In The Secret / Lent 2018

First of all, hello…..it has been ages since my last post. I am excited to tell you I have been working part time since last Summer doing Interior/ Exterior Design, for people who are going to build a brand new custom made home in the Arts & Crafts style. It’s going to be beautiful!

I have so many projects and posts from last year and this year I didn’t get to yet, but I would like to get those up soon. They will just be slightly out of order from when they actually took place. 🙂

Within the context of our church’s upcoming Lent series, “Come Back To Me,” based on Joel 2:12-14, I was drawn to this image (not my photo, btw) for several reasons:

The person in the chair is facing away….what does that mean to you personally?

Sadness, fear, loneliness, pain, grief?

Anger, stubbornness, resentment, withdrawal?

Maybe tiredness and weariness: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual?

Doubt, questioning, uncertainty?

Shame, guilt, judgement, punishment?

Abandonment, rejection?

Or simply distraction, disengagement, feeling overwhelmed or too busy?

Escape?

Nothing?

Maybe you are finding other associations like prayer, contemplation, mindfulness, focus, intention.

I simply wanted to recognize and acknowledge all these very understandable and human emotions and states of mind: some we are conscious of, and some we are not. (As always, I very much include myself in all my broken humanity)

And how this might affect not only our view of God but our relationship with God.

Our relationships with others. Our relationship with ourselves.

Our awareness.

Joel talks a lot about repentance; but rather than just scolding us with a pointed finger, his passionate exhortations come from a deep parental love and concern for people.

I think he is trying his best to hold up a mirror to each one of us:

To recognize in which ways we have perhaps turned our faces away from God or not seen clearly; and most of all, to hear the parental plea of love and forgiveness of God always calling us back to himself.

To return, to be found, to be reunited, to be comforted, to rest, restore, renew.

To face and to exchange. Also, to let go.

That call is for everyone, but how we answer, how we re-engage or re-align with God where we need to, is very personal.

The “How” will be so different from one person to the next.

I believe this can be a wonderful and worthy process to explore individually.

May you feel invited during this Lenten time to come and “sit” with God.

With all of your questions and thoughts. With all of your fears, hopes and dreams.

With all of your heart and soul and mind.

______________________________________________________________________________________

For decor, ideas came from a similar point of view as the projection. In addition, words from the song “In the secret, in the quiet place; in the stillness you are there” were another source I kept going back to. I wanted to create that type of intimate, “secret” place, where we can hide from the world to be alone with ourselves and alone with God. When I saw an old wood chair at the thrift store, I knew I would use it somehow, linking back to the projection image, and further ideas developed from there. I also wanted to keep it fairly simple.

I wanted to create some kind of tension or relationship between the chair (“us” or “me”) and our Divine Source. For some kind of dialogue or exchange to take place…face to face.

Glorious, mysterious and inspiring – and most likely also uncomfortable, exposing, confrontational.

An opportunity to shed our armor of “self” and instead surrender all of our self-protecting falsehoods to the ever-loving gaze of God who sees and loves us for who we truly are. When we hold that in our hearts, we can feel safe to break open, examine, listen, transform. Being vulnerable is a strength, not a weakness. It is the only way we can grow.

I love what Fr. Richard Rohr says about the concept of “mirroring” in his book, Falling Upward:

“I realized that many people loved and admired me for who I was not, and many people also resented or rejected me for who I was not. Conversely, many loved me for who I really was, warts and all, and this was the only love that ever redeemed me.

Many others rightly criticized me for who I really was, and revealed to me my shadow, which was always painful but often very helpful. 

But in all cases, it became apparent that their responses said much more about them and the good or bad quality of their own mirroring than about me at all.

Good people will mirror goodness in us, which is why we love them so much.

It is only those who respond to the real you, good or bad, that help you in the long run.”

Side by side to this encouragement to open, heal and be transformed – and whatever flows out of that, is an invitation to simply be, and sit, just as you are, with The Master.

I pray with these good words of the late Brennan Manning, that we may all become aware or rediscover, this gracious truth:

“God loves you as you are, not as you should be.”

Many Blessings,

Saskia

Photography & Decor ©️ ora et decora 2018. Projection image, author unknown

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