The beginning of the New Year has been fraught with trouble: assassinations, violence, fires, stabbings, even resolutions for separation and divorce among members of the United Methodist Church. With all of this, two people in my life have family members (young women) who in the days following Christmas, were diagnosed with brain tumors. My prayers overflow with the desire for healing and wholeness, for a way out of the confusion and pain, for peace, for them and for us, for our church and for our country, especially for our world.
All of this reminds me of a spiritual practice found in Wayne Muller’s book Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in our Busy Lives that invites us to take our troubles and to (i)magine a situation that concerns you. What changes in your body— tension, heartbeat, respiration — when you think of it? Now imagine that it is growing toward resolution in some invisible soil. During Sabbath, we rely on forces larger than ourselves at work on healing the world. Imagine these forces at work this very moment on your problem. Imagine, as a seed knows how to grow and blossom and flower, just as the body knows how to heal, this problem may already know how to be resolved. How does this change your feeling (perspective) about the situation?
I wonder if, as Muller suggests, we imagine that God, whose love shapes us and leads us, is ready to take our troubles, to hold them and to help us see within them not the promise of more trouble but the promise of life and life abundant. May it be so.
See you in church,