path in a forest

Faith Voices: Beloved Is Where We Begin – Rev. Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson

Beloved is where we begin. We are already loved. We are already part of a divinity that is itself love. And we are invited to respond with our love. At 36 weeks pregnant with a baby dancing in my womb, I feel as if love itself is growing within me – being expanded a little bit each day. Sometimes this love makes me ungainly. Often, it makes me tired. And always, it reminds me that I am part of love – inextricably linked with all that is. In this season and whatever wilderness it holds for you, may these words from Jan Richardson bless you as they have me:

Beloved Is Where We Begin
If you would enter
into the wilderness,
do not begin
without a blessing.

Do not leave
without hearing
who you are:
Beloved,
named by the One
who has traveled this path
before you.

Do not go
without letting it echo
in your ears,
and if you find
it is hard
to let it into your heart,
do not despair.
That is what
this journey is for.

I cannot promise
this blessing will free you
from danger,
from fear,
from hunger
or thirst,
from the scorching
of sun
or the fall
of the night.

But I can tell you
that on this path
there will be help.

I can tell you
that on this way
there will be rest.

I can tell you
that you will know
the strange graces
that come to our aid
only on a road
such as this,
that fly to meet us
bearing comfort
and strength,
that come alongside us
for no other cause
than to lean themselves
toward our ear
and with their
curious insistence
whisper our name:

Beloved.

Beloved.

Beloved.

—Jan Richardson from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

Shared by Rev. Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, First Congregational Church, Loveland UCC, Northern Colorado Faith Leaders Caucus

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