Summer makes us think of trips, but at Good News in the Wilderness, Sheila is reflecting on the difference between a trip and a journey.  “A summer trip has a beginning, and an end. A journey? Well, it’s hard to pin a journey down in that way. We do begin our earthly journeys when we are conceived, spend (about) nine months inside a human mother’s body, and then emerge to take our first breaths in “this” part of existence.  So there is a physical, human journey. Yet there is also a spiritual one, and this kind of journey takes some meandering paths, some dead ends, some detours that we never imagined.”  All of our travels take place as part of this journey.

Musing on the “clenched fist of truth” promoted by the NRA this week in a recruiting video, at Over the Water, Rosalind C. Hughes has another idea.  She recalls gathering with people at marches, and says, “As I recall, the Women’s March, which attracted numbers dwarfing the previous day’s Inauguration celebrations, was remarkably peaceful and positive. In fact, one of the most powerful demonstrations that I have attended in the past year was completely silent: non-partisan and hope-filled, it was the opposite of fear-mongering , and the antithesis of violent. I did not notice any guns on the nuns who hosted the demonstration of the power of love over fear.”  She offers us a journey out of seeing each other with fear, writing to the NRA, “I am not sure what the “clinched fist of truth” of your subtitles looks like, but I am willing to offer, in its stead, the open hand of blessing.”

At Fruitful Words,  Susan Wright invites us on a journey back in time, to an actual address book (younger readers, bear with us here.)  Finding an old address book prompts her to reflect on what a different experience is it from searching her usual list of computerized contacts.  “Reading through it is like going on a personal archeological dig. A dig is about uncovering history. As I go through the lettered tabs in my address book, I am uncovering history, too – my personal history. And like a physical dig,  I”ll observe, reflect and research to make sense of the discoveries.”  And, she plans to journey back to the friends she discovers in the book.  “As I go through each letter of the alphabet, I will record my findings. I will note if the address is current. I will indicate surprises, observations, disappointments, and action items. And I will write a letter for each address.”

The truth is a difficult destination, as Laurie Brock reminds us at Dirty Sexy Ministry.  She begins her invitation into greater truth with “Years ago, during a conversation with a friend while I was at the end stage of a relationship, she asked me during my lament over ice cream about the whys and hows romantic relationships come to an end, what I wanted from him.  “The truth,” I replied. “Have you ever considered he’s telling you the truth and you don’t want to hear it?”  I recommend everyone has one of these friends, who will say the things we don’t want to hear in the middle of our grand pity parties to shock us out of our own egos.”

A journey into the music of our spirits comes at do.love.walk., where Karla Miller invites us into a prayer, concluding with:

“You are the Composer of our lives,
gifting us with all that we need,
to be your people.

You let us go,
trusting that we will find
the song that is our own,
with all you have given us.

You promise to play with us,
as we learn to improvise
in the journey we walk everyday.

We pray this prayer
in the tune of Jesus our brother, Amen.”

Is there a journey for you this summer?  What are you discovering?  Are you traveling light, or weighed down by all kinds of burdens? We would love to hear about your journey in the comments below.

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Mary Austin is the pastor of Westminster Church of Detroit, a diverse Presbyterian church.  She has vowed to journey to her back yard this summer, and just sit there.  She blogs from time to time at Stained Glass in the City.

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