Whole - What are you seeking?
The story of brothers continues as we enter chapter three in Steve Wiens book, Whole. We meet Joseph and his brothers. We read this in depth account of one brother going out to seek the shalom, the wholeness of his brothers, knowing full well that they didn’t really like him or his wildly and seemingly favoured dreams.
The chapter creativity tells the tale and opens up new angles on what it might mean to find shalom within yourself, and to seek the shalom of your brothers in a broken world. The prominent theme running through this chapter and really the story of Joseph is vulnerability. We need people to seek our shalom authentically and we are called to do the same. We must learn however that seeking wholeness in any shape or form requires vulnerability. Whether it is the journey of seeing how guilty or ashamed you feel about something or letting yourself feel the deep pain of rejection when you have reached out and not been received.
“Vulnerability is a fragrance, more than anything.
It starts with an intentionality to come out of hiding and face down whatever
it is that needs to be faced down. It’s fragile:
You can’t force someone – or yourself – to be vulnerable.” Whole – pg47
There is a line in the introduction of Whole that highlights the deep truth that we actually all have a secret and that this secret is a “whisper of shalom, a whisper of restoration.” What are you seeking? Can only really be opened as a question when we slow down, are vulnerable and start to hear the whisper of our secret. We have wholeness at our very core but the journey towards it really begins if we start speaking out the dreams. Joseph started with dreams and they were his future. We don’t know what insecurities he had but we do know that he was loved. His story was not all that easy but he was favoured and plays out the story of forgiveness and seeking the wholeness of his brothers at a great cost.
We have to start sharing the stories that fill our heads with voices of all kinds of shapes and sizes because as we speak out we start to seek and when the crucial moment comes, after many moments, days and even maybe years of wrestling the voices down we know how to answer from a new beginning kind of space. The space of our secret.
I spent some time with a Sister in a convent in West Sussex, England early in 2017 (See the blog Convent Operation). I can now see just how much that sister was seeking my wholeness. She asked me about my life and I shared it. My greatest fear was that I was going around and around making the same choices and the same mistakes and that was the reason nothing was changing. I shared this too. I was wrestling and even made a vow. I started to see my story differently.
The thing is I have always been seeking presence whether I knew it or not. I have been seeking a road less travelled that resonates melody and fragrance and the Spirit moving in awe inspiring ways. My presence in communities has acted like a bridge to new friendships and communities and through song has bridged the gap with melody between the seen and unseen of our internal journeys. I have even worked on the vulnerable task of bridge building in my own family as I seek a restored relationship with my dad who is now married to another woman. It’s vulnerable and yet it is restoring what is broken in me.
Recently I have started to share more of my heart in these blogs. I think that this process is even part of the answer to the question. I am seeking the shalom of my brothers and sisters and I am thankful for my life story so far. It has equipped me with so many tools to respond to the whisper in my own being, my secret. I am seeking the words that need to be written and the songs that need to be sung. I am seeking the dancer who will perfectly express the bodies process and the meal around the table that brings sacred stability in a chaotic world.
One of the study questions at the end of this chapter asks if anyone has seen to your shalom? I think that this book does that. It gives language and tools in how to move through the ever moving pieces of our scattered insides. The story of God is full of expansive questions and a heartbeat that brings the rhythms of mercy and grace to our everyday ordinary moments.
What are you seeking?
To get your copy of Whole click here!