|Dry Bones in Dry Leaves|
Photo by Trista Wynne
For some of us that part of ourselves was brutally beaten over years of experiencing or witnessing the mistreatment, abuse or neglect of others. In other cases, a singular traumatic event caused that part of ourselves to suddenly shrivel into a prune-like state. Over time these bits of ourselves have begun to rot and even to turn to dust. Whatever state of decomposition these parts of ourselves are in, I assure you, dear ones, that we have a word of hope.
No part of our being is completely bereft of the ability to be repaired. I'm fairly certain that we have everything within ourselves and our community to repair the damage done and to enter into a time and place where resurrection becomes possible. I believe, dear ones, that this process is possible on account of the love and grace of God as shown through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, and that this love, grace, forgiveness and wholeness of life is refreshed daily through the deep breathing of the Holy Spirit as she maneuvers in, around and through all of creation.
|Signs of New Life|
Photo by Trista Wynne
During these times comes a hint of the life that once was. (Perhaps we remember that life, perhaps not, for that life may have only been experienced at the time of conception in utero or when we took in or received our first breath after being born.) In these moments, however, a little glimmer of hope is seen. We breathe more deeply, see more clearly and move more freely than we have in a long time.
I had one of those moments today, dear ones. Yesterday I borrowed Anne Lamott's book, Bird by Bird, from the library. This morning on my e-reader, I have read the first thirty or so pages. She reminds us that we all have a story to tell, and she gives us permission to record our stories.
You see, a part of me has been dead, dear ones, for fear of recording all that I have seen, heard and experienced in my life. Although there is no need to record these things all here online for everyone to see, there is a freedom in simply beginning to journal and to express my thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment or condemnation. There is hope for this valley of dry bones within my soul.
There is, in my heart, a creative child who used to write stories of all sorts of fantastical lands. Sadly, this part of my spirit has withered over the years, becoming like an indigestible stone in the pit of my stomach. Today, however, I remember that even for this part of myself there is hope of resurrection. Through Lamott's book I have been reminded of the promise that perfect love casts out fear. Although I am still working on allowing myself to be clothed in love which binds all things together in perfect harmony, I am admiring this clothing of love and asking the Lord to help me put them on so I will be free from fear.
Let us take heart, dear ones. The day of the Lord is coming soon! Let us breathe deeply and look for signs in our lives of hope and the life that is to come.
May the Lord who is above all, breathing in us all and working hard to bring all into the fullness of life grant you courage and wisdom to examine our past wounds. May this same God who is the author of life grant us the tools that we need to reinvigorate the children within, and give us the strength and flexibility through new sinews and ligaments so we might rejoin the dance of life. May we, in turn, become signs of life for all who encounter us along the way. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we pray in Jesus' name, amen.