Moonbeams” is a periodic message from me in an attempt at reflecting the light.I hope these “Moonbeams” foster reflection in your own life.Every Blessing, Rev. Denny Moon
“I am sending you like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals…whatever house you enter first say, ‘Peace be to this house.'”(Luke 10:3-5)
This is Jesus giving directions for a training exercise, bringing the message of God’s realm of love, peace and justice to towns and villages in Samaria, which is unfriendly to Jews. They are sent with no monies, no bag to hold emergency supplies, no sandals to protect their feet– to proclaim the message of peace-depending on the hospitality of others for food and shelter. In other words, they are sent out vulnerable.
Usually when we meet strangers we have our guard up and a few tricks up our sleeve. Maybe we have a list of our accomplishments to impress, such as a few jokes to make them feel good and the flexing of a muscle or two for intimidation’s sake. The problem with each of these is they invoke the other person’s defenses and dampen the possibility of true peace. They will have to trot out their accomplishments, their jokes, flex their muscles, you know how it goes, but to lead with vulnerability makes peace possible.
Jennifer Dukes Lee (blogger) tells the story of Maddie, who was 12 years old when she went to her first sleep over and she was embarrassed to bring her “lovie” with her. Her “lovie” was a ragged blanket that she had slept with for ten years. It went from her crib, to her toddler bed to her big girl bed and it still made it easier to fall asleep at night. She was afraid the other girls would laugh at her. But at the last minute, she stuffed it in her back pack and took it with her – just in case.
When night came and all the girls snuggled under blankets for a late-night movie, Maddie felt a knot in her stomach. After a few moments she said to the Mom, “Wait, don’t start the movie yet.” She walked to the bedroom, unzipped her bag, quietly found the love-worn blanket and walked back into the room with it tucked under her arm. One of the girls saw what she had retrieved from the bag. “What’s that?” asked the friend, pointing a finger at the lovie. All the girls looked. Maddie took a deep breath, and told them how this was a baby blanket her mom’s friend had made and she slept with it every night, took it on vacations, lost it in the park once and how her grandma sewed it together when it fell apart. She showed everyone the long stitch mark, and it looked like a scar. And…no one laughed at her. No one judged. Rather, one by one, each of the girls pushed back the covers, walked into the bedroom, and unzipped her own bag. They brought out their ragged blankets, a bear with a missing eye, a doll with an arm missing. Every girl in the room was hiding a secret lovie in her bag. And every girl told the story of how it came to be.
We all have our “lovie,” our vulnerability: failures, disappointments, mistakes, lost dreams … things that we believe will make us rejectable, unlovable. If you want to create peace, lead with your lovie, lead with vulnerability, it is the only way. Oh, of course not everyone will respond like the 12 year olds at a P.J. Party. Some will laugh at you. Luke says if that happens, “Shake the dust off your feet and move on.” They aren’t ready for peace, so don’t obsess about their response. Move on to find the people who are.