by Rev. Terry Tripp, CFDM Northwest Co-Director
It’s a sacred space to be lost in wonder
To safely rest in the midst of you
Lord fill my heart till its full-on hunger
It’s a holy thing to be wild and free
This verse from Jason Upton’s song has resonated in my mind since I heard it recently. And it came home to rest in my heart as I watched my 5-year-old grandson swing without fear at the family cabin. His heart, full of hunger for the thrill of the ride, is heard in his joyful laugh. John doesn’t hesitate to jump into air, believing that his legs will skillfully manage the stick he is supposed to land on. Though he climbs to a platform 5 feet up, for him it is as tall as the vulnerability in him to take the jump.
The vulnerability of it, the wildness of it, the freedom of it; brings to mind what Jesus meant when He describes entering the Kingdom of Heaven this way in Luke 18:16, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” This is one of several illustrations in that chapter, Jesus uses to describe entering the kingdom He came to inaugurate. In some way or another they all point to vulnerability as the opening to our soul’s home.
We are invited to be vulnerable; to divest ourselves of surety, to trust an unknown outcome, to lean into God doing something in us before we know anything of it, to not defend ourselves before others, to trust in what we don’t get in life as God’s goodness to us, to in fact believe in a God who invites us to an upside down view of the world.
An upside-down view requires us to show up with who we are, be present in the moment, intend love, not grasp for control and leave the results of our encounters to God’s hands. The world would have us right-side up, in control and accomplishing our spiritual lives. Rather we are invited to jump and look from the bottom up; accepting that therein lies the paradox: we must take the vulnerable jump – hunger for God – without knowing what holy place we will land in.
John’s swinging is wild and free, hungering for the freedom of flying in the air. He leans back looking up into the madrone tree branches above him and the big sky that hovers. It is not perfect, but to him, who only knows he wants to land on the stick; jumping with hope and hunger for the ride is worth the vulnerability of it all. We land in the Kingdom by hungering for God with vulnerability, finding ourselves on a wild and free ride.
This is what we teach and invite others into tasting in CFDM. We are now accepting applications for the fall start of the Spiritual Formation Program and calls for the Year of Discernment in the Spiritual Direction Program. Join us for the ride!