Monday, December 5, 2011

Letting my naked soul out

Listen to this post:

Images of corporate worship/pastel on paper/Cathy Barney

Yesterday's message in worship centered on giving rather than receiving. Giving in worship, not just other aspects of life. Praising and opening, not just basking in the alluring silence.

I had a message open in me, but it did not seem right then. Perhaps, now.

I don't come to worship to give or receive. Mostly I attempt to come without expectation, except to wait – which is the entire purpose of Quaker worship: waiting for God.

I do come to be. To be with God, to be with others being with God, to be myself, to be myself with others being themselves with God. I seem to live inside out, yet still manage a protective coating most places. In worship, I unwrap myself into God's loving embrace. It is one of the few corporate places I let my naked soul out.

Of course, I have safe places, such as my studio, where my soul dances naked with Spirit and, sometimes, even with trusted friends.

My buddy Caleb, really my other child (he and Lily were due at the same time), though he chose to be born earlier), at age six said it was his purpose in life to "help people's souls find their dance and dance it."

That's also what I hope worship could be: collective souls dancing joyfully in God's presence: naked, stripped of the identities, filters, fears, expectations and wounds we so often can't leave behind, even temporarily.

• What is worship for me?
• With what do I arrive?
• With what do I leave?
• What happens in the midst?
• What dimension does the corporate aspect of worship offer me?

rushing to get there
on time

never quite making it

dumping the kids
in their class

heaving a heavy sigh
and entering

letting the space
choose me

I like a different

settling in
sinking deep

feeling the
edges fade

finding that wonderful
space between

between wakefulness
and sleep

between consciousness
and dreaming

between hardness
and softness

and truly

with God


  1. I LOVE your art! Especially the grey one and the orange one. The grey one is like a wine glass, except it has people inside it! Or like a flower, with people on the stem instead of petals. The orange one reminds me of Invasion of the Body Snatchers! Except it contains people worshipping instead of the victim of a monster force. Have fun pondering those! Thanks for being my friend!

  2. Interesting, Anonymous ... I dislike how blogspot works for making comments. I appreciate the compliment and comments. The first and third were difficult experiences that I later realized were times of being held by Sprit and the middle is Spirit embracing us. I enjoy your spin. Thank you for reading, paying attention and commenting!