I’ve woken up in the middle of the night with a song in my heart about the worthiness of God and then it hit me; if loving another is loving God, then rejecting another is like idolatry. If idolatry is worship of anything other than God then when I fail to see the image of God in another, see their worthiness, that is idolatry too.

To super over-simplify one of the most common forms of idolatry spoken of in the Bible, Baal worship, we could look at the name Baal’s meaning: owner, master.

This compels me to ask myself questions. I will share them here with you in case they are helpful to you as well.
What or who owns you? What are you a slave to? What controls you? I have found a more accurate way of asking that last question to myself is, “Hey, Raynna, what are you trying so hard to control that it has begun to control you?”

Here’s what I know; we become slaves to the things that we try to control, all while thinking we’re the ones in the driver’s seat. Often, that thing that owns us is no thing at all; it’s ourselves.

What need we have of being lead to water, the oceans, the rivers—to see the beauty in the movements of all that is not within our control.

We are our master, our Baal—and we are our own taskmaster, slaveowner, freedom-taker. We are not kind.

And if we are not kind to ourselves how would we be kind to another, truly loving? If we cannot see the image of God worthy of respect within ourselves, how could we possibly in another. No, we will fail here. Of course, our way of treating failure is harsh unlike God who speaks of this as “missing the mark” or being a point of need for simply “turning around.”

Please, don’t be harsh.

This week I was entirely enraptured standing at a place called “the devil’s cauldron” on the Oregon Coast Trail. I’d never been here before. It’s a strange and holy place; a sacred ground where many have sacrificed their lives to death and many more have sought transformation through the grandeur of creation. It was too much to take in, but I tried.

I contemplated so many things there, things it seemed that came coursing through my veins a thousand miles an hour, wonder-full things, awe-full things. It all seemed set to the music of a beating heart beneath the mountain I watched the shore pound against rhythmically, meaningfully. The sound called to me from half a mile away. As I got closer I couldn’t help but to run, to take in with my eyes what my ears were memorizing by heart.

What creatures we are of sight and sound. What glory that we get to be. May we learn well to delight in this, to serve well in that delight, not trade it for the supposed glory of a less significant, less meaningful, less destined reality—a life where we miss the reality of God within us and every single soul around us that we have been sent to serve. It is freedom to see and hear and love God, in you and in me.

Learning to love, with you,

P.S. So many adventures lately as we enjoyed our Spring break this past week! Hoping to share and show you more soon.
‘Til then, I will say it again, as a dear friend often says to me—please, be kind to yourself—in all of your adventures this week. Traveling, exploring, discovering, pilgrimaging with you…wherever it finds us.