Experiencing Wholeheartedness

In this continued conversation on what it means to be wholehearted, Dan and Rachael ask one another – and you, dear listeners – to reflect on moments of wholeheartedness in our lives. These are the times when we are most present, most connected, and most alive. These are also the times when we can glimpse the fullness and glory of God.

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Episode Transcript:

Dan: I think it’s important as we begin this conversation on wholeheartedness, at least for me to make a confession, which I don’t think would be particularly surprising to anyone in our audience. Certainly wouldn’t be surprising to my wife and that is I have not achieved what it is that I am inviting my own heart to move more toward. So if you are waiting for the excellent steps for achieving what we’ve not achieved, given that we are so often averse to any formalization, it’s a conversation. How are we both in one sense, desiring and moving toward more rich and full wholeheartedness? Is that a fair, uh, caveat to begin with Rachel?

Rachael: Oh. Yeah. Let’s just own our humansize-ness. Uh, you know, I think this is the interesting thing in general about even hosting a podcast is when we’re having conversations about things we long for and things we pursue, but it can kind of set you up to seem like you have the answers, or like maybe you’re a few steps ahead of people. So I think starting with some really good, honest, vulnerable humility feels like a great place to begin.

Dan: Yeah. I don’t know if this humility is just, it’s like, just, it’s so clear that the presumption, uh, of having even a close arrival would be a little more excessive than what I know, at least for me to be true. So, but I am curious, cuz I think it’s a good beginning point to ask of, of one another, but also of our listeners, where have you known something of the experience of being more wholehearted?

Rachael: What kind of interesting where this question takes me and thinking about wholeheartedness is a, I have been doing some EMDR, um, and I don’t even know what EMDR actually stand. I know like eye movement

Dan: Eye, Movement, Desensitization, Reprocessing.

Rachael: Okay. So if you’re familiar with EMDR, it’s a form of therapeutic work that involves more bilateral movement of your eyes as you’re encountering trauma. Um, and so it’s a reprocessing it’s, it’s very bodily, it’s very strange and also really powerful and I’m loving it now, I think because I’ve done so much story work, it’s been a really unique experience for me, but there is a, you know, a part of EMDR is having to find in your body a, like a safe and secure place that you can go to when you’re starting to feel really dysregulated. And one of the ways the person doing EMDR with me invited me to think of that as she said, think of a time and place where you felt the most alive and the most fully yourself. And I think that’s like, what’s so fascinating when we were talking about wholeheartedness there was something like you felt the most alive, the most safe, the most connected and the most yourself. Um, and even if the safety isn’t so much, it feels more like that safety of Psalm 23, like a feast in the presence of your enemies. It is a Psalm 23 kind of safety. It’s not like a safety that has to be removed from reality or the ever present dangers that we face. So when she asked that I immediately went to my wedding day, um, which is funny, right? Because we all know if you’ve ever been to a wedding or been a part of wedding or been the person actually like the wedding is for, that’s not typically a place you’d be like, it’s safe and secure. It’s, it’s a place of madness where your whole life is converging in this moment. And everybody wants something from you and wants to feel the connection to you. And you’re, you know, you’re establishing a new family, you’re establishing new loyalty structures. So when I think about that day, what felt wholehearted to me and, and what felt is I felt so alive in my body and my heart and my mind. And I had a deep commitment, knowing that it was gonna be a space with a lot of noise, a lot of expectations, a lot of demand that this was a holy moment and I was not gonna miss being present to like what was actually happening. So immediately I went to walking down the aisle towards my husband and just the delight and the joy and the gravity of the moment. And it didn’t feel necessarily like, oh, this is the safest thing I’ve ever done. It felt like this is the best thing I’ve ever done. Mm. This is one of the best decisions I make in my life. And you know, you’re saying vows like in sickness and in health.

Rachael: And you know, you’re saying things and committing to things that, you know, will not always be easy, but I was walking toward a sense of home. That I could say I had to bring my whole heart to because there really wasn’t any way to enter that kind of union, that kind of sacrament without being wholehearted. And so even though it was very much in the midst of just so much, like, it actually felt like I am fully present. I can still like, you know, a lot of people tell me, I don’t remember my wedding day. I don’t remember anything. I can like, remember every movement. I can remember the quiet moments that we really were intentional about. I can remember we had a pause right before we left the wedding venue where everyone had gone outside, you know, cuz they’re gonna send us off. And we got to just, just, you know, look around and just be grateful for all the people who had come and all that was given. So that’s, that’s like one that is one very particular moment. A few other moments I think of do have to do with like when, when I’m in like a really beautiful space where the landscape speaks to my heart and something is being inspiring me. And I feel that that thin veil between me and God. So I’ve experienced that in Scotland on some cliff sides near like brooding waters. I’ve experienced that in some places in Washington. And then when I’m preaching, like when I’m preaching about like, and I about material that I just is what I’m meant to be doing. Like that’s another space, but what about you?

Dan: I love that. And having had the privilege of actually standing at your wedding in front of you, uh, with a dear friend, uh, uh, we were both jointly the officiants at the wedding, but uh, before we go on, I just want you to talk a little bit about your vows.

Rachael: Oh Dan. Alright, fine. My husband is very poetic and his vows were stunning and I, everything they needed to articulate in about two minutes, like perfectly. And I had asked him, how long will your vows be? I wanna try to match. So yours truly thought I had two minutes worth of vows, which ended up being more like 10 to 15 minutes that I ended with reading from an actual book.

Dan: From an actual book. You had to have somebody hand you the book I’m I, I, it is so hilarious. It is so sweet. It is. So you, and I think that may be the point when we have the privilege of, of being in our body purposing in the midst of some level of gravity. I don’t think there’s wholeheartedness without gravitas without something. I, I don’t think you can be wholehearted watching a Netflix show. Maybe you can, but I never have, but there has to be something embodied with a gravitas toward an end, which bears life. And I will never forget your vows. I only wish I had snapped out my iPhone just to have gotten it all gloriously on video, but it’s in my mind, certainly in my mind. Well, for me, I, I would say the birth of each of my children, the birth of my grandchildren, but, but particularly the first and, uh, Becky was, um, well for a long season, not dilating. And they discovered that the cord, uh, was wrapped around my daughter’s neck, strangulating her. And within. And I mean, seconds, they began a process toward emergency surgery where I, I was asked, asked yelled at to begin to strike my wife. Um, uh, maybe one of the most horrendous moments in my whole life that I am having to slap my wife’s face because she’s pushing and she’s out of her mind in pain. And, uh, the, the physician is screaming at me to hit her, to keep her from killing our daughter and I I’m shaking, hitting. And finally they, they move her out. They prepped her, moved her out and less than a minute, they’re operating on her and the anesthesiologist had not arrived. Oh goodness. I mean, we’re talking about one of the worst experiences, uh, of my whole life. And, uh, it’s clear that the birth has occurred and my wife is alive. And, uh, I think the nursing crew understood something of the horror of what they had observed. I, I could hardly tell this story without just it’s. I, I mean, I’m wholehearted here. I am. So wholehearted in horror and terror. And yet in the intersection between death and life, kindness of the nursing staff as they brought me my little daughter, Annie, and they said, would you like to walk her down to the nursery? And it was extraordinary. Like her eyes were wide open and, and looking directly at me like what in the name of God just happened. And I, I mean, that, that connection was so deep and sweet that in some ways, uh, I would say when I think about being wholehearted, there is a kind of, um, presence, fullness, a life and death struggle and horror, and yet hope. In other words, it has a extremity, the exigency and complexity of that world, um, uh, brought me to a attunement to all that my heart desires to the necessity of the life of God in me and in this process. And yes, it turned out well, um, all that to say, um, it, it will seem odd to put it this way, but, uh, the only other category is fly fishing, like the sweetness of what you referred to in terms of EMDR bimodal movement. And whether it’s side to side or forward rocking, what’s called davening. Uh, the, the Jewish tradition of rocking, uh, before the Western wall, that’s all a movement that actually creates an integration between the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere, the left hemisphere, being more of our cognitive deductive, sequential processing, the right hemisphere, more of our imaging sensations, emotions, and the portion of our brain, which is called the corpus callosum. Uh, when we’re in trauma more often than not, those hemispheres are divided and EMDR, uh, we don’t really know how or why, but at some level we do know that there is a kind of integration that occurs between left and right hemisphere. And even though the experience I’m describing with the birth of my daughter was incredibly traumatic. Yeah. I think there’s also a sense that the spirit was present, inviting me to stay alive, to stay attuned. And there was some kind of integration, even in that experience. Now I also was put the room that they used to put expectant fathers. And I know what I was doing in that room was rocking. Yeah. Rocking back and forth. So even without knowing, because EMDR had not been, um, well discovered by that point. Yeah. Uh, I’m actually rocking in a way in which a certain kind of integration. So whole, we put words to this in our first, um, podcast, there is a kind of weaving and integrating of in this case, the hemispheric play between left and right. And when those moments occur, like for you preaching, the passions of your heart and your mind at play whole for the sake of others and preaching is dangerous. And yet it’s also a place of great rest. So it may sound, I’m sure it does sound, uh, somewhat, both contradictory, but we can’t be wholehearted without the gravitas of danger. And yet also the presence of rest of something in us that says I’m meant to be here in this place in this time for the goodness that occurs. So I love your reflections on both of our stories.

Rachael: Well, I mostly, well, well, first of all, I have never really heard that story, um, in fullness of Annie’s birth. So I feel like I’m just still kind of sitting with what you and Becky and Annie, um, experienced in that moment. And thanks be to God. Um, I think the question I’m sitting with is if there has to be some gravitas, danger and rest then is it actually possible for us to be wholehearted all the time? Cuz that’s not necessarily like how, like, you know, you talk about eating breakfast. I’m like, is there danger while you’re eating your grapes that you talked about in the last conversation? So I think there’s something in me that in some ways wonders about the indictments we put on ourselves. Um, and, and again, like what is the fragmentation serving, right? What is it keeping us from? Because in many ways, danger, it could sound like, oh, you have to go pursue danger, but really to be human is dangerous. And to be it, to love is dangerous to care about the world and brokenness and to be available, to comfort those who need comfort to, you know, really care about, I mean the kingdom of God is dangerous. Um, especially as it contends, exposes and confronts the powers of this world. So I think it’s, I like a part of me was like, well then you can’t be whole hearted, so I’m gonna let myself off the hook. And then the more I thought about it, I was like, well,

Dan: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Repent. Repent. And here’s the word from the last time that you brought so wisely and that is we’re all, not that fond of joy. Yeah. So, no, I’m, I’m not too worried about my grapes assaulting me nor you know, that the oatmeal will be so hot that I burn myself, but joy, just the ability to take in beauty and goodness, and to be fully as fully as we can be, um, present in our body to what’s here and, and to do so with some degree of intentionality, like I want to take in this bowl and I ate by the way, my, the oatmeal with red and green today really differently. I eat slowly, I think in part, because I wanted to be able to say it on the podcast.

Rachael: Interesting then that you started with, I have not really accomplished this, but you were so intentional this morning.

Dan: I know, but I think, I think just the fact that I wanted to use it as an example, like, okay, well, see, I’m trying, I did floss the other night. Uh, so all that to step back to say, you know, we’re, we we’ve gotta play with this. Um, this is not going to happen easily quickly. And there will be moments where we have, what we would consider to be a kind of wholeheartedness and to be able to use that, not as a comparison to judge any other moment, but as a kind of, alright. Yes. Love is where I think the, the dinema, the movement of this narrative is always moving toward. And that’s, I think one of the reasons that we picked for both of us, I think we were, if I remember the conversation both picked Ephesians 3 as what we wanted to reflect on as the center of what we think wholeheartedness involves. So, um, shall I read it?

Rachael: Yes, please.

Dan: It’s Ephesians 3:14 and following. And if you can just bear a little bit of time here to give you the whole text Paul’s prayer. And he says, “For this reason, I kneel before the father, from whom every family in heaven and earth derives its name. And I pray that out of his glorious riches, he may strengthen you with power through his spirit, in your inner being. So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love. Yeah. May have power together with all the Lord’s holy people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. And to know this love, that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God now, to him who is able to do a measurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.” And I just, I, I’m not gonna sing, I’m not going to do that to the audience, but just that is like, oh, amen.

Rachael: Oh, this is by far, um, as a preacher, as a pastorally oriented person in the world, this is by far my favorite blessing. Um, like I’m trying to think of all of the priestly words. Um, like it’s not just a blessing. It is also like evoking something. It is, it is calling something out in and over and through and for us, and it’s just so powerful.

Dan: Amen. Uh, amen. And again, I just wanna come back to that question. How does this passage articulate for you draw you, but help you enter into the wholeheartedness that we’re putting words to? Yeah,

Rachael: Well, I think it starts with this sense of like the God of creation who actually has made movement and moved mountains and come to be in, in a human body, through the form of a baby, like the most vulnerable way you could be to make a way for us to actually be in full relationship. And so that, for me, that’s the beginning part of it that like the one who empowers us, the one who gives us breath and life families, um, like really the form of our being is so like that language of the breadth and height and depth of love. But you hear this beautiful sense of like that you be grounded in it, and it’s more than cognitive knowledge. It’s a way of being, it’s a fullness. It’s a, it’s a being made alive in the fullness of all that God has to offer. But I also hear, and all that God wants to create. And to bring into fruition in our world. When, when you hear language who can accomplish like far more than than we even dream and imagine, and are our dreams and our imaginations, not for like the full flourish of all of God’s creation, that that suffering would cease. That death would be no more that violence and war and the radical misuse of power would be undone. And, and we dream about that. And this passage is saying the one who empowers us, the one who awakens our hearts to life, one who invites us and calls us and names us and roots us in love is actually like capable of accomplishing, like far more than we could ever think or imagine. Like, if something in your body and heart doesn’t, even if you feel resistant, even if you feel like you’re in a season of profound despair, if something doesn’t start to say, I want that fullness. I want, I wanna be rooted in a love that surpasses even my own comprehension. Then, you know, I don’t know.

Dan: Well, you need to be awakened. Uh, you, you need to, in some sense, allow desire to begin to seep in because with, as we put it before, without desire, there cannot be wholeheartedness. So in, in that, I, I, I love that notion of groundedness, but I think I start first with the category of, and I, I don’t care how ridiculous this sounds like I have an inner being. Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. What? Like, there is a being in my being and it needs to have the presence of the spirit awakening through power of that inner being. And I think that’s part of how, I need to engage, you know, my oatmeal, um, like inner being hey, hey you, wake up, the spirit is speaking to you and I’m, I’m a busy man and methodologically, I move pretty quickly from event to event, situation. To situation. And there is not a lot of focus. Oh, I do this work well with you. You, the others that I get to play with, but not so much with myself to be able to say, oh my soul, why are you downcast? So learning how to speak to our parts.

Rachael: That’s what I was gonna say. I was like, inner being, I read this and I go, oh, but we kind of have like inner beings that are, cause I feel like there are parts of me that are like, I’m in. And then there are parts of me that are like, no, I, I protest. I resist. I thwart.

Dan: I’m bored, I’m bored. I wanna go to bed.

Rachael: It doesn’t feel safe.

Dan: So let’s, let’s get the whole community that’s inside awake, attentive. And to begin to say, you know, who’s not here, who’s, who’s choosing at this point to say, I don’t want this. So I think in one sense, we’re right back to that category of, if you do not attend to your inner being and actually believe there’s an inner being that needs to be spoken to and, and listened to that the parts will divide into that split off notion we spoke about. And in the division, you can’t have that fundamental division and be whole right. But it doesn’t mean all, all of me is ever in to anything, but at least an attentiveness to that inner being becomes where I need riches. I need to be able to give the parts that feel impoverished or angry or whatever. Like I’ve got real goodness for you all, and you’re gonna be amazed at what’s going to happen.

Rachael: Yeah.

Dan: Come attend with me.

Rachael: Well, I, I will have a question because I would imagine many of us, we hear language like inner being and we immediately go to like, oh my soul, my kind of disembodied, disembodied part of me. Can you tend to your inner being without tending to your body?

Dan: I don’t think so. Uh, because that seems to be where the spirit dwells, you know, the spirits, as I said the other day, uh, spirits in my insula, uh, the spirits in my thalamus, but also, you know, in my nose, which is kind of weird. But beyond that, if our body is not brought into that connection to our internal world, so maybe somewhat too technical, but I need to relate the left and right hemisphere, I, I need to engage my body, which my brain happens to be part of my body. And in that attunement engagement, it it’s a I’m listening, but I also have the ability to speak to those parts. And in that, without that a lack of attentiveness to the inner and outer world that we live in is inevitably, I think the number one flaw as to why we are not all hearted. So it obviously is crucial, but it doesn’t happen without, again, speaking and engaging and listening.

Rachael: And, and, and I would just go back to and with community because I know some, some of us have been in seasons. I know some people listening where the kind of healing we need to even begin to engage our internal world is it feels so overwhelming, it’s something we just do on our own. And so sometimes the first step of healing and moving toward saying, I wanna live is one of the most holy and is a very wholehearted yes, to God. And, and, and might be enough for that day to know you’re on a trajectory where grace will come, provision will come. Healing will unfold over time in a process. So, you know, it’s like, I know both of us, there’s no indictment where the fragmentation is severe where the division, because of trauma, because of heartache, because of a convergence of circumstances, it just feels like, oh, everything in me wants to be wholehearted. I don’t know how to mend and integrate the divided parts. I don’t know how to, you know, I don’t know how to tend to my body or even like my inner being is chaotic and confused and hurt and scattered. So I, you know, again, we’re, we’re back to that place of sometimes even that cry of, I want to be healed. I want to live is one of the most wholehearted things we can do, whether or not we actually get to like, experience that in fullness in that moment. It’s no less wholehearted.

Dan: Hmm, absolutely. And again, to underscore, it’s one of the reasons why the vast majority of our work in the Allender Center has to do with engagement of our stories, where fragmentation and trauma has occurred in the context of a community, a small group. And let me tell you, it’s expensive. It’s time consuming. It, it doesn’t come easily, but in terms of almost all our trainings, it’s really the core of we’re inviting you back in and for, and naming where the fragmentation and your own ness to your own beauty and goodness has created this lack of wholeness. So you, you couldn’t be wiser because what does it begin with from every family, every family, the name is derived. So it’s already a communal category that shows up. So any notion of meer individualism, uh, it breaks down because nobody can read your face as well as those who see you and you can’t see your face. And I can just say there have been a number of moments between the two of us where you’ve, you’ve spoken very kindly and clearly like you are angry today. Um, and I wonder how that’s going to affect our podcast or other endeavors. And it’s like, okay…

Rachael: Well, that’s a mutual, mutual respect and love.

Dan: I was just gonna say it, it, it wholeheartedness is communal, uh, it, because wholeheartedness is about love. And it’s not a self-love though it includes that, uh, it’s a love that it includes and moves toward others

Rachael: Coming back to even what we were reading in Ephesians like, and the one, again, who is capable of, of bringing us life, uh, is Jesus. And, you know, we’re about to move into holy week. And for those who have been in this season of lent in many ways, lent is a season of moving toward wholeheartedness, right? We there’s been a lot, that’s been put on it, but it is a season of preparation to understand the story of God and the journey to the cross. But it, it also incorporates the life of Jesus, the, the journey to giving up that life of joining us in solidarity and our suffering, you know, so that we actually might have more abundant life, um, over taking in all that keeps us divided all that we are under suffering in and changing this story disrupting what has been to create a new reality. So this power that we’re praying, you know, that we’re being prayed over by Paul and that we’re invited to pray over ourselves and each other. So I think it would be my hope, this particular holy week, that, um, all of us would encounter something of Jesus that speaks life to the divided parts that calls us into deeper life, not out of shame, contempt, punishment, um, but out of a deep desire to live and to create context where others can live and flourish.

Dan: Hmm. I, I, I love that. And I want to kind of take you back to a passage you already looked at, and that is to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is love of Christ. What do you make of the word grasp in this conversation?

Rachael: Well, again, I think we’re so trained to go directly to like cognition. Like, and this passage is so messing with like understanding and knowledge. I mean, how many times does it say, like, I want you to, like, it’s a full embodied immersion into the presence of God. So to me it feels less about, can you just believe and more can you receive, like, can you actually take in, um, and again, that involves believing it doesn’t like bypass our brains, but I think sometimes it’s more in that realm. I’ve heard you say this so often, like I believe, help my unbelief. Um, there’s such a posture of desire and also like a, a longing to receive. What has maybe not yet felt tangible or able to grasp.

Dan: Yeah. Well, and to me, it’s the idea of, oh, take, hold. Um, you need to take hold of this. And because in some sense, uh, it is gonna float by you. And yet the gravitas of what he’s putting words to, you know, my reading of some commentaries on this and other times that he uses language of a building essentially is he he’s referring ultimately to the temple here. Um, he he’s, if there’s a building in mind, he’s talking about the temple, but essentially coming back to this point, he’s the one who unquestionably has articulated the temple is your body. So he’s really inviting you back to now, if you wanna know something about the depth, height, width, breadth, you need to do something of your own self measurement here, uh, because he’s in you and he is flourishing within you. Is that something you want to fully participate in? And I think that’s part of my own ambivalence with, to God. Part of me is like, yes, yes. Abso-totally. No. So I think that division of going, oh, come on, this is more of what you want than anything in the universe. Like here’s a billion, here’s 10 billion. Would you give up even the little knowledge you currently have of God for that? No. Well, no, maybe no. So that’s, to me, the grasping of you can take hold, even though it’s very small within most of us, if you allow your heart to hold this, there’s something about that taking hold that begins to, in some sense, draw your very heart and body into the wonder of what it is you have been given. So that that’s, to me, as you describe the wonder of your wedding, the wonder of the birth of my daughter, the wonder of fly fishing, uh, we need wonder a kind of, oh my goodness, this is so much bigger than what I have the capacity to actually hold onto, but I want to hold onto it. And then as the passage moves, it is so that you may be filled to the measure of all the pleroma of God, the fullness of God. And we talked a little bit last time about pleroma , but it’s a very, in one sense technical word that has the idea of fullness completeness, but it also has a sense of, again, the temple being filled with the shekinah glory. And it’s a, oh my goodness, this is a measure that goes beyond anything that this cup can hold. And I think that where maybe not the best of uses of words, but it’s a sense of, oh, I want magic. Uh, I want the magic of what the kingdom, what the spirit, what the love of God brings. And I’m not gonna say there are a thousand moments like that at the moments that are, there are in some ways like beads of reminder of what it is that you have known with this measure of like shekinah glory, fullness. And I long for that today, um, likely won’t be there, but, but almost all the moments of that fullness have come. When I turned a corner in the normal mundane realities of life, and all of a sudden there was an appearance of something of the goodness of God, be it a sunset, be it, my wife’s smile. Be it a granddaughter who looks at me and Papa, what’s wrong with you? I mean, just sweet, crazy moments where you’re like, oh, it can’t get much better.

Rachael: Yeah. I mean, I think what you’re naming is in some ways, those realities of grace that catch us and that remind us, we’re not, this isn’t actually something we’re meant to be able to conjure up or do in and of ourselves. It is beyond us. And that’s hard sometimes, cuz so many of us have deep commitments to be able to survive and to be able to provide ourselves what we need without needing others. Um, and it bumps up against all the places where it has felt like where was God like God didn’t show up this time. So we’re in that realm of like being caught off guard by the goodness of God, in places where we least expect it. But also all the stories we hold where we’ve at, we’ve begged, we’ve asked. And even though we may not be able to see what God is up to and what is actually at play on our behalf, it feels like maybe we’re alone. So we are just, we’re in that place again, outside of our capacity to imagine in and of ourselves outside of our capacity to really know. So there is a mystery and a wonder, um, a beauty and a glory to it and, and such profound goodness that we’re meant for. Um, so often when I’m working with people who have experienced, like let’s say a lot of spiritual abuse or a lot of harm, I, I, I don’t hesitate to say like, if this is true and this is what is meant for us, then maybe it’s okay for you to say to God, I actually need, I need to know something of your power, something of your presence in my inner being, I need something from you, but I’m here and I will receive it. Cause I think sometimes we feel like, oh, must be, I just need to work harder. I need to, again, clear out all these things. And uh, and yet we know that God is at work on our behalf, that Jesus is at work on our behalf. And that, that love is more abundant. I mean, yeah, like that language of like it’s just so far beyond even how we measure it’s beyond measure.

Dan: And in this season to enter into, could you let the staggering reality of Jesus’s humiliation on Friday open in one’s sense, uh, a level of wonder and horror. Can you let the despair of Christ and hell on Saturday? And in many ways the word lessness again, there is a kind of wholeheartedness in the face of horror, a whole and the face of despair. And yet can you allow your own heart to hold death and the possibility of what Sunday brings. And that is a new imagination and a new capacity to ask. We are being asked by the God of the universe to be a whole lot more complex than concrete operations in a division between good and bad, but the ability to be whole. Whole in horror and whole and hope in a way that weaves together again, the dark, the light, the broken, the beautiful into the stunning possibility that indeed we can say death, where’s your sting. You do not get the last word. Life does. Love does. Jesus does. And that I can say is better than my oatmeal. May it be a wholehearted Easter for you and your family.

Rachael: Amen.