Tiny Moments of Resurrection

spring-flower-and-snow
What a glorious spring day! For all my complaining, I’m glad this winter was long and hard. The warmth of spring is that much more treasured when it comes. Most of the time, the storm is my preferred metaphor for hardship and suffering, but I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t always come to us like storm… quick and violent and then spent. Sometimes pain is slow. Like a long, hard winter. Icy cold, relentless wind, bleak landscape. It takes patience to endure.

I hate that people have to bear this kind of stretched out suffering. Chronic illness. Bottomless grief. Profound loneliness. With no rhyme or reason or end in sight. Easter Sunday has come and gone, but for many people, their daily struggles feel more like a never-ending Good Friday. When someone I care about struggles with these burdens, I can only pray:

Please reveal yourself to me, O merciful Lord. Show me that you are active in the midst of this pain. Help me to remember that resurrection and new life come to everyone in your time. Lord, in your tender mercy, awaken us to little moments of everyday resurrection – like tiny, early signs of spring in the midst of the harshest winter.

Sometimes the tiny resurrections are the only things we can see through the haze of agony and ache.

  • The first buds of spring ready to open to new life
  • The sweet laughter of children as they play with fierce joy and bubbling enthusiasm
  • An unexpected compliment from an unlikely source
  • A moment of connection with someone who understands my struggle. That comforting realization that I am not alone. That dawning understanding that I am NEVER alone, for God is with me always.

Open our eyes and ears, O Lord. Make us attentive to your love and compassion in all those we meet today.
In your mercy, Amen.

Finding God in the Storm

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

We hear this well-known scripture verse at the cross, when the Earth was covered in darkness, and Jesus uttered these words moments before he surrendered his spirit and died. But that’s not the first time we hear it… the line first appears in Psalm 22. Although the specific reason is not known, the author of the Psalm is clearly suffering. “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” The passage goes on to say:

Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief.

church-and-storm-1

Have there been times, when you’ve felt like the author of this Psalm… that God was very far away? Perhaps during a time when you were experiencing personal suffering. Or maybe from the nagging worry that suffering may be just around the corner. We live in a world FULL of uncertainty and fear. Worries about our personal health and well-being and the well-being of our family members. Worries about the economic climate… will we keep our jobs? Can we “stay afloat” financially? Worries about global threats, war, and violence – terrorism, shootings, natural disasters, contagious disease.

How easy it would be to collapse under the weight of all these worries. How often do we feel like that’s exactly what we might do? How does this fear manifest itself? Sleepless nights, stress, anxiety. Living in this state of perpetual worry… how do we pray?  Continue reading