God calls all of us to take the path of the inner truth – and that means taking responsibility for everything that’s in us: for what pleases us and for what we’re ashamed of, for the rich person inside us and for the poor one. Francis of Assisi called this, “loving the leper within us.” If we learn to love the poor one within us, we’ll discover that we have room for compassion “outside” too…
Excerpt From: “Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go” by Richard Rohr.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Matthew 16:24-26 ESV
Taking responsibility for everything that’s inside is an overwhelming thought for me.
There’s so much inside that feels scary and out of control.
Emotions churning just beneath the surface.
There’s so much inside that feels weak.
The only way I learned to survive as a kid was to fight to be strong and maintain whatever control I could.
I didn’t get to be a kid.
Abuse forced me to grow up so that I could survive.
The most difficult thing to do is to let go of all the things that I have worked so hard to protect.
It feels like losing everything I worked so hard to gain.
Trusting God when you couldn’t trust your parents seems like an impossible task.
It feels risky.
Like I will lose everything.
God knows this.
He gently leads us to the place where we can learn how to trust.
He invites the child inside of us to climb up into His lap and weep with tears we were not allowed to shed growing up.
You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.
Psalm 56:8 MSG
While I fought to survive, He was there.
Guarding my soul.
Taking into account every single tear.
Why are our losses gain?
Why is my weakness strength?
It goes against every thing I learned to survive.
Every child is born with the need to know that they can love and trust someone bigger than themselves.
We need to know we matter.
That we have a purpose.
That we are worthy of love.
Survival is for being chased by a lion through the jungle.
Not for growing up.
I lost so much.
How can I keep myself from losing anymore?
Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house. God makes homes for the homeless, leads prisoners to freedom, but leaves rebels to rot in hell.
Psalm 68:5-6 MSG
God is the only way.
I don’t want to fight Him anymore.
Even though it doesn’t make sense to me that Jesus said our losses are gains. It gives me hope that somewhere on the other side of all these losses there is a place I can call home with a Father who loves me.
Father, help me to trust you.