For the Living of These Days—A Word from Lauren Jones Mayfield

We look to the “Freedom to Be” during this next season of our church theme. I invite you to wonder with me, then, how do we cease striving and allow ourselves the simple gift of presence? I think of God’s self-revealing to Moses at the burning bush when God says, “I am.” What does this mean to you? How do we trust enough in this mystery to let go of striving and rest in being?

One of our next Highland reads books is a wonderful collection of essays by Ross Gay, entitled The Book of Delights. He offers a meaningful interview with Krista Tippett online. At some point in the interview he offers, “It is joy by which the labor that will make the life that I want, possible. It is not at all puzzling to me that joy is possible in the midst of difficulty.” How fitting then, that during this extended pandemic season—one riddled with difficulties—that we step into the gift of delight.

In one of the essays, “Flowers in the Hands of Statues” he discusses our public impulse “to adorn statues, our public figures, with flowers, or sometimes, coins or fruit…I suspect this statue-adorning impulse, whether or not we know who the public figure is, is evidence, that our inclination, our nature, is to communicate the beautiful and the fragrant however we can. To make of the world a bouquet. Or a vase.”

This segment speaks to the ubiquity of beauty and wonderment in the overall collection. As you step with us into this next season, may you experience the Freedom to Be lost in the beauty, wonderment, presence, and joy of God’s love.