On Servants' Wings
A gynandromorph butterfly with the transgender pride flag for the front wing and the rainbow pride flag on the rear wing On Servants Wings
Resources and Reflections by Azariah Liron

Wrestling with Identity

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Suggested Reflection Time ~30 Minutes

Preparation (~ 5 minutes)

Take a few moments to center yourself and create a space to listen and imagine. Some techniques that others have used include:

  • Deep Breaths
  • Repeating a word or phrase that has a holy or spiritual connotation for you.
  • Imagining yourself in a space you find tranquil and comfortable.
  • Making a physical gesture of reverence or placement.

Opening Prayer (~ 1 minute)

___________, open me to your presence. Help me create or find a space to hear you calling me by name.

Reflection Text:

Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, 'Let me go, for the day is breaking.'

But Jacob said, 'I will not let you go, unless you bless me.'

So he said to him, 'What is your name?'

And he said, 'Jacob.'

Then the man said, 'You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.'

Then Jacob asked him, 'Please tell me your name.'

But he said, 'Why is it that you ask my name?' And there he blessed him.

So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, 'For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.' The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the thigh muscle that is on the hip socket, because he struck Jacob on the hip socket at the thigh muscle.

(Genesis 32:24-32)

Reflection (~20 minutes)

I desire acceptance of the conflict in my life.

I read the Reflection Text to consider God's presence in conflict.

Using my imagination, I take on Jacob's role in this story.

I embrace the quiet stillness of being alone, feeling the loneliness, the longing. I feel the abruptness of the assault, the strength in the hands that grab me, pulling me down. I push back, kicking out at my unseen foe. I feel the imbalance as I am pulled to the ground.

I wrestle, fighting with all of my strength, pushing, pulling, scratching. Desperately I get a solid hold on my assailant. Now the threatened one, the being lashes out, I feel the pain of injury course through me, but I do not let go. I see the sun rising in the distance and hear the attackers request over my gasps as I try to regain my breath. Hesitantly, caught between confidence in my victory and the fatigue that washes over me I refuse.

I cling all the tighter as I demand a blessing, an acknowledgement of this fight, and hope for what will follow the release. Instead I am offered a name, a new name which reflects the struggle of this night, an all the nights before. I hear the name, each syllable echoes within the deepest parts of my being. As I see myself anew I am drawn to know this being with whom I have struggled.

An answer does not come, I am blessed with unknowing and must name for myself and those to follow the Holiness which I have encountered.

Limping I slowly rise, feeling the aches settle within me. I look at my injuries and know that some are permanent and others will heal. As I run my hand over the wounds I listen to birds call out to sun. As the warmth of a new day dawns, I embrace my injuries, the story I can now tell. I am reminded that what transpired is holy, and it will be for all the ages to come.

Conversation (~3 minutes)

I end in a short conversation with ____________, giving thanks.

Copyright © Azariah Liron 2020