The thought of the blessedness we hope for, of the love our Lord bore us, and His resurrection, kindle within us a joy which is neither wholly spiritual nor wholly sensual; but the joy is virtuous, and the sorrow is most meritorious.St. Teresa of Avila
Return to Innocence – Raise the dead: animate and reenergize what once was alive
(part one of four)
Jesus sent his twelve disciples off on a missionary journey with the instruction and the authority to “Raise the dead.” (Matthew 10:7,8) The good news of salvation brings us the ultimate resurrection, “Consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11) We will be alive forever. Resurrection, though, is not just for the hereafter, it begins now. Currently God is in the process of bringing back to life the various parts of our true self that have been killed off. He is resurrecting our innocence.
Our innocence – the pure state into which we were born, without guile and agenda. As infants we assumed good would come to us to meet our needs, we didn’t need to manipulate or coerce our provision and/or protection. Basically we trusted. Trust is the essence of innocence.
Sadly, our innocence and our trust has been mortally wounded. How many times have you said or heard it said, “I have trust issues.”
Yet, we still trust. Trust is our default. Our problem is not whether or not we will trust, it is who and what we will trust.
Trust is the assumption that the other you are in relationship with intends your good, will provide your needs and offer you protection. We are born trusting but life quickly teaches us that we cannot trust completely.
Eliza, my granddaughter loved her sweet potatoes. As an infant, she’d eagerly open her mouth anticipating the next bite of the delicious treat. One day the babysitting instructions I received from her mom was to introduce peas to her diet. She sat in her high chair expecting the usual and desired sweet potatoes. Her reaction to peas in the spoon rather than sweet potatoes was quick and definite. She screwed up her face in shock, spit out the peas and then refused to open her mouth for the next bite.
What once had always provided her a known pleasure suddenly delivered an unknown displeasure. The spoon was now suspicious. Would it contain the desired sweet potatoes or the dreaded peas? Her recent experience taught her to distrust the spoon and her mouth remained closed.
Like Eliza, we have learned the spoon is not trustworthy; shutting our mouth to the spoon we put our trust in our closed mouths. Experience taught us that we needed to be wary of the other. We began to build a relational style of operating that included guardedness and doubt. We learned fear. Fear is the opposite of trust.
The good news, though, is that if fear is learned, it can be unlearned!
More about this in part two of Return to Innocence.
(This material is based on the Shaped at the Garden Retreat. For information about this retreat, contact me or visit the upcoming events page.)