Praying barefoot has become one of my favorite ways to pray. Most often I pray barefoot in the garden, or in a park, or along a sandy beach. These are pretty easy ways to begin. But over the past month I’ve been sensing the need to walk barefoot through the business area of my community. It took me a while to actually do it. It sounded like a great concept, but “what would the neighbors think”?
We are created in God’s image, not separate, but as community, a compliment, one to another. Balance is really at the heart of Lent and Easter. God desires harmony, a dwelling together in peace and unity. Lent provides us the opportunity to explore what is out of balance in our lives.Where are the fragmented and broken pieces and how did they get that way?
As I wrote of in my last post, the fullness of shalom must be both an inward and outward journey. It is both personal and corporate. It would be tempting to separate these two aspects into the personal-inward journey and corporate-outward journey, as if one can exist in isolation of the other. That would be a mistake. There is only one journey and the inward-outward, personal-corporate parts of that journey are so tightly wound together we do injustice to God’s radical shalom by trying to untangle them.
This Lenten season, I invite you to a time of looking more deeply into your life. Instead of listing out your sins, work slowly through the following questions and allow God to reveal the broken areas of your life. These questions are designed to draw out the attitudes and motives that lurk a bit deeper below the surface. Rather than quickly naming off a few obvious sins and moving on, take time to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into a more comprehensive exploration of your life.
Focusing originally outside myself, I was asking, “What does it mean to create new avenues for God’s shalom to flourish in the home, in the neighborhood, in various encounters and relationships along the way”. When I looked at my yard I realized there were all sorts of barriers to community: pathways locked behind fences, shrubbery blocking access to my yard, and generally a design that made clear what was “mine” and where you could stand.