Wandering

She challenged us by asking, “As we enter into this wilderness, what do you carry?” Pastor Rachel McIver Morey, asked this question while preaching about Exodus on September 27, 2020. She was using the story of Exodus to prompt thinking about difficult transitions. When leaving a bad situation, one has to be willing to close the door behind you and then wander a while before finding a better pace. The Israelites wandered in the “wilderness” to escape slavery, bondage, and oppression and they carried with them the bones of Joseph, connecting them back to their mythology of God’s promise.

When Exodus was written, wilderness wasn’t a place to go for respite, as I think of it. It was a place to go for escape; it was a place to escape from the influence or persecution of the ruling political power.

We all share this country with injustice systemically and historically baked in. No one alive today chose to create or be victimized by that injustice, though many cling to it for the sake of maintaining power. But we all experience the trauma of it. Whether one benefits or is harmed, the trauma is real and collective. And therefore we must face it. We’re all in this wilderness, wandering.

When Rachel said “What are you carrying in this season of wilderness and what does it connect you to? What does it remind you of?” I immediately began hearing the song “Oh Soul” by Mary Gauthier in my head. I’m not sure why that song began playing in my head, but that’s the beauty of music and art. It isn’t necessarily logical.

In my head I also heard this additional verse:

When I wander, don’t know where I’ll go
When I wander, don’t know where I’ll go
But, I’ll carry you with me, while I search for my soul
Oh soul, I sold you away

So, here is Oh Soul (with my additional verse–forgive me Mary Gauthier) performed by me and Linnea. This might be the best thing we’ve recorded.

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