I was at the chiropractor’s office this morning. I explained that my sore back could be attributed (in addition to aging) to bending over weeding my garden yesterday. I also described that I had kicked off my sandals at some point and was barefoot in the yard. The good doctor shared that being barefoot in the yard is good for us- called grounding. It connects us to the natural electromagnetic properties of the earth and has shown in research to be a healthful practice for us shoe loving humans. Okay, I thought. Who doesn’t want to be well grounded?
People ask me, what leaders can possibly offer their people in this time of covid19 pandemic, economic stress and a nationwide sense of unrest calling out racial injustice? We can’t gather together in prayer, support, sing and worship as we want. We end up in stilted online zoom conversations that don’t lend themselves to intimacy or a sense of personal connection. Rules and recommendations change by the day. First wave, second wave, ppp loans, protests, demonstrations, online giving, Shipt, online shopping cart, social unrest, facemasks, and hand sanitizer. We. Are. Exhausted. And. Lonely. And. Looking. For. Hope.
We need grounding. We need to be grounded. (Not that kind of grounding that you threaten your kids with… we all feel like we have been that kind of grounded at home for a lifetime. Stuck. Captive. Incarcerated). I’m talking about the grounding where we get connected to the source of life bigger than ourselves. This about tapping into a life force full of love and mercy. A life force that walks with us in protest, embraces the exhausted hospital worker AND the patient, sits with the lonely, weeps with us at the state of our world, divided nation and burning cities. This God of creation, of overflowing love, of wonder, of relationship, of reconciliation, of justice, of hope. This God. We need to be grounded in this God.
Dear leader, when you have run out of things to say, it is not defeat. Be honest about where you are. Be vulnerable about the heartbreak, the fear, the exhaustion. Be real. Ground yourself. Invite your people to ground themselves in this living God. Take off your shoes, wander in the garden, connect to the creator, the redeemer. Give your trust to the one who can handle it, carries it, turns it into rest. God will heal, rejuvenate, inspire and raise up. That’s what God does.
Leaders: be grounded. Watch what happens when a community of faith trusts and is grounded in a God of justice, love, and hope. See what’s possible when we get out of the way and let go.
We need a good grounding. Now, kick off those shoes ...
Kristin Wiersma | Consultant Team Lead | The Joshua Group | email