You know it is hard to wrap your head around the blessings and sufferings that come at you all at once. The paradoxes in one’s life meet you square in the face. Life lived continues even when you are given a few curve balls that you were not expecting; or expecting but maybe not prepared in the way you thought you might be. I catch myself remembering to keep the cup half full in me, see the beauty in the day even when it does not seem like it. Trying to lift my feet, have a skip at some point.
Like today for instance I noticed that a 5:10 pm this evening there was still light in the sky. Yes. Yes. Yes. I mean I could still see the trees, the branches, even the snow as I looked out my window while playing scrabble. Maybe not in technicolour per se but hallelujah, woohoo…a glimmer of hope. Spring is coming. Okay not soon but closer. Right! Little glimmers of hope. FYI: Yes I am by myself. Yes I got another call from public health today to make sure I am on the property. And yes I am on self-isolation still. LOL. I am great company as I play scrabble (me myself not I…just two playing). I think I may need a dictionary as I am stumped with words with j or z or x in them, not beginning them. Of course I could have asked Maggie May to play, my dog, but she has not quite grasped the concept of not walking across the scrabble board. Haha.
But I am also thinking of how much one can take when things go awry. I think of that notion of someone saying God give us what we can handle. Really!? Sometimes it is hard to think that when you are immersed in the suffering. But be that as it may, I am praying for some people that I know who have been facing quite a few challenges in their life. A story has been shared and I hold it gently today and the days to come. How to carry their burden for a bit. I love that prayer poem Footprints; it speaks of those times in our journey where God is carrying us while we put one foot in front of the other because that is all that we can do. Nothing makes sense.
I am putting out a prayer right now for those whose stories being lived are a bit too much especially one story of a woman who now is in palliative care. Oh my. It hurts the heart that one. And in my own family, with my mom in a nursing home where Covid-19 has become present; mom being quarantined. Dad looking at her through the tablet, seeing him trying to jump into that screen to hold her. Tears drop on my cheek. How did we get to this point? No words. No words. The pastor at the church I attend near me (have not been for awhile mind you) offers a daily video on the Gospel reading of the day. Thankfully my ears seem to hear as I listen to the reflection on the Gospel, the messages keep stirring in me, thankfully, and bring to light a nugget, a glimmer of the more. Oh to hold on to those nuggets of faith.
The glimmer of hope is that even in the suffering, life continues all around us. Is that what we need to grasp on to, keeping hope alive in our troubled heart, in our troubled world? Suffering and hurt and sorrow are not what we want but what we get, receive, experience in our journey. It is part of the earthen world. How to navigate the heart and mind as it pulled this way and that, to the point where at times you cannot breathe. Grasping at something tangible when answers are intangible, unattainable, nonsensical to the circumstance lived. I remember vividly the many moments in my life where suffering took place with me or someone close but all, life continued. It is simply unfathomable to grasp and yet ever so much real.
I turn to Joyce Rupp, someone who I have brought into my life quite often, a book mentor if you will. Her spiritual insights on living, healing, forgiving, dying and the saving grace marked by faith with Christ, she helps me with the glimmer in the hope. This is a piece that has resonated with me in a talk she gave….
She said, “Hope is not just one single quality or promise. Hope has to do with believing beyond today – knowing there is a garden of beauty that awaits me. Hope encourages me to follow my dreams, to believe in the part of me that envisions my wholeness. Hope is trusting that what is happening will eventually make sense, or if it never does become more meaningful, it will still offer an opportunity for growth. “Hope assures me each morning that my life is of value no matter how unsettling or disturbing my current situation is. Hope encourages my heart not to give up and nudges me when it is time to move on. … Hope tucks promises of growth inside the pockets of my struggles.”
There are many little pieces of hope all around us, little glimmers shining but how do we look in our world. Do we see the dark sky or the shining twinkle of the stars spread wide and thick. Do we see the despair before us or see the hand being held out to help. Do we sit in the pain or take the step one at a time. There is no right way to navigate but oh to know that we are not alone.
Seeing the glimmer today. Blessings.
Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers, held gently and carefully, and in need of compassion for all who struggle with life’s pain and sorrow.