“Restore our fortunes, O Lord,/like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears/reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,/bearing the seed for sowing,
Shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.” Psalm 126:4-6
A Word of Hope
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! A loud crash and Charley’s insistent barking signaled a recent Chicken Little moment, when a huge chunk of the ceiling in the guest bedroom crashed to the floor, spewing old, soggy insulation, jagged sheetrock pieces, debris, and dirt across the carpet. It was just the latest in an ongoing series of trials, as the “house demons” raged freely. The long saga need not be retold here, but a major source of the problem, which at first mystified seasoned professionals, turned out to be the result of a faulty installation of part of the heating unit, causing condensation to collect underneath the roof. Ironically, the collapse allowed discovery of the once hidden source of the problem. Sometimes “breakdown leads to breakthrough.”
I have never had a Lent like this one. Normally, I am wrestling with inner ogres, working on forgiveness or relationship issues. Challenged by resistant unhealthy habits of mind/heart/body, I lift them to the light of self-examination, holding the wounded in love, asking for healing and mercy where I have wounded.
This season it has been impossible to cling to spiritual disciplines in the way I have practiced them, impossible to cling to order in the midst of chaos. Once again the cherished myth of control is being pried away. Relinquishment is the watchword for this season—from letting go of an old and treasured vanity (the double meanings ooze from the phrase), to releasing mindsets about how things should be, to even letting go of my quiet, studious, do-nothing-else-but-prepare ritual for facilitating Lenten classes. It’s a call to trust that God is in it all and in us all and that I don’t have to carry things alone.
In this time, the gift of nature’s renewal has restored me again and again—the redbud trees, the greening of peach trees, a mourning dove’s company. On the table two sunflower seeds from last year’s golden bounty press their tiny green shoots upward through the soil, the force of stubborn hope. May it be so with me.
Through it all, through it all, [our] eyes are on you. Through it all, through it all, it is well.
Dr. Pat Saxon