Friday, January 21, 2005

A Safe Place to Walk

©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original

There’s been a strong desire in me lately to just write. To read other people’s writing. To see the person behind the words. I want someone to write with, to walk with me through this process of becoming. But I need someone safe, someone who is going to love me through the process, who will help me over the tough parts. I need a mentor.

My baby just started walking. It has been so fun to share this little secret with him. He started the process a few weeks ago but he didn’t tell anyone. None of his brothers or sisters or even his dad had seen those miraculous first attempts at vertical movement. They were reserved for me. After he got good at that, he told his daddy. Then he reserved walking practice for those times when there was just the three of us up and about late in the evening. How much fun was that, watching the glee on his face as he went back and forth between us, getting lots of hugs, tickles and smiles. We have had so much fun. Then he let his oldest brother in on the secret, getting up and walking to him one day, what a delight for both of them. Now that he’s pretty steady, he’s more bold in his walking when the whole tribe is around. It has been a delightful journey that we have watched closely.

This week I started walking more closely with a dear girl in our congregation. We’re talking and probing issues, providing lots of correction, love and prayer. It will be a journey together for her and I. I’m guessing it won’t all be fun, probably quite a few bumps will come up on our path. She needs to learn to walk steadily with the Lord and I get the privilege of being one of her helpers along the way. Not that I’ve arrived and am so good at being a follower of Jesus, but I walked a little longer and hopefully learned a thing or two along the way. She has a wonderful job in which she works with children and helps them in their learning, helping them find their legs as they walk through the academic world.

Our church has been on a journey towards learning more about true discipleship, depth of relationship and spiritual family. All of us desperately need safe places to practice walking, learning, growing. Our little baby knew instinctively who it would be safe to walk with. He’s observed the rhythm and flow of our home long enough to know that practice time is NOT when everyone is up and about. The girl I’m beginning to walk with and I have been getting to know each other over a number of years, we’ve built up a safe environment in our relationship that we can trust one another. The love there is strong enough to withstand whatever is going to come. God will provide someone to mentor me in my writing, a dear friend and I are starting to do a little together and she is farther down the path than I, maybe it will be her, maybe there will be many along the way.

All of us have something to give to someone else. All of us have something that we need to receive from someone else. The circle of giving, receiving, loving and learning is a precious one. All of us need to learn to be a ‘safe’ person to be with, holding each other gently and lovingly, being careful with our words and our touch. Spiritual family is a wonderful bouquet to be a part of, each stem working at holding each other up, creating startling beauty out of a mixed bag of plants.

Today, I want to provoke thought. Where are you in the bouquet? Some of us are just babes in an area of our lives, learning to walk, needing to feel safe to explore this new thing (I feel like that in my writing). Some of us are ready to encourage in an area, give guidance and help to another. We all have places where we need help, we all have places where we can give help. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecc 4:12b). Wrap yourself in someone else’s life. Take the risk, build relationship. Have a great time doing it.


Sonya said...

Mmm...a particularly thought provoking entry (and really, quite beautifully written, I thought...) I've just taken a bit of a break with the girls I was discipling seeing as we're part of the same dance group now and spending time on that. But I need to reconsider where I'm strong and where I'm weak and see if God is leading me to anyone in particular. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Not half an hour before I read this I was wondering when (or possibly with who is better choice of words) I can begin exploring a truth about my family history that my mother told me was lie in order to protect her and father's dignity as well as to protect their children with an attitude of, "what they do not know can not hurt them".

I really am wondering how much of who I grew up to be is rooted in this issue.

I suppose this means I got more out of the idea of a safe place than the idea of walking or being mentored. But is that not the purpose of reading; responding individually to that which some one else has written??

flowerlady said...

In response to 'anonymous', perhaps you will find your 'safe place' when those lies are dealt with and exposed and then healed. I pray that you will find that healing through forgiveness, deliverance and the amazing love of your heavenly daddy.

I was reading an article about a mom who was feeling guilty because her kids' baby books weren't very fancy or complete. She realized that what she really needed to do was make sure that their 'love tanks' or memories of her were full. While your parents hid stuff from you that has caused damage - don't forget the good stuff! I know I have a tendency to focus on the negative instead of the positive (which may not be your issue). I pray that God will plant many flowers in place of the pain.