Whole - What will you bring?


Having travelled a lot over the last 10 years I can honestly say that I still pack too much, it is getting better but this reality was never a truer statement than when I was travelling from Ireland to the USA in early 2017. You see I thought I would bring two suitcases for a one month trip. I knew that I would be returning to the States in the summer for three months and so I over packed and wanted to bring my UK world with me.

I really went to town on the packing! The journals of days gone by, pictures, snuggle blankets and clothes for a cool spring and hot summer. I wanted to get ahead of the game and bring as much as I could and in my mind this organising was the work of a genius! Did you know that at Dublin airport you go through US immigration on Irish soil? Did you know that they are suspect of those carrying way too much for a one month trip? You might be able to guess what is coming. They wouldn’t let me fly. They thought I was trying to move illegally to the USA (I wasn’t) and my over preparation and huge amount of baggage was not working in my favour. After leaving a case with a friend and a few days to think about what I had just done I finally left Ireland lighter and with a little more clarity.

So, here I was, I had arrived in the USA for a wedding and to visit Minneapolis again, fifty pounds lighter and with a less weighted heart space. I was greeted at the communion basket the first Sunday I was back at Genesis church by my new friend Bob. Bob was the first person I met at Genesis in 2016 and here he was today standing opposite me. He said something along these lines; “Sally, Jesus is your friend. He knows and loves you WITHALL YOUR BAGGAGE. He sees the cracks and brokenness in your heart and those cracks let the light in and out”, Bob didn’t know what had happened only a few days before. Bob was just Bob and we both responded to presence in that moment, over bread and wine and with tears rolling down our cheeks, the facts falling away and the presence being the only thing we needed. That moment was like water to my soul and we both stood there face to face empty and full all at the same time. It was a gift, a vulnerable, God seeing gift.

There is much more I could say about the wording that was used on that morning by Bob, but I will save that for another time.

What will you bring?

“You’re not seeking wholeness if you insist on bringing

what you have always brought and doing what you have always

done in every new situation in which you find yourself.

The journey of restoration requires things that you can only acquire

after you’ve left home.” Whole – pg72

Just as the last blog post pointed out, where are you going? Assumes you are leaving somewhere. What will you bring? Poses the invitation to a whole other set of choices once you have set out on your journey. Even as I arrived in a new city last summer (See the blog Second Chances Double Blessings) and it all felt familiar in a lot of ways, I soon came to realise that I was actually in a very new environment. Nearly a year later I stood face to face with Bob over that basket of bread and I saw. I didn’t want to try and cover over the cracks anymore. I guess that started me on the trajectory of wondering, how do we repent and turn from our assumption based pattern of thinking that everything will be the same as the last place we visited, and we will need the same “stuff” to survive it?

Leaving isn’t about leaving everything. There are essentials that only we can discover. That is what I love about this chapter of the book. Steve leads us through a way of seeing what we will need and gives us language and tools to turn from the things that we really won’t need, even if they seem attractive and comfortable.

Let me conclude with this. I put the following in an email the other day as I look to the future with new eyes. I am walking towards waters that are closed and I wait for all that I might need to come towards me. I have done a good job of pushing the doors but my mind has assumed outcome and all that I might need for the journey, The bottom line is that I know that I don’t know. Here is what I wrote:

“I feel like I am wearing a tool belt that looks empty but has pockets with things already in it and spaces for more. I sense that I don’t have to carry the weight of the tool belt but I know that it’s there, and that as I need something the pocket and tool almost gets lit up in its time. These tools from my life experience, training and story all get to be used when He designs it….”

The journey to wholeness takes wisdom and discernment, repentance and letting go. Steve poses this challenging question at the end of this chapter along with a number of other questions for personal and group study.

“What are some things you think you might need to let go of so that you can go on the journey God is calling you toward?”

Whole by Steve Wiens is available on Amazon NOW and you can find out more about him by clicking here! I suggest you get yourself a copy. There is no time like the present and this book is a good one for the journey! To coin his phrase, “We are in this together!”.

Sally Cranham