Author Archives: wlebolt
Some people are just showy. They strut their stuff and it’s good. No matter what they wear, it draws attention. And whatever they do, it’s news. They are the trend-setters. All eyes are on them. And they revel in the limelight. The good gaze of an adoring and appreciative audience.
My beautiful hydrangea is one of these. Watering can in hand, I marveled as I approached the plant to give it a drink. How glorious its blooms shone in the rise of the morning sun. The lavender luster of the largest stole the show.
As I drew closer, a smaller, pinker display invited me to look. Not yet fully bloomed, this pink one had potential. The water droplets on its delicate petals winked at me. Just wait, they seemed to say, we’re gonna be gorgeous.
As I drew nearer to give the stems a drink, I noticed a burgeoning floral bundle I had nearly missed. Its bushy lavender petals were mostly hidden from view by the lush greenery. Only when I pulled them aside could I appreciate its beauty. It wasn’t hiding; it was just happy to be beautiful under the foliage. Away from the bright sun. As if it had chosen not to compete with its showier siblings.
It was in full bloom. Stunning in its beauty, yet happy, right where it was. Doing its right thing.
Oh, to be satisfied with that.
If this past year — and if I’m being honest this past several years — have taught me anything it’s this:
There is always something new to be afraid of
And afraid takes you down the drain. Yep, spins you with the sludge until the current pulls you under. And, if you manage to hold on with your fingernails and hoist yourself out of that drain, tomorrow’s news will do the same all over again. If you let it.
Confession: I have done too much letting it.
In trying to find a way to matter in the world, indeed to love those who matter (all of us) in the world, I have let myself be pulled in, pulled under and nearly drowned.
Now, before those of you who know me personally start to worry, no cause for that. I’m good. In fact today I am better than good. I’m ready. Ready to get back to business. Back to the bread and butter of Kinesthetic Christian-ing. Which isn’t commenting on the days’ events and offering my take, but rather, taking what God gives me in each day and bringing it to life. Because in that, perhaps I can do my part to bring God to life in my midst and perchance in yours.
To do this I need to re-fix my gaze and adjust my footing. But not in a try-harder kind of way. In more of a go-about-your-business-and-I’ll-be-there kind of way. The way some of you out there have done so well. The some of you who have continued creating, teaching, inventing, investing and dedicating yourself to your work in the world. The work you do so well.
You know who you are. I am smiling at you RIGHT NOW.
Our world in our day seems regularly to take us to the brink. To dangle us over the edge and say, “See what you deserve? Look at that and be afraid.” And we are. Because it’s frightening.
But what if, right about then, when all is lost and we start to flail and panic and teeter into the abyss, we feel a gentle tug on the back of our t-shirt? Then, we inhale deeply and realize it’s the hand of our pickleball partner preventing us from stepping into “the kitchen” and losing the point. That hand pulls us back from the brink and back into the game. More ready than ever for whatever shot comes our way. After all, that guy just saved me.
As it is written, “in God we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28), but speaking Kinesthetically, we might say, In God, we move and live and have our being.
Because God has my back, I play better than ever. Better than I ever thought I could.
If you like what you read here at the Kinesthetic Christian, you may enjoy taking a look at my book, Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through Our Bodies. Contact Wendy here for more information.
There’s just no beating around the bush about this. The events of these days have been hard to manage.
The news, more often than not, leaves me sad, sorry, or simply confounded. How have we found our way here? For surely we have all wandered into a movie no one would pay good money to see. Someone shut off the lights and forgot to illuminate the aisle.
And yet… there are glimmers that sparkle all around me. People who hold onto hope. People who keep doing the good. People who, against all odds, keep bearing the torch so others can see by its light. I see ’em and I wonder how they stand the barrage of the daily news and don’t wither under its fire.
Some just seem really good at keeping their focus. They’ve got their eye on that prize and nothing distracts.
Some are on fire with a passion — for kids, for family, for their art or their dream. A heart aflame compels them and nothing can quench that fire.
Some, it appears, are duty bound. Disciplined to the max, obedient to a fault, or perhaps afraid to veer left or right.
Some, however, seem unfazed by it all. (And here, I am not referring to the few that, by privileged means and with an apparently hollow soul, can turn a cold shoulder to the circumstances of others and go on about their business as if nothing is happening.) I am referring here to those who stand in the midst of the fray, absorb the blows and yet respond with patience and understanding, kindness and positive intention.
While I in these circumstances often feel inclined to reflect the world back to itself to show it just how awful it looks, these “unfazed” folks don’t stoop to this. Instead of knee-jerk reflection, they engage in Light of the World refraction.
“Refraction is the change in direction of a wave passing from one medium to another or from a gradual change in the medium. Refraction of light is the most commonly observed phenomenon, but other waves such as sound waves and water waves also experience refraction.”Wikipedia
By God’s grace, these remarkable people receive the earthly things that demand our attention but reflect them at a different angle. A Kingdom angle. Instead of holding a mirror to the world, they offer a different and better way.
I pray that we who claim the Spirit of God in our hearts and souls might choose to refract earthly things this way. To pass them through this medium of a different density and reflect them at a new angle to offer a Kingdom reflection.
To the uninitiated, it may look like magic, but we know it’s not sleight of hand. It’s just the same kind of refraction designed by the Great Optometrist who gave us eyes not only to see but to focus clearly on what God sees. And to be witnesses to it all, to the ends of the earth …
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:8