I have to admit to you that this Lent has been extremely tough for me. I have been indulging in two things, and it has not been pretty.
Facebook likes and Taylor Swift.
The first may be a problem. You see, when I post on FaceInstaTwitterTube, I look later to see the number of likes or shares. And with each that I get, it makes me feel more important or more liked. Literally. Even as I started to write this reflection, I thought of ways in which I could create something witty to encourage people to like it, but I kinda said, “Eff that.” And I ended up writing this. Honest. Open. Just me.
I told you that it has not been pretty. But the first step to dealing with a problem is admitting that you have one. And, problem, I´ve got you.
And Taylor Swift. Dear Lord, can she write a hook. I am obsessed with her song “Blank Space.” Maybe because it speaks of the initial attraction of one to another, the risk of loving another despite a history of failures, and the hope of love found. And I think I have had my fair share of all the above. For some reason, it is the last line of the chorus that gets me. “I´ve got blank space, baby, and I´ll write your name.”
And the next step to dealing with a problem is admitting that you don´t have all the solutions and you need counsel. And, counsel, O, how I need you.
And I think somewhere in the gospel today, I may have found that counsel in this FaceInstaTwitterTube problem and finding God in Taylor Swift.
There is not much written on him but we know some things about him from these passages today. That he is righteous. That God speaks to him in his dreams, to “not be afraid… take Mary your wife into your home… to name (her son) Jesus.” He listened to the those dreams, doing as the “Lord commanded.”
And I think that we maybe know a lot more about him by the people that he influenced. Mary. Jesus. Who do you think worked hard to provide Mary a home? Who do you think taught Jesus how to love, to be patient, to be kind? I can only imagine of all the time that the three spent together… Joseph enjoying Mary´s cooking, teaching Jesus how to carpenter, et cetera. You cannot spend that much time with someone with not affecting them or them affecting you. And somehow, I think Joseph loved them both so liberally, without expecting so much in return. How else do you love someone, as Joseph to Jesus, that maybe is not of your own flesh and blood as your own?
And maybe God spoke to Joseph in his dream like Taylor Swift speaks to me now. “Here`s a blank space. And I will write your name on it.” And maybe the question He is asking us during this Lenten season, “Will you make a blank space for me? Will you write my name on it?” Just like Joseph writes Jesus´ name.
And maybe that is what lent is about. It is about making space for God. (To listen deeply to His dreams, which really are just the deepest dreams of our hearts). To not be afraid to follow these dreams. Just like Joseph.
And Joseph did not seek likes or some another`s approval to know that he was following his deepest desire to take Mary in, to love her and to love Jesus. He was just following his own dream, and in the process, the only things that mattered to Him were the people closest to him (Jesus and Mary), two people that maybe continue to have an impact on us today.
And for that, I like Joseph alot. Like it or not.
How is God inviting you to listen more deeply to Him? To not be afraid? To dream with Him? To be loved completely as you are?
Reflected by Anonymous