When the same message arrives from two different women with pretty different world views within a few minutes of each other, it is meant to be shared, I think.
In her Sunday sermon shared via her subscriber newsletter, Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber reminds us of Doubting Thomas who questioned the rebirth of Jesus until he saw where the nails had been driven into his hands. The story, Bolz-Weber says, isn’t about not doubting; instead it is about how Jesus reacted to the doubt. He did not judge or condemn Thomas. He showed him his hands and welcomed him as he was. Jesus doesn’t wait until we are perfect to love us.
Because notice that the text doesn’t say “and when they had repented of what complete asses they had been; and when they had perfected their faith and the purity of their doctrine; and when they had achieved the right condition of personal morality THEN they were worthy of receiving Jesus.”
Sebene Selassie practices Buddhism and is one of my favorite writers and meditation teachers. Her newsletter this week was titled We Are Free. She focuses on the present moment and reminds us that we are free. We are not getting free. We are free now.
She encourages us to take a hard look at the beliefs and structures we hold around all the facets of our lives. She and her husband rethought their living space and how beliefs about the functions of certain rooms were keeping them from really using the space for their own needs. She talked about getting off social media for a few weeks and postponing her newsletter, a decision that focused on her self care rather than the needs or expectations of others.
I really needed that. By that, I mean, the autonomous decision to take care of my damn self.
It is entirely up to me to remember this fundamental truth: I am a grown-ass adult human, and I AM FREE.
Both women, coming from different belief systems and even world views, are preaching the same message. Stop waiting for perfection, for courage, for solutions. I’ll end with Sebene:
We will not get free once everything is resolved; we ARE free, right in this moment… And this one. If we allow ourselves to feel it.
PS I hope the colorful language these women use is not offensive. I have, as I have gotten older, also begun to get a little saltier so that may be why they both speak to me.