The world has felt extra heavy this week. Stories have poured into my screen, my ears, my heart about infidelity, brokenness, miscarriage, cancer, addiction, death, & raging hearts. I can’t quite get a hold of it, much less myself. Maybe it is that I’m thinking of the jealousy that stirs up emotion--the jealousy of stable relationships, picture-perfect families, easy fertility, healthy cells; the jealousy of living life together & experiencing the mist & rain & sunshine when others hide from joy or die early or never get the chance at all.
Life is so confusingly fragile.
But at the crux of a brain break, a heart break, a soul Earthquake, i have to make a choice; we have to make a choice: choose God or choose the World. Choose the God who made that mist & rain & sunshine, choose the God who crafted those cells & telomeres & heartbeats, choose the God who knows my days & the hairs on my head & the seeds in my heart. ChOOSE GOD. Or choose the World. Choose the World full of broken people, mortal souls, sinful pride, & hearts with holes. Choose the World with smoggy blue skies & rain on wedding days & rejection & failure & disappointment without cause.
I can come to the Table. I can take the bread & drink the Wine. I can come whole & polished & perfect. I can lay down my color-coded planner & my lifelong plans, I can kneel on starched pants & clean floors. I can recognize a Jesus & know him, but my heart can keep its distance.
Or I can approach the Table. I can feel that broken bread, a body broken--cells lysed, telomeres shortened, breath stolen. And i can feel that maybe the cancer & the miscarriage & the impending emptiness was felt by the one who Emptied Himself; maybe it comes from the one who Fills. I can take in that scarlet wine & cut open the wounds & the sack-fulls of hurt & heartache, letting them spill & sweep & succumb to the Hope hidden in the brokenness. And I can stay at the table, basking in the candlelight, relishing in the dirt that I bring, sinking into the World’s grime, waiting for Hope to wash the scarlet clean. (Psalm 51:2)
And maybe that is what it is about anyways: Brokenness. Messiness. Dirt & grime & ugly-tears. And choices: choosing a side, choosing a Hope, choosing a God. Resting in that Blessed Assurance that Jesus is the One who came. For me, the miscarriage, the mismanaged, the messed up. Looking henceforth with HOPE that the heaviness I feel has a destination in the One who will bear all burdens alongside me, heal all hopelessness within me, & meet me at the Table.
May God bless you with a restless discomfort
about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.
May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for
justice, freedom, and peace among all people.
May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer
from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may
reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that
you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able,
with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator,
Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Saviour,
and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide, be with you
and remain with you, this day and forevermore.
a four-fold benedictine blessing - sr. ruth marlene fox, osb - 1985