Witness Wednesday – A Love Story

What experience of the presence of the divine can you speak to?

Where has grace moved in your life?

What is your story?

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When I was an adolescent and becoming increasingly aware that the world existed further apart from me than the 2'x2' space my feet occupied, I could wake up and look out the front window of my house and see the Rocky Mountains-Longs Peak was always there and sometimes I would see Pikes Peak. It was an amazing and beautiful site that I relished and still long for-no pun intended.

Unattributed, from the University of Colorado
I live pretty near where this photo was taken.

Flash forward to my teen years in North Carolina. I lived in rural North Carolina. Here, I began to define my spirituality in terms of nature. I would think, in my backyard, "This is a cathedral."

This is what my front yard looked like.
Photo unattributed
Lentz Harness Road, Mt. Pleasant, NC

It is also here that I started going to church and then was driven out of the church (another story for another day). Eventually, decades later, I returned to church in 1999. That led me down a path where I had to start collating several ideas:

  • The cosmos is a Love story.
  • Religion is a Love story.
  • Stories of Jesus are real to me and are part of the Love story.
  • Stories of Hebrew scripture and the relentless pursuit of humanity are real to me and are part of the Love story.
  • I am called to something else in my life as part of this Love story.
  • What is my Love story?

I was always afraid to speak my ideas in church (coming from fundamentalist roots, questions were not encouraged.) But in creation, I could speak out and I could receive. Now I have beautiful Mt. Rainier, Mt. Olympus, Mt. Hood, Mt. Si all within my sights on a clear day.

Mt. Si July, 2000
Mt. Si
July, 2000
Attribution: Terri Stewart

Also in my sights on a clear day are all the assumptions that I carry with me regarding faith, church, belonging, understanding, and what it means to live life as Love in the world. What is my Love story? How will I write Love into existence? The being of all that is seen and all that is written and all that is sensed, are a testimony of love and grace active and moving.

So today's long winded answer is, I have seen grace moving in the mountains, the sea, the plains, and the faces of all I encounter as they live out their understanding of what it is to be Love in the world. And that is my story and I'm stickin' to it!

...

“Make up a story... For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don't tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief's wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear's caul.” ― Toni Morrison, The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993

...

God is love.

1 John 4:8

...

(c) 2013, esssay, Terri Stewart

photos as attributed

No comments

  1. Aster Adams said on September 18, 2013
    Terri, We met in Boise, ID for a training. I just came to your website before I refer it to my friends Carleton and Julie Beamer from Columbus, Ohio. This is a great ministry and witness to our Lord Jesus Christ. Aster
    1. Terri said on September 19, 2013
      So nice to see you! Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. Boise was an intense couple of days. I hope your ministry is infused with the creative energy that the Spirit moved with! I hope to see you and your friends again. Shalom, Terri

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