Playdates with God: Transformed

I can see the steeple of a neighboring church through the window and I fix my gaze on the rise of it ascending from that hill of old stone. We are talking about church administration, only in a roundabout way.
How do we become a church that transforms lives in the land we’ve been given? Our instructor asks.
He frames the whole class in terms of this book and I am smitten. That Henri Nouwen has a way with words. And we talk about a community that transforms and what that means. And how change is necessary and healthy and how, as leaders, we must learn to not only navigate change, but, to regularly introduce it.
And after all this talk about change and being missional and conflict and leadership he says this…
To be a church that transforms we must first allow ourselves to be transformed…
And I am looking at that steeple through the window…wondering about all the transformation that has happened under its cross. And about all that has stayed the same. And I feel it creep through my core—the slow change; the opened eyes.
How do I miss it so often? How do I close my eyes to this?
I felt a brief moment of kairos time the other day, I recently told my pastor. I was pouring a pitcher of water in the coffee maker and that was it. I suddenly loved that water. I loved pouring it. And nothing else mattered except what I was doing in that moment. And God was there with me. It was so real, so…heartbreaking.
Her eyes teared up and I received that as gift.
We must first be transformed…
And I think it’s not something that happens all at once or that we are even aware of happening but it is that slow movement of our hearts in time with the Divine. The giving over in each moment…
I know why the steeple reaches up. And so, this morning, I do too. I stand in a place in the rain and lift up my hands…lift it all up.
Transform me, I plead. Transform.
And the rain falls down, melts along my cheek and flattens my hair and I am changed.
And there is nothing for it except to go back inside and put in another load of laundry.

How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. And come tell us about it.

*I’m reflecting on The Social Animal by David Brooks today as part the book club at The High Calling. Will you join us?

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Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also: 

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Comments

  1. says

    Thank you Laura, so good as always. As I get older I’m begining to learn that we are the church. It’s not just a place we go, but we carry it all within us. Living, safe places, taking ground and being a shelter, just as we were sheltered.

  2. says

    It’s such a challenge — to SLOW down – to look,to listen, and to feel everything that God has placed in our path. It’s SO easy to whiz through life, as a series of to do lists, and miss so very many precious things.

    Beautiful post 🙂

  3. says

    Stopping in the midst of laundry – and leaning into the Father – for transformation. Yes, that is what it is! Living real lives, doing real things with the Father in the midst of it all, and pausing to savor Him, to see Him in the doing, even in the pouring of water! Simply Blessing!

  4. says

    I went a little further than Jennifer. I wept. I deeply want that transformation—the kind that “sticks.” But I walk out from under it and slip back to try it on again. I don’t walk far…but a step is too far. Thanks for you words—and this place Laura.

  5. says

    May the Lord transform us, the Body of Christ, to be more and more like Him! May His passion and vision become our passion and vision!

    This is my first time linking up with you here :). Have a blessed week in the Lord!

  6. says

    Thinking a lot about kairos these days. I have a visual of you standing in the rain, lifting your hands to the heavens. And it’s beautiful.

  7. says

    This is so beautiful, Laura. So real, so moving. And it makes me see, all of a sudden:

    Lifting my hands isn’t so hard. No.
    What’s hard is prying open these puny, clenching fists that want to hang on to the meager stuff of this world, instead of unfurling to receive what He has for me.

  8. says

    Oh, the gift of being fully present and allowing ourselves to be transformed…Thank you for modeling that for us…I am so very grateful for you and being on this journey with you as I read your blog … Grace, Laura : )

  9. says

    “And I think it’s not something that happens all at once or that we are even aware of happening but it is that slow movement of our hearts in time with the Divine. The giving over in each moment…”

    Love this, Laura!

  10. says

    Laura, it’s great that you’re willing to publicly confess your need for transformation by the
    Living Christ. We think of transformation as being a beautiful thing, where we’ll be more aware of God’s presence, and able to be content — and perhaps, undistracted. But if we surmised that God’s answer to that prayer might be to allow more pressure, the pain and strain of living, the confusion of the unresolved — would we still dare to ask for transformation? oooh, that’s hard.

    I’m happy for you that you found serenity in the simple act of looking at water. We never know, do we, how God will break into our lives — if we’re looking!

    A blessed day to you!

  11. says

    I love Henri Nouwen and have read almost everything I can that he wrote. I’m always convicted by his writings.

    Praying for personal transformation,
    Pamela

  12. says

    Loved reading your Kairos moment. It seems so fitting that it happened with water, both the pitcher and the rain. Hearing scripture read, or reading it myself, can feel like water pouring over me in a cleansing/freeing way. Transforming perhaps?:)
    So beautiful here, including that photo of celebration.
    (hope to play soon, but it may be mid-week to post b/c husband is out of town. My friend had us over for art time. Such a great playdate!)

  13. says

    I love the way Madeline L’Engle talks about kairos in her book Walking on Water. I wrote one of my first posts about it while we were vacationing at our cottage in Canada and I was reading her book. Love those moments like you had with pouring the water. Awesome!

  14. says

    Can I just tell you how LOVELY this is to read, to see, to hang onto? No wonder your pastor had tears in her eyes. Pouring the water – yes, yes. So many places in scripture dealing with water. What I see first, though, is the water in the basin, Jesus with a towel wrapped round his waist, washing your feet, sweet friend. Those gifts feel like that. They’re rare – which is why they’re so rich, I think. Thanks for sharing yours with us.

  15. says

    Isn’t it just amazing how transformation happens in the seemingly mundane…this is the great joy of the journey, more so now than ever for me! and you are always so refreshing with your heart & faith like a child to yearn more for Him…Jared and I were just belting out the chorus to David Crowder’s ‘O For a Thousand Tongues’…’so come on and sing out let our anthem cry out THERE IS ONE GREAT LOVE!…’ ahhh…you know this?

  16. says

    “I was pouring a pitcher of water in the coffee maker and that was it. I suddenly loved that water. I loved pouring it. And nothing else mattered except what I was doing in that moment. And God was there with me. It was so real, so…heartbreaking.” I need more of this. More “nothing else mattered except what I was doing in that moment. And God.” More please:)

  17. says

    I love reading anything by Henri Nouwen! Right now I am reading “Bread for the Journey.” I own “Wounded Healer” but haven’t read it yet.

    To be transformed is my prayer too – transformed into the likeness of Him. To find those moments of joy while journeying together, that is pure gift.

    Beautiful post.

  18. says

    Oh Laura, it’s just so beautiful, you standing there loving that water. Surely that is part of the transformation that is happening in you – that needs to happen in me — to live present in what’s happening around us. To love the water. Bless you, dear friend.

  19. says

    beautiful, Laura. just beautiful.
    my favorite: “And there is nothing for it except to go back inside and put in another load of laundry.”

    that just got me…probably because this is where i am everyday…doing laundry, trying to steal some time to write while my kids run around…these solitary moments of serving that no one sees but God, this is our path to holiness, to Him.

    blessings,

    Nacole

    ive been here before, but this is my first time back in a while and i’ve linked up with this quiet place.

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