Lent, Day 30: for my Release-from-Domination

“When the dominator model no longer obstructs our search, we can begin the real spiritual journey.” –Riane Eisler

domination: to have control or power over

Perhaps without even meaning to, we have listened to generations of a dominating spirit and voice tell us what it means to be spiritual, to be the church.

And if we don’t want to give in to that dominating voice, we are called sinful, idolatrous, lost, weak.

But the truth is, that voice is afraid.

The dominating voices around us tell us to buck up and make something of ourselves; make our churches large and in charge so that we can be successful “for the sake of the gospel.”

But maybe in the quiet of Lent, in the shadow of what is to come, we can be more honest with ourselves.

I can’t tell you here why people are leaving the church, why they are done with what they’ve been a part of for so many years.

But I can tell you that people are done be spoken down to, trying to be controlled, told to follow the right rules and say the right things and smile the biggest smile to climb the Jesus ladder.

The truth is, we all have this capacity for a deep rootedness to ourselves, to each other, to our world and the things in it.

And calling out our fears, taking on our pain and weariness with honesty, just might get us somewhere.

Telling our story and walking in it might just break us free from those dominating voices.

In learning more about my Native American heritage, in exploring the way my ancestors sought God and experienced Jesus, I am more aware of colonialism and domination than I have ever been before.

And because of it, I am convinced that to know God is to know something kinder than that, to know something better than humanity has been, to have a chance to know my own spirit deeper than I thought possible.

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We took a walk at our favorite park the other night, and we passed by some brambles and I saw that many pinecones were still attached at their root to the branches.

All winter, through all those winds and rains, they stayed tethered, never swayed from where they belong.

What does it mean to be tethered, and who are we tethered to?

For many years, many of us have been tethered to an institution, to the western church, to a Christianity that has never been questioned or explored.

Maybe this Lent, we need to become tethered to ourselves, to who Jesus is as a Savior for the whole world and not just our corner of it.

Maybe this Lent, we turn domination upside-down and loosen its grip so that the Kingdom of God, the great Mystery, becomes the only real good that we know to claim for ourselves.

Then and there we can say “Kingdom come!” and know that it means something far better and far more just than we can imagine.

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