Some think that their stuff does not stink. I have never forgotten when a friend shared his initial reaction to our early days together. In short, to him and others, I was one of those individuals. I needed, metaphorically and physically, Marcel’s place. I have never met Marcel and yet his invitation is clear, direct, and open to all. The signage on his laundrette is blunt and to the point, in words and images.
As I wake to a new morning, I find myself thinking of Marcel’s small place in the side streets of a Flemish village. Life reminds me that I need to stop by at least twice a day, maybe more.
Freshening up is always a good thing. To start and finish the day, physically and metaphorically, taking the time to cleanse one’s soul and body, is part of staying connected with our pure heart. How one does this will vary. Some head to a climbing gym. Others go for a run. For me, it is often a retreat into meditation and contemplation.
Letting go of what is best for others is the best thing I can do for myself. Until I let go of how others freshened up, I did not have the space to discover my relationship with Divinity. In releasing their views of what was holy, I found Divinity waiting to embrace me and take me into a place of love, acceptance, and belonging. This is not about thinking anything goes. Quite to the contrary, in embracing love, kindness, and care without reserve, I found myself in a new place with freedom and creativity.
Life continues to use street art and life experiences to reveal lessons and messages I would otherwise miss. To put it bluntly, “I’m convinced – Jesus convinced me! – that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.” (Romans 14.14).
Today I care to reach for a better future. My defining rule is to live with love, kindness, care, and community.