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Day 67: Being (not) in Charge - 2

The first round was quite moving. The rugged guy spoke some, with gentleness, depth. The Cincinnati minister spoke her truths into the center. Predictable body language began to express itself, or maybe I was simply sensitized to that. The late-arrival student, a Haitian guy who is perceived as African American, lent his quiet voice into the center with the most appreciation and honesty. A bit of his mask came down. Another white guy with international and proactive missional work in the States’ contexts spoke his pain and hope.

I could feel the pain pouring into the room. I held my palms up in prayer, and alternatively let them hang down to energetically drain the room. The wave lessened and the stone slowly came back to me, hot. With tears in my eyes, I spoke my own heart a bit…my surprise…my hopefulness…my experience of weight or heaviness. “Y’all blew my socks off,” I said to the circle with a smile. The Haitian fellow observed that I hadn’t been wearing any socks. We laughed together.

When I got home, after dinner, I let the tears come with a Fire&Water friend. I slept hard. I went to 5:30 a.m. CrossFit, tending my body.

I should have known to expect another round the next day, but still, I was surprised. Two ways (at least) of sensing it... One, the unresolved griefs, angers, pains in the room were touched. Students arrived weary, some ‘heavy’ from yesterday, others eager to dive back in. My first clue another round was imminent was the check-in with charged language, passively directed against another student's check-in, “My whole life is heavy and discomfort,” pain pouring into the circle.

One could also see this another way: the space was held well enough for the layers to go deeper, so of course Spirit would move us deeper. I don’t know which one it is... Trust the divine order of things. I trust myself in staying present amidst projected pains. The one with the most unresolved pain (righteousness not in question) was fully activated for hours. She began to disengage. She removed herself from the circle for 20 minutes before lunch. I ached and I was glad she was tending what she needed. She found the scripture she needed to name the overwhelming pain the Apostle Paul (she) had felt (was feeling), a litany of human suffering, pouring again into the circle when closing check-out came.

In one sense, we are a parable of precisely what I cautioned us would happen. In another sense, the energetic spiral opened the floor for me to witness to another way, an InnerGround way, with resources and inner-work questions for each and all. I felt the gentle rhythms of Spirit speaking through me, moments of testimony to the journey yet so fresh within me.

As class ended today, the one I was most concerned about met me in a hug.

My heart aches with the pain I feel--my own, and that of others.

A roomful of students cannot now unsee or unhear what happened here.

Seeds of blessing, I pray.

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