Muddy Boots, Muddy World.
After a week of intensity on a number of levels, a flash of insight arrived during one dinner conversation, and illuminated a black hole of despair.
We were talking about setting boundaries, for ourselves and others; of getting rid of unwanted junk in ourselves, and keeping it from 'coming in' through others. How do you become healthy when so many around you operate, and press you to operate, in unhealthy ways? (A simple example: we are practicing Sabbath during the school; how do you unplug for a day in a 24/7 world? What is rest anyway?)
How do you change when you may live in unchanging family systems, teams, political and economic systems, churches, even a whole culture imposing its mentalities, rhythms and values? How do you keep someone else's dysfunctions from deranging you? How do you separate the junk from the person? How do you welcome the person/friend/family member, but not the junk?
How do you live in a broken world?
Just some light conversation over dinner...
Somewhere between the pasta, potatoes and pizza (yes, we are carbed up), a flash of insight came, in the form of a string of images: the photos I've been taking of muddy boots. I had the perfect analogy to respond with.
"It's like I invite you over for a meal and you arrive with muddy boots. You are so welcome to come into my house, but the boots have to stay outside."
A light bulb came on in the other person's eyes, a smile lit up the until-now-cloudy face, and we toasted clarity and insight, and muddy boots.
Now it's a beautiful spring day in Bobbio Pellice, a Sabbath day of rest, and the boots are getting less use...at least one one level. On another, they are being used to bring light and truth in an otherwise muddy world. Shabbat Shalom!