Today Smith has laid before us the ‘program’ for the rest of Lent: identify various of the inner voices (the many ‘selves of the self’) that dwell within us deriding the presence of God and other within. Hold each one to the light of God’s Love through the Scripture and reflections that will be offered. Hold it there not for punishment but for healing.
But, he before we take our steps he wants us to examine our willingness. “I wonder whether a certain irritation has crept into your mind n response to all this talk of love and compassion. Perhaps you find suspicions arising… Do you miss a more robust emphasis on the Lenten call to repentance, strenuous discipleship, conversion?
Smith answers in his own way. For my part, I HIGHLY recommend you read Cole Arthur Riley’s relatively new book, This Here Flesh. Then read Julian to see how rigorous the practice of receiving grace really is. Then, well, read This Here Flesh again. Voices are crying in the wilderness about this path Smith sets before us; diverse and distinct voices crying out.
I leave the last works to Riley, who is speaking here of beauty, wonder, and busyness, but in a context that could just as easily be about love, inner acceptance, and the idolatry of the serious:
“Wonder includes the capacity to be in awe of humanity, even your own…. When have found ourselves too busy for beauty. We spin our bodies into chaos with the habits and expectations of the dominating culture, giving and doing and working… We live depleted of that rest which is the only reliable gateway to wonder…. Wonder helps us get free…. To be a human who resembles the divine is to become responsible for the beautiful, for its observance, its protection, and its creation. It is a challenge to believe that this right is ours.”
The Rev. adwoa Wilson