The topic for Illustration Friday this week is “Journey”, and it was a delight to create a design based upon that topic.
Fr. J.J. Lakers, my dear friend and mentor who died in 2011, often spoke of the “journey into the unknown”. He used that phrase a lot when discussing marriage in his Christian Marriage course. J.J. made me responsible for his writing before he died (he was a great writer and thinker), and I couldn’t help but return to a section in which he writes that spouses:
“…embark on a journey into the unknown. When they find themselves at cross-purposes, they are called to plunge in. They have a choice. They can respond with honest self-revelations which allow empathetic entries into each other’s tangles, or they can turn to judgements or self-justifications, to fight or flight. If they enter through God’s love, however, they committed themselves to transform flawed exchanges into passionate, vulnerable, respectful, and faithful responses.”
The idea of taking a plunge into the unknown can go beyond that of marital relationships, of course. There are so many twists and turns in our life journey that make it impossible to clearly see what lies ahead. I’ve found that the more I open myself up to the experience and the people around me, the more I gain from it and the more I develop as a person. This is not always easy. In fact, it is something I am trying to do now in the midst of great uncertainty. When I look beyond myself, though, and enter into honest and vulnerable discussions, there is much beauty and I am full of gratitude.
My current design falls short of fully reflecting those ideas, but I do hope it portrays a sense of play in the face of uncertainty, which is something I think J.J. would approve of.
Here’s to the fecundity of the journey…
– Free Range Al
PLEASE NOTE: excerpts of this blog using Fr. J.J.’s words may not be used without written permission.