This season of Ramadan, a time of spiritual reflection and worship, overlaps my own personal season of awe-inspired worship, wrestling and re-posturing. I am at loss of metaphors to describe what it has been like. A type of unraveling…? A stripping of sorts. Layers, lots of layers…of me. Of my expectations. My control, mostly, I suppose. My sin.
It’s difficult to express what this tangibly means. What it looks like. Because in some ways, in my perfectionism, I have wanted to know what that exactly looks like. What it entails. Let’s see, I suppose it’s been an experience…experiential in nature. My wrestling with God and the relinquishing of this control that I’ve held onto so tightly. Like, Jacob, for instance, who wrestled with God. What occurred with Jacob (Genesis 32) was a determined “holding onto” of God with his whole heart and strength. But God injured him so that He could bless him. God ultimately humbled Jacob into total dependence upon God. Why? Because God gives His grace to the humble. Our humility, it seems, is the revelation of our own weaknesses and our desperate need for God. “It is when we are humble that God can trust us with His strength, and with His blessing.”
Oh, this season. I am reveling in this mysteriously enlightening, humbling, challenging, and wondrous place. It hasn’t been easy, by any means, but that’s the point. I think I’ll stay here for awhile and keep pursuing the One who’s generously allowing that I not live a life with a complacent attitude. If God truly honors those who hold back nothing from Him, just as Jesus held back nothing from us, then I think it indicative of how I should be giving my life (and serving) the One who loves so sacrificially (Psalm 116).
Spending a day fasting + praying with friends during Ramadan was heartening and a joy to experience. We broke our fast at an event hosted by CAIR, a nonprofit that promotes mutual understanding and justice for people of all faiths, in their downtown offices. The communal sharing of iftar, the evening meal when breaking fast, with the Muslim community and its community partners resonated beyond the confined walls of nationalities, faiths, or cultures. In some sense, it felt much like home.