Wednesday, June 6, 2018
It’s become curious to me how each post will form as I’m reflecting on a myriad of ideas. It seems to take shape out of one of those geometric images that seems like static at first until you look at it long enough and a clear image begins to rise in 3D out of the noise.
This week it was a Saturday night dream followed by a Sunday morning church service reading that seemed to compliment one another in a way that kept bringing me back to the second part of the question from last week:
And who are you becoming?
I was in an area where a trail guide was getting ready to take some riders out at dusk. They were experienced riders and experienced guides one apparently I liked (but not a person I recognized from my waking life)
What bothered (but didn’t surprise) me was how the guides and riders were speaking to their horses.
- Don’t be so stupid
- Quit acting like an idiot
- You’re being stubborn
- Come on you already know how to do this
It bothered me enough to talk to the guide I knew in the dream off to the side.
I asked if she’d ever considered treating the horses with more respect? The horses are not stupid in fact, they are arguably smarter than these riders… why would she allow them to talk to them using these words? Words have power.
We should speak the truths that are positive into our horses as well as each other!
I continued explain that when I talk to Khaleesi I tell her she’s smart… that she’s strong, and good at her job. Also that she’s beautiful and perfectly created for me. We are a great team. I cannot imagine calling her a dumb beast. Nor would I want to have a horse I thought was stupid or obstinate.
It made perfect sense to me: words can bring life – why not speak what we want to see more of into our horses and gracefully offer help with the rest hoping those things will diminish if we don’t feed them.
But she assured me that absolutely, Khaleesi is smart but these are obstinate dumb horses that act stupid.
And the group went on their way.
I haven’t had a waking experience in recent memory to bring this up into my dream world… in fact I go out of my way not to ride with people who yell at, nag, patronize or talk to their horses this way. To take it one step farther I have found people who nag and complain about their horses often do the same about their family and friends too.
The dream seemed to come out of nowhere.
That morning I went to church and the reading was about Peter.
For anyone who doesn’t know the story, Peter was the ‘rock’ that Jesus said the early church – beginning with that ragtag band of Christ followers and today an entire headquarter city in Rome – would be built on. It’s quite a legacy to have spoken into your life.
But he wasn’t always the rock.
I like Peter. I can relate to him. I’ve heard it said he was the disciple with the foot shaped mouth… or as Bob Goff might describe he was all gas and no brake. He often had to be redirected as his energy went off the rails. He didn’t always get where this crazy Nazarene was headed…
Yet he was the only one who got out of the boat to walk on the water! Yes, I totally get Peter.
This was the passage where he denied knowing Jesus after he was arrested.
And once was to a little servant girl who basically had the power in that time of a girl scout today.
Yet… this is the guy that Jesus renamed from Simon to Peter. Peter for Petra or the rock.
God spoke into Peter what was becoming, not who he was at the moment. He wasn’t hard on Peter when he cut off the soldier’s ear (which showed that even after three years of following Jesus around on the inner circle and getting the extra q&a time, Simon-Peter didn’t quite understand what Jesus was all about) he knew Peter who just promised to stand by his man to the grave would run like a coward too…
Still Jesus loved Peter and saw his heart and who he would become with a little encouragement and help. He didn’t chastise him or make him feel stupid… he saw what Peter could be and that was what he spoke to him.
This tied into my dream too well to ignore and I began to ask how I can apply this in my own life.
I find it easy to do this with my horses. It always seemed strange to me to yell at or fight with a horse…. But what about humans? It’s probably both more difficult and more important how this works with them.
How does this show up with my husband, my mother, my friends, what about the people I find hard to love? The ones that I find myself easily annoyed by? The ones who I don’t understand at all? The ones that creep me out? The ones that actively try to make my life more difficult?
- What an idiot…
- He always does that…
- What else would you expect from her?
- There you go again…
- You don’t care about my feelings…
And what about the turn around to ourselves as well which is even more painful?
When we see our own faults and how we disappoint ourselves. Most often this is what’s going on deep down- but lashing out is what we see but it’s usually a reflection of the silent lashing in.
I look at the times I let myself down. The tendencies I have that I want to grow past. And I think how I’d like to be extended a little extra grace when I fail once again into selfish old thoughts and habits and get up to try again.
I don’t mean positive self talk- that just doesn’t work because it’s crap and we can’t fool ourselves… but to deal with the real question
Who am I? And who am I becoming?
The realization that we are all struggling through life doing the best we can might help me walk in a little more grace and remember to find the positive words to speak into someone else.
We’re on a lifetime journey. None of us arrive in tact. We’re all broken and wounded and trying to sort out how to function.
To allow those around me to fail me, to disappoint me, to be rude… to not consider my feelings, to say things that hurt me, try to manipulate circumstances… say unkind things about me (true or made up…) and then to make my choice to not allow myself to define them by that.
I can find the positive things and encourage them toward those strengths and speak (internally, to them AND to others!) positive things into their lives.
To all of them I want to extend that crazy bold grace that speaks to what they can become. And I’m not Jesus- I don’t know their future. This means I don’t get to decide they’ll ‘never change’.
I want to be the one who refuses to only go ‘up to a certain point’ then write them off for ‘bad behavior’. Not to give them three strikes and they’re out. To be willing to take the radical risk to believe the best and to use the power of my words to encourage the best as well.
This is what love does… with my horse, my husband, my friends and my enemies (or since I choose not to have enemies I’ll use that word for people who don’t like me, or who I don’t understand or agree with). Love is not afraid of looking foolish. Love is not being afraid someone will take advantage of me. Love is not making sure I protect myself from someone who might try to hurt me….
Love is wondering what the other person feels before getting my own hackles up and being offended. And trying to see the world how they see it- even if I don’t quite agree.
Love bears all things. Love hopes all things. Love believes all things. Love endures all things.
That is a radical way to live.
I’ll go first.