“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you can experience the hope you were made for.”
Word of Hope
Oh feelings. So many of us were taught that our feelings are dangerous, deceptive, problematic…wicked. We were taught that we certainly shouldn’t trust our feelings or feel them too much. And we certainly were not taught by our culture to listen to our feelings, to trust them, to find in them great wisdom and understanding. In fact, we might have even had a decontextualized Bible verse quoted at us: “The heart is deceptive above all things and beyond cure.”
But the passage I quoted here today is one of many that locates the heart as the source of wisdom, hope and revelation. One of the many things queer and trans individuals offer to the Church is the knowledge that our feelings and bodies are a sacred source of wisdom, that needs to be listened to, or else.
How often do we let our feelings name God? How often do we listen to our feelings describe what it is that we need of and from God? Are we scared to do so? Does that feel too intimate? Too personal? Too close? Or does that feel too heretical? Too blasphemous?
I encourage you when you have a moment to sit still, ask your feelings, “Who do you say God is? Who is God to you?” And see what your feelings say. So much enlightenment and wisdom, so much revelation and hope, lives in our feelings if we will listen to them.
Can you trust yourself? Can you trust yourself to know God? To see God? To feel God? Can you say, “These needs that I have, that genuinely need a God who sees me, who is not ashamed of me, I can trust these needs.” Can you say, “These needs that I have, of a God who believes in me, who actually trusts me, I can believe God is that good?” Can you trust your feelings a bit more this week to enrich your spirituality? To paint an image of God even more beautiful than the one you already have?
Wonderful One, my heart says today, “I need a God who respects my boundaries.” I was not taught a God who respects my boundaries. I was taught I had no right when it came to You. But my feelings say that’s what I need. My feelings say I need security, I need the right to control myself, I need the right to belong to me, even before You. And I’m going to believe that you really are that good, that you really are what I need. I’m going to listen to my feelings today, and say that you are a God who can respect me, as I respect You. I love You, Spirit, and I thank you for being one who will talk with me like this. Amen.