• Eirenicole

Joyful Confidence

Joyful Confidence 1080 1080 Nicole

To be eirenic is to be aimed at peace, oriented toward reconciliation. As a centering prayer I have adopted the prayer attributed to St. Frances, Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. So, that is why I call my website Eirenicole – a composite of eirenic and Nicole.

For Lent, we are using the book, The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day From Ash Wednesday to Easter, by Sister Wendy Beckett. This week, the theme is confidence. Our meditation for today is entitled, “Joyful Confidence,” and the focus of our attention will be on the painting, Diana the Huntress, c.1550, School of Fontainebleau. The image is included in the post for this podcast, and accompanies the places where this is posted. If you do not have access to the photo, but do have access to internet, you can google “Diana the Huntress, c.1550, School of Fontainebleau.”

So as you settle in your space,

listen for when the sound ends and the silence begins.

Welcome the stillness; open to quietness

Settle into your space and invite your senses, your feelings to sit with you.

Are you just tired of being stuck in one space? Expand it:

Notice what has taken space in your heart.

Greet it.

Breathe out an acknowledgment of its presence.

Breathe in the grace that God also fills the space with you.

As you breathe out, exhale a prayer of welcome, embrace.

Continue breathing in and out, allow the Spirit to saturate, to fill you with peace.

Pay attention to God’s invitation to be present.

Settle into the peace of Christ as you listen. Hear the mediation and notice what the spirit of God draws your attention to in this painting. What is Jesus speaking to you here, now?

“When joy touches us it can seem a godlike experience … joyful confidence there are no mistakes.”

Sister Wendy Beckett, The Art of Lent

In what do you place your confidence? What creates a sense of confidence in you?

You’ve seen the posters that carry the message, “God doesn’t make mistakes,” meant to instill a sense of confidence in yourself, “believe in yourself.” There is certainly some merit to the sentiment, yet how much does it motivate us to live into this truth?

We may believe God makes no mistakes in principle, but how often might we wonder whether a mistake was made with me? What about you makes you feel that you’re not exactly who you were meant to be? Could be?

Why?

When you see a painting of a naked woman, how do you react? We are told in Genesis that the first humans were naked and unashamed.

But when they ate of the fruit, their eyes were opened.

It wasn’t that they couldn’t use their eyes before. Rather, they now saw as God does – the surface, all the information, more information that effectively blinded them to the inner reality of the other, and of God.

Sit a few more moments and allow your inner eye to see, to look deeper into the reality of you – your divinity, made in the very image of God.

Resolve to practice seeing who you are, and think of someone you will practice seeing into with these same holy eyes.

May you move in confidence of who you are most truly today, and may you walk at the pace of grace.

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About the author

Nicole

Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (MI).

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