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I write, mostly to keep my head from exploding. It threatens to do that a lot. My blog is the pixelated version of all the voices in my head. I tend to dive into what connects me to God, my community, my family and my doubt. I do a lot of searching, not as much finding. I’m good with that. I have learned, finally, to live comfortably in the gray. In the meantime, I wrestle with God, and my doubt and my joy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

01 Nisan - Believe - #blogExodus

I got let go from my job yesterday.

I imagine this disconnected, drifty, free floating anxiety that I am feeling was exactly what the Children of Israel felt when they were Let Go. Even across this gulf of 3,500 years (give our take a decade or three) I can believe they got the news, and then just... continued on with their lives, perhaps waiting for feeling to catch up with action.

I mean, really-- one minute you're in the middle of your regular life, in the middle of some motion, maybe putting the casserole into the oven, or making a left-hand turn, or just putting a brick on top of all the other bricks of the pyramid you're building, moving from one place to the next, just like you've done, time and again and again and again.

And you may not even be thinking about it, that motion, that action. Certainly not thinking that this is the last time you're going to do this thing, this whatever- it-is thing, this common, ordinary, every day thing that you have done, that maybe was once done with joy or reverence or anticipation or dread or something, some noticing thing that separated it from every other everyday thing, but now is merely a background noise kind-of-thing, an unquestioned thing altogether, a means of getting from here to there, even when you have no idea that here is Here (and God only know where There might begin or end). You're just in motion.

And then word comes down from on high: you are Let Go. So what do you do, mid-motion, except exactly what you were doing, because while change may be lightening-fast, it has its own path to follow before it catches up to Now.

Or Then. We were talking about Then, weren't we? The slaves, the Children of Israel, living out their lives in the narrow spaces. Putting one foot in front of the other, day by day by day, ad infinitum, in joy or reverence or anticipation or dread-- in something that may have been fullness, or maybe somewhat hollowed out-ish, all reedy and breathy and unsettled (but not empty; never that-- that would be too clean, too sterile for day-to-day living, and day-to-day living is way too messy for that). But probably, when it omes down to it, it was all of this, all full and hollow and messy, all together, all at once.

What I wonder, from my vantage point of 3,500 years and all of those nearly-invisible will-o-the-wisp filaments that connect me to Them (and Then), what did they think, when  word finally reached them, mid-motion? Were they happy to have been released? Afraid of what would come next? Terrified at the thought of change? Or maybe it was all good-- joy at the thought of liberation and their sudden freedom?

Did they believe their lives would be immeasurably better, to be freed from their taskmasters' chains-- or even better at all? Did they cower just a bit, bowed by the sudden uncertainty of their lives, believing that all was lost, or did they believe that everything would be ok, that miracles happen, that the seas would part and they would be shown the way? Did they believe in a land of promise and blessing? Did they believe it was opportunity that waited just around the corner, over the next sand dune, and past the oasis-- or was it chaos, lying in wait?

Once we are Let Go, once we are freed from our bondage, once we finish the turn, close the oven door, take that step--  do we (do I?) let belief, and faith and hope guide me through the desert that lies between me and the Promised Land?

As I prepare for my own astounding journey from the narrow places towards redemption and freedom, what do I believe?

#blogExodus #Exodusgram


c Stacey Zisook Robinson
02 April 2014