Thursday, July 13, 2006

Jeans That Fit: A metaphor for life and ministry Movement One

MOVEMENT ONE: When The Jeans No Longer Fit
It is hard to find jeans that fit, and there are times when even our most beloved pairs, perfectly broken-in and faded, start to feel a bit snug – like right after a Thanksgiving feast, or in that in-between stage of pregnancy when you aren’t quite ready (mentally or physically) to start wearing maternity clothes. Sometimes that tightness is easily remedied by unbuttoning the top button or – as generations of mothers-to-be have done – using a rubber band around the button, through the button hole, and back over the button. Aaaah, it feels great to relieve the pressure when your jeans are too tight!

What has been valued in the West in women . . . is inadequate for life. We
mutilate, depotentiate, silence, and enrage ourselves trying to compress our
souls into it just as surely as our grandmothers deformed their fully breathing
bodies with corsets. (Sue Monk Kidd, Dance of the Dissident Daughter)

Sharing Our Stories With One Another:

Think of a time in your life when you have felt like your “jeans” didn’t fit. It might have been a time when you felt either cramped (the jeans were too tight,) or overwhelmed (the jeans were big and baggie) in a relationship, or career/ministry setting, or any other situation that comes readily to mind.
Briefly describe the situation.
What are some words that best express how you were/are feeling?
Name some things you did to relieve the pressure/bagginess of those “jeans.”
How effective were your efforts – in the short run? In the long run?
List the life lessons from this experience that could be helpful to you next time-
(Oh yes, there will be a next time).
What other questions come to mind and how would you answer those questions?

Take a few minutes to capture in words or pictures the things you have learned about yourself and your current situation, etc. during this sharing time. What has your inner teacher shown you?