Back at the end of April Andrea left a comment about a vulnerability hangover. I had never heard of such a thing, but it made immediate sense to me-- an apt description of the regretful naked feeling that surfaces when you wonder if you've shared too much.
I'm feeling that way right this minute, actually.
Back in the spring a friend asked me if I would take on a leadership role for the fall women's retreat. Yes, I told her; yes, definitely. It felt like a clear call. Soon afterward I was in the shower when I was seized by an idea for our first meeting. I shut off the water and ran to the office in a towel so I could write it all down. We would reflect on Genesis 3, and on 2 Corinthians 4, and I had just the funny story to lead in with, and and and--
In the moment it seemed clear to me that the Holy Spirit was at work. As our first meeting drew nearer I was less convinced. Maybe it was a weird idea. Maybe it would be uncomfortable. Maybe I should buy one of those books with pink covers filled with Reflections for Busy Women or whatever and read one of those aloud. Let the professionals do the heavy lifting.
And then I went to Mass last weekend. First reading: Genesis 3. Second reading: 2 Corinthians 4. Gospel: perfect wrap-up for the central point I was making about the other readings.
How's that for freaky-deaky??? If you're not Catholic, you might not be aware: that trio of readings only appears once every three years. Here it was, the last set of Sunday readings our team would hear before we began our preparation. And here's something else freaky-deaky: I was telling myself back in the spring that I shouldn't fret about the challenges of creating new reflections each week. "God will provide at the right time," I told myself. In the wake of that Twilight Zone moment at Mass I realized I had a clear direction: I'll dive a little deeper into the Sunday readings at each of our meetings. We can mix it up -- individual reflections, small group conversations, some large-group sharing -- but that will be my framework. I won't have to come up with Eleven Saints You Should Know or Eleven Fruits of the Spirit Except Wait There Are Actually Only Nine.
And yet-- here I sit, feeling a little vulnerable. If you leave it to the professionals, it's less personal when people don't like the thing you've planned and prayed over. So. If you're a pray-er, I'd appreciate a quick one-- that I could stay out of my own way, and give these women what they need.