Consider Yourselves Held
::A brief addendum to yesterday’s post::
Somewhere out of the ether this morning, as I was slurping down coffee waiting for a friend in a cafe, this thought arrived: consider yourself held in’t enough.
The imaginative task of considering myself in relationship to God, as being held (physically, spiritually) by the Divine, automatically expands my imagination. Where before it was just me, now it’s me and God. And if God is holding me, then who else can God hold? Who else is God holding now?
Suddenly, consider yourself held became consider yourselves held. I know I said something similar to this previously, but this felt different; this was like a more nuanced understanding of something I’d, you know, just tossed out on the Internet on a whim.
The addendum is this: where before I was acknowledging the capacity of God to hold me, and by extension you, now I was stepping outside of that construct a little. This early morning thought-assault was telling me: And that’s happening now.
It was kind of a lot for 6:30 in the morning.
But still, in this foggy-brained flash, I was forced to consider not just my own heldness, but the actual, embodied-yet-invisible heldness of others by the Other. It’s a realization that requires a shift in perspective, opening into something grace-related, open-oriented and wondering. If God can hold me, who can’t God hold?
Everyone in the coffee shop, out on the street, in the world near to me–Portland, New York, America–and so far away–in Paris, Syria, Liberia–God is holding people. Those that don’t think they’re being held and those who don’t want to be held. Even those we–in our heart of hearts–hope God is not holding. All of these people–so, everyone–is, has been and will be held by God (regardless of our understanding and feelings on the matter).
It’s not really new theology (love your neighbor as yourself), I know, but it felt new to me in the moment. It feels new (and unsettling, as grace often does). And I think that stems from the fact that, until recently, I’d never been able to consider myself held; I’d never known, in this particular way, what it means to love myself, so that I can then go love my neighbor.
And, hey, I still don’t really know. It was early. The coffee was hot and blurring my mind. But as I continue to consider myself held, my hope is that I will be able to being to consider others held–all others–and then to do my part in holding them.
Here’s to considering ourselves held today.