Lenten Reflection 6: The Rev. Anna Ostenso Moore
In the final section of Dr. Catherine Meeks’ meditations, she writes, “There is a lovely and wise understanding held by some of our Northwest Indigenous siblings about what to do when you are a child lost in the wilderness. They teach that you should stand still, because, you see, the forest is not lost. It knows where you are, and if you will stand still and listen, it will lead you onto the path that gets you back home . . . Stand still and see what Spirit reveals to you. What do you have the energy to do? Not what knee-jerk response can you make now, when you are in a state of outrage, shock, and horror, but what does your soul need you to do? No one can hear that answer except you” (p. 184). She writes these words in response to George Floyd’s death. And she reminds us that since this tragedy in our state, the sin of racism is as powerful as ever.
When I see the brokenness in our world, I, at times, feel lost. I feel overwhelmed by what to do, how I should feel, my sense of powerlessness, and how I should respond. Or I hear the attractive lure of busyness calling. Busyness as a balm to our discomfort when God may be calling us to stay uncomfortable.
With Dr. Meeks’ guidance, standing still and seeing what the Spirit reveals is my guiding prayer this Holy Week.
As I write this on Palm Sunday, it is hard to stand still. When I stand still, I hear questions, doubts, and face my own uncertainty. How do I practice hope when I see injustice around me? How do I share the beauty of our world and the heartbreak with my toddler? What brokenness in my soul do I need to bring to the cross on Good Friday? Where do I find places of unconditional love and humility like Jesus’ last supper? What does joy truly look like on Easter morning?
I don’t have answers for these questions now and may need to stand still for a while. I recognize our sacred stories as the forest. Through them, I know we all are God’s beloved children, and God speaks with love. Through that love, a love that defeats death, I can imagine a future where the beautiful diversity of God’s kingdom is celebrated and racism and injustice are no more. Practicing that hope may be my first step.
Will you stand still for a moment with me? What do you hear?