lay on the bed reading with your head on my foot as a pillow. I’ve really missed a soft furry creature to snuggle with. You know, there was a cat here before you named Lynxy. We still miss him. When we first brought you home, and you were laying in my lap getting a pet, I realized I was expecting you to purr. But puppy kisses are fabulous. Your tongue is like velvet instead of the scrubby tongue Lynxy would use to groom me.

We’ve had a number of cats over the years, but Lynxy was special. We were his people. His fluffy little face would appear around the corner if he heard us talking. I let him bulldoze his way into my lap as I would read or write on the bed, even though there was no room because of the computer or papers. I learned to adjust and allow. Every night, I received the love of this soft furry cat patiently waiting for me to go to bed so it could snuggle up close. Nights have felt unsettled alone in my bed.

Lynxy was bigger than you are now, Niko, and could get on and off the bed by himself. Your little black paws barely make it to the top edge. Even when you’re full-grown, you will be about the size Lynxy was. Niko, Will you eventually be able to jump up that high? For a good long while, I think we’ll have to put you on the bed. Not a bad thing while we’re potty training.

I didn’t expect that you would already know how to play fetch. You are so funny doing the bunny hop after that tiny tennis ball and rushing back. Not to drop it at my feet but to hold it tightly while I try to take it. Head shaking, growling softly. When I finally get it away from you, your little butt wriggles, waiting for me to throw it again. So funny.

I love watching excruciating excitement radiate from your little wriggling body as we play. Tug of War is a favorite. You get a little too excited, and sometimes your sharp little puppy tooth catches my finger as you try to grab the rope. It’s ok. You’re having fun, and I know you are settling in and feeling at home here. Besides, I am up to date on my tetanus shot.

Poets and Pets

The poem ends by asking the reader for examples of bravery. There is something brave and trusting about a tiny little creature who, even after being rescued from a sad environment, trusted his foster family to care for him.  And then, Niko snuggled close to my heart as we drove for such a long way to bring him to a new home with us. He’s learning to trust me. Dare I even say to love me? Niko looks for me, whining softly or loudly, wanting to be near me. He’s not afraid, trusting that there will be food, water, and a routine that will provide him with confidence for living in this new place.

God, if only I was as brave as Niko. When I feel brave, I trust in your unchanging love and that you will always be nearby when I look for you. I can rely on your support in the creative unfolding of whatever life has in store. I see the flow of my emotions reflected in Niko. Contentment with life as it is, a change occurs, and then a bit of excitement at the possibilities of a new chapter of life is balanced with a little trepidation. The pleasure of noticing the unfolding of trees and flowers of Spring. The satisfaction at the end of the day when I lay down to rest after a day well lived. The ease of comfortable routines.

Loving Presence,

I look to you
as Niko looks to me for reassurance.
I depend upon your promises.
Every time I see you at work in my life,
my courage and trust grow.
Thank you for always being here . . .
With me in all life’s potentials and messiness.



After reading Carl Philip’s poem, what examples of bravery do you see in yourself and the world around you?

My help and glory are in God — granite-strength and safe-harbor-God — So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.

Psalm 62:7-8 (The Message)

Resurrection Now

The sermon on Easter Sunday got me thinking about the meaning of resurrection, both theologically and practically. Of course, we first think of Jesus rising from the dead. We can only imagine what that meant to Mary Madelene, the disciples, and the representatives of the Roman Empire—the priests and leaders of the Jewish religion. Depending upon which gospel you read, you might find relief, fear, confusion, second-guessing, happiness, or understanding.

But as I sat in the service on Easter morning, I thought about what resurrection means to me. It wasn’t about some future time of rescue from life on earth. Resurrection means I have a new opportunity to recommit to following the way of love.

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness!

Lamentations 3:22-23 (The Message)

As the sun rises every morning, I get to start over learning to love. If yesterday was filled with doubts, anxiety, and fear, today, I have a clean slate. I can begin again with the affirmation of God’s love. That the Spirit is within me. That God is still upholding and creating in the world within and around me. Resurrection offers an opportunity to fully experience God’s love anew.

Resurrection also allows me the opportunity to reimagine how I want to live my life. To reimagine my freedom and find a new way of living that leaves addictions and unhelpful behaviors behind. It is an opportunity to stop seeing those around me as better or worse than me, judging where they fit in the world’s hierarchy. To become more aware of my biases so I can see the unique and wonderful in those around me and how they might experience fear or joy in daily activities just as I do.

I left the church on Easter Sunday with a renewed commitment to keep my eyes wide open to the beautiful and ugly, the soft and the hard. To accept all of myself (body, mind, and spirit), to experience every feeling, and to allow life to unfold unforced and unjudged. As Mary did that Easter morning, I have the opportunity to see the stranger I meet is my beloved.

 Jesus said:
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 10:10 (NRSVUE)


What would change if you chose to live the resurrection every day? What would you leave behind in the grave of yesterday? What new and wonderful will it allow to emerge?

Photo by Shai Pal on Unsplash

What Does Easter Mean to Me Now?

As we begin Holy Week, I’ve been reflecting on this time within the church year and what it means to me today. I grew up in a fundamentalist Baptist church where Easter wasn’t a season but a day. I got an Easter basket with candy in the morning, put on a new dress and shiny new shoes, and went to church. The church service wasn’t that much different than any other week, as the music and the sermon emphasized Jesus dying on the cross for my sins so that I could go to heaven when I died. The resurrection was secondary but essential because that was how Jesus proved he was God’s son. I didn’t know there was any other way to think about Easter.

Many years later, married and Presbyterian, I celebrated Easter with my own little girl. I definitely kept the candy and pretty dress tradition going, but there was more to it at church. Lent was a whole thing before Easter emphasizing giving up something to participate in Jesus’ suffering. In our church, it was a pretty casual thing, except for no happy songs and hanging the cross with purple.  

And then Easter week was a big deal. I sang in the choir, and we went all out. Palm Sunday was a two-service commitment for the combination of adult, youth, and children’s choirs, everybody processing into the church and the children waving palm branches. We would sing at a service on Maundy Thursday that was very solemn and sad. One year we had an oboe that had me weeping from the very first note.

And then, Easter Sunday was a choir blowout—a significant jubilant musical piece or pieces at two services with a brass ensemble. There was always breakfast shared on the lawn, weather permitting. Afternoons were big family dinners. A group of us that didn’t have family around joined together for a big afternoon of food and conversation; the kids ramped up on candy and excitement. Our music director amused us one year by wearing my daughter’s bunny ears at lunch.

The symbols and activities were different, but the main deal was still that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead so we could have a relationship with God.

Does any of this feel similar to what you experienced at Easter? Now or in the past?

Years later, when I was in seminary, we explored the entire gamut of church traditions. At the same time, I began to learn about variations of belief about why Jesus died and the purpose and practices some churches associated with it. I discovered that there was a name for the beliefs about the crucifixion that I had been taught, substitutionary atonement. I learned there were other ways to interpret Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, which I found more life-giving.

But the effects of believing in substitutionary atonement run very deep. My interpretation built over time was that I was so fatally flawed as a human (along with everybody else), especially as a girl, that I could never be good enough for God. My perception of God was that “he” was demanding and unreasonable and took out his feelings about me on Jesus, who took the punishment for me. It felt scary and arbitrary, spilling over to how I felt about my authoritarian parents or authority figures in general. Now, this didn’t stop me from trying to prove myself worthy. I was in a cycle of constant striving and shame. It didn’t matter how many A’s I received in school or promotions I received in my professional life; any misstep or critique held more weight than the positives. I feared punishment at any moment. Alternatively, I fled from church and tried all the self-help techniques to avoid thinking about it: fight or flight.

Why did Jesus die?

Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’

From Matthew 22, The Message

Even though this scripture was often read, the “web of life” concept was new to me in seminary. I was blown away by conversations about the way everything and everyone is connected to God and each other. It was a new way to think about the kingdom of heaven among us that Jesus talked about. I’ve come to understand the purpose of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in a new way. The emphasis throughout Jesus’ teaching and the actions of his life in the Gospels is on showing us how to love God, ourselves, and each other. The implications of belonging to each other can be life-changing.

Not much has changed from Jesus’ day. Whether you call it empire, individualism, or post-modernism, we continue the “endless cycle of projecting our pain elsewhere or remaining trapped inside it.” [1] We see the same pattern of two powerful groups, political and religious, telling strategic distortions of reality and promoting conflict and self-interest as the common good in the Gospels we see on the news daily. By refusing to participate in the charade, Jesus showed his solidarity with the suffering of our circumstances. [2]

Barbara Bondi describes Jesus’ crucifixion as solidarity with all of us who are shamed “and reduced to nothing for simply being who they are” as Jesus was. [3] She points out that the early church “did not see sin as our hopeless badness,” as I learned it. Sin, to them, was our inability to see the “patterns of seeing, feeling and acting so that we could not love one another or God.” We can now see that we are made in God’s image by seeing Jesus’ suffering and can re-learn how to love. [4]

From this point of view, we can understand sin and salvation in an entirely new way. Modern psychology tells us that as we grow up, we move away from our childlike wholeness and conform to what we think will be acceptable to those who are in authority over us. We fragment ourselves. The word salvation comes from the Lin “salvus,” which is about “being made whole, uninjured, safe or in good health.” Diana Butler Bass points out this is “the biblical vision of God’s justice and mercy, peace and well-being, comfort and equanimity.” [5] Bass proposes that Jesus’ death isn’t what saves us but that he had to be stopped because he was already offering salvation. [6]

I’ve come to believe that Easter resurrection is about waking up, opening our eyes, and having a saving encounter with God, who showed his love for us through Jesus. We can now see that there is a new way to live that brings wholeness and healing to our relationships. We can integrate our body, mind, and spirit and find “oneness” with God and others.

I just finished reading Sebene Selassie’s book, You Belong, where she offered me three concrete practices for living into a transformed life. Embodiment in the present moment, grounding in reality, and responding with compassion and wisdom. We become whole when we can stop comparing and competing to feel worthy and rest in our belonging to God and connectedness with all things.

We can let go of the culture’s messages that let difference and individuality separate us. [7] From this new perspective, we allow ourselves to notice and listen to how our body feels and the emotions that arise in the present moment. [8]

We will be grounded in the reality of the present rather than the stories we, and other people, try to get us to believe. We will seek out what is separating us from others. [9]

When we belong to everything, we can respond with curiosity and kindness. [10] We can respond from a place of love for God, ourselves, and each other as Jesus did.

Reconciling Theology with Tradition

As I’ve mentioned in recent posts, I’ve been attending an Episcopal church lately. I started going right before Lent and thought this season would be an excellent time to explore how I feel about Easter now. It’s led me to try to reconcile the traditional symbolism with what I believe about the meaning of Easter.

The flow is the same. Ash Wednesday, Lent, and Holy Week including Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter. The liturgy, creeds, and scripture readings are the same. But the interpretation, so far, is different. I’m seeking to let the traditions connect me with the long lineage of people following Christ in their time and place.

Invitation Spend some time this week reflecting on what Easter means in your life. How do you relate to the traditions?

[1] Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, And Believe (New York: Convergent Books, 2019), 145.
[2] Rohr, 147.
[3] Bondi, Roberta. Memories of God: Theological Reflections on a Life. Darton, Longman & Todd, 1995, 143.
[4] Bondi, 136.
[5] Diana Butler Bass, Freeing Jesus: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way, and Presence (SAN FRANCISCO, CA: HARPER ONE, 2022),76.
[6] Bass, 96..
[7] Selassie, Sebene. You Belong: A Call for Connection, Kindle (New York: Harper One, 2020), 61.
[8] Selassie, 69.
[9] Ibid. 45.
[10] Ibid. 97.

Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash

Finding Freedom in Lent

As I move through Lent with this new lens of joy and the work towards the new life of Spring, I’m reflecting on the Thomas Merton quote I read on the third day of Lent about how to discern the will of God.

“In all the situations of life the “will of God” comes to us not merely as an external dictate of impersonal law but above all as an interior invitation of personal love . . . the very nature of each situation usually bears written into itself some indication of God’s will. For whatever is demanded by truth, by justice, by mercy, or by love must surely be taken to be willed by God.” [1]

This feels like a natural segue from Jesus’ Greatest Commandment.

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’” (From Matthew 22, The Message)

If we make the commandment to love the purpose of our daily life, we will do God’s will. It simplifies everything. How freeing is that!

The more I thought about love’s freedom, the more I wondered what it would feel like to truly live in that freedom. How would my life be different? What would I “give myself permission” to do that fear has kept me from doing? I looked up freedom in the thesaurus, and the words read like a poem of a new mantra for my life:

Carte Blanche
Free Rein

I’ve also been reading This Here Flesh, by Cole Arthur Riley, as part of my Lenten spiritual journey to explore the significance of the human body and build new connections with my own body. The theme of freedom popped up again. Cole invites us to truly inhabit our bodies, connect with our feelings and find freedom from our past.

“People think liberation is a future unfolding before us. But the path to freedom stretches out in both directions. It is what you’ve inherited, your first and last breath. Walk backward and graze your gramma’s face, unshackle your father from the bathroom floor. Go ahead and cry, flip the table, and then repair it in time for the feast. If it’s freedom you’re after, go marvel at the sky, then look down at your own marvelous hands. Rest your souled body with another sacred body and tell each other the truth: Your dignity cannot be chained.” [2]

My Lenton Freedom Work

I’ve been writing fiction, a folk tale, these days loosely based on my family story. I’ve given myself the freedom to imagine the details I don’t have while staying true to the feel of those lives. Even though my grandparents and parents passed away some time ago, I have realized how much their story lives in me. I feel like I’m setting them free from my body, mind, and spirit. Releasing the narrative I’ve attached to our choices and their consequences.

My spiritual director asked me when I feel most like most self. I thought of times when I felt successful, relevant, or needed. I thought of all the personality tests and the surveys to uncover my gifts that I’ve taken over the years, trying to understand myself better. But without all that, without the roles I play in various relationships, who am I? In retirement, I feel like I’m shedding those layers of self I was. It feels a bit like recovering from an addiction. Waves of being caught in old ways of thinking and having to come clean again. Setting those personas free.

This Lent, I’m in search of being more at ease in my body and moving more easily through the world. Less ramping up, less accomplishing. This isn’t about avoiding the painful or difficult. It’s more about breaking my body’s habitual response to take action. To allow my body and spirit space so I can freely choose how to respond and for life to unfold in its time. This is my work now in light of this new understanding of God’s will and the commandment to love.


As we move through the season of Lent, what is God’s will for you? What is truth, justice, mercy, and love calling you to leave behind in the ashes of Lent?

“So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! “

Romans 8:12-17, The Message

[1] Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation, Kindle (New York: New Directions Books, 1961), 16.
[2] Cole Arthur Riley, This Here Flesh (New York: Convergent Books, 2022), 195.

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