Maiden Flight

“Warmth is a mystery. It somehow heals and engenders us. It is the loosener of too-tight things, it enhances flow, the mysterious urge to be, the maiden flight of fresh ideas.” –Clarissa Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves.

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How do we grow up into what we are meant to be? There are more insights into the Little Match Girl archetype from the book:

Little Match Girl is tattered. Like the old folk song, she’s been down so long it looks like up to her. No one can thrive at her level. . . Without a move, we are back out on the street selling matches again.

I once wrote a song with these lyrics:

I want to see you grow into all you were meant to be

I want to watch you run with the wind—run to me

I see you smile and my day becomes more beautiful

I watch your laugh falling like a thousand stars

I can’t comprehend why it always

Makes me fall onto my knees

That I could be your father

I want to hold you close in my arms

Close to me

I want to tell you straight from the heart

What you mean to me.

When I see you smile my day becomes more beautiful

When I watch your laugh falling like a thousand stars

I can’t comprehend why it always

Makes me fall onto my knees

That I could be your father

I was thrown out of the church on two occasions. Once when I objected to them praying for the sick for money, and once for rehearsing this song with the worship team to play for a service. The church has a way of crying “heretic” and burning people at the stake when they are too paternal or too maternal, or even make claims on God.

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I had written The Imagination of God; it was a booklet as an accompaniment to Alpha, and the church was using it in a small group around 2003-4. The Imagination of God portrays our relationship with God, and uses both the He and She pronouns.

The Imagination of God

Covenant

Covenant is a very special and important process. It is the agreement between two persons that fully allows each person to become themselves, and realize their greatest potential. There is a lot of room in it to move around and a lot of room to breathe. It is a place of joy and rest.

This is what God would like to have with us. His son, Jesus, was his bridge to establish covenant with us if we should choose. Because of Jesus, we are able to be in a loving, growing relationship with God.

Entering this covenant is somewhat like entering a marriage: thrilling and exciting at times, and difficult and building at other times. It is a life process of being with, and allowing our life to be influenced and shaped by someone else—someone who cares for us very much.

At every given moment, he would like to hold our hand, to begin to walk with us toward this thing of covenant, and on into our destiny.

Unity

When we accept this covenant, we become in unity with Jesus Christ, and we are capable of intimacy with him. This allows us to be known by God and know God. This brings friendship into our loneliness and pain. This establishes security in the darkest places of our lives. We are always much better off with Jesus. And others who know him too feel welcome to be part of our inner circle, to comfort, reassure, and bless us. Prayer is the acknowledgement of this unity: this circle between God, us, and others who believe.

Leadership

Jesus is like a shepherd to us, leading us as he would a flock of gentle sheep. We are tuned to hear his kind voice as we travel with him through life’s ups and downs. We feel nurtured and protected by his tenderness. We are receiving and being received from, out of who we truly are. We don’t have to impress him or “do things right”.

This is the place of fulfillment, where life becomes easy and light instead of drudgery and pain. This is the place where we realize there is hope for us, no matter where we have been, no matter how we have failed. Jesus will be the one to take these things and bear their weight, while we live life free of concern, just letting him lead us one little step and a time.

Personhood

God loves uniqueness, and made us all with different gifts and abilities. God values this and isn’t into us having to conform to meet others’ agendas. Our unity with others in Jesus treats each person with dignity and value, allowing us to cooperate and share in a common purpose.

In fact, God wants to see us prosper in who we are, and is willing to empower us to do it. God isn’t stingy, but has tons to give away. God likes colour, creativity, fun, and playfulness. Every day, God would like to bring these qualities into your life to animate and energize you. With him, you can do what is in your heart.

Worship

Gratefulness is something we can’t help when we see God’s goodness. We can’t help but be moved or even changed inside. When we choose to acknowledge God as the source of this life flowing out of us, we are in worship. Worship can be expressed by singing, dancing, painting, writing, telling God how much we love him; by doing anything with a joyful and willing heart, by serving others, or just by having fun.

Worship is dynamic. It makes us glow with health and vibrance. It propels us forward out of hesitancy. It recreates us where we have been broken or hurt. It colours our world like a rainbow. It is a daily thing, as we get to know God more and more.

Simplicity

There is a simplicity in knowing Jesus Christ. The things that seemed so important before are trivial. Jesus breathes new life into everything we do, and uncomplicates things for us, lessening the stress. All we really need to know is how to love. Because of who Jesus is, we can learn that anywhere, with anyone, and practice it anywhere as well. Every day is a new experience to learn about God’s love. Every difficulty is a new chance to put it into practice.

We are all climbing and stumbling on this mountain of learning love, learning to open our hearts, learning to be healed in and by love; but we progress as we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, trusting God to create beauty out of our failures. Our load is light when we function in simplicity. It reduces what is needed to be Christ to the outside world. All we need is Him.

Healing

The love of a mother soothes and heals, as does the love of a nurturing God. God is patient with our distress and brings us to laughter again by her warm smiles. Freedom from our pain flows from heaven like warm rays of sunlight, but we must risk coming out of the house of our soul to receive this blessing. The spirit must reach up.

Acceptance

God accepts us just as we are. He is not worried about whether we are clean or dirty: in fact he would rather we were real so he could get to know us without our feeling we have to be better on our own. Because we are his children, we can relax and know it’s okay to be dependent on her for everything we need. God sent His son, Jesus, to live a good life in place of ours. He already knew ahead of time that we would need someone to save us from our own failure. He died for us out of pure love. This means we are now like new, washed off gently by the cleansing water of Jesus love.

Redemption

We can now receive of the free blood of Jesus. This is for all the wrong things we have done, to cleanse us, but even more, for the wrong things people do to us. These become lodged in us like weapons to be used against ourselves and others. We do much harm by repeating the nature of the sins against us, even in ways we may not recognize. Someone who has been harmed physically, for example, may harm people emotionally or verbally, even while thinking they are helping the person. Their own unforgiveness blinds them to the danger of their bitterness wounding another. Forgiveness is letting the bitterness go, so we won’t be poisoned by it. A poisoned person is no fun. Cleaning out the poison lets us go free. Freedom allows us to change into the person we want to be.

Solace

When God’s comfort enters the place where we have been wounded, we feel met, and our wounds bound. Gentleness and tenderness are the way to the wound, not force and domination. Our kindness can lead the way for someone to accept God’s kindness. Her kindness cleanses the wound. Her kindness makes it safe for us to fell sorry for how we have responded to those who hurt us. And Her kindness lights the heart again to wholeness.

Newness

We are like a tree, and every tree needs to root and grow. Rooting down grabs nutrients to stabilize and fortify. Patience and dedication are needed in this. Growing up to the light requires faith and gratitude. We reach in proportion to our rootedness. We reach as we realize that God is god and has good things for us.

Stability and safety happen when we realize that people fail us, and yet God is trustworthy. In spite of their lack, She uses others to root and nourish us anyway. She can do this because of her ability to turn anything in our life into good, even the most horrible tragedies. She even gives us the grace to forgive those who have harmed us so she can create diamonds where tears have been.

Liberty

Jesus came to this world, died and rose again to give us freedom: freedom from the oppression of wrongdoing which contaminates our lives. This allows us not to have to worry if we do something wrong. We can trust that God will pick us up, dust us off, and continue to encourage us with new hope. It takes faith to believe this, if we are used to being punished or criticized. When we are no longer afraid of doing things wrong, we start to get things right. Now, with God helping us, everything gets easier. It isn’t so much work, it is more like an adventure.

Revelation

God wants to inspire us, and looks for ways to do so. He speaks to us in many different ways, usually in ways that are most geared to us as persons. We know that the Bible is there as a sure-fire way for us to know what God thinks and for us to receive messages from him. We may or may not understand the language used to communicate the Bible. That is why there are so many different translations. Each has some new perspective to offer. God will likely inspire you through one suited to who you are.

Empowerment: God’s heart for us

God loves to empower people: he does not need us, our time, our money or our stuff to empower him. He already has it all. He knows we need to learn how to give so that all these things can work for us, however. Generosity breeds abundance, and abundance is the overflow of resources that comes from being with God. God is for us. He is not here to take things away or give us a hard time, or demand we do better. Everything in God wants to build us up, so we are strong enough to do what is right.

Vision

God has the bird’s-eye view. He sees the big picture and wants to bring us along the path toward something called destiny. DESTINY gives us a sense of purpose and belonging. It means someone thought of you and knew you would do something special long before you ever got here. In fact, Jesus is waiting to walk with you hand in hand, toward that great purpose for your life. That gives us hope and clearer vision: things do matter, as they will either propel us towards our goal or away from it.

Living From the Heart

Destiny reawakens our spirits to live in connection with Christ and others. It allows us to believe, and this stretches our hearts for bigger things. As we walk down our life’s path we can see things the old way, or the new way. With Jesus, hand in hand, we are revitalized to keep thinking the new, colourful way. We want to sing and dance instead of complain. The world is yellow and green instead of grey and gray. Good things are coming: now we can see them with our hearts.

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