Stress Fractures

Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

For if the just ones be the children of God, God will defend them and deliver them from the hand of foes. With revilement and torture let us put them to the test that we may have proof of their gentleness and try their patience….for according to their own words, God will take care of them.  Wisdom 2

Jesus moved about within Galilee. He had decided not to travel in Judea because some of the people were looking for a chance to kill him.  John 7

The days are troubled no matter where you look: Congress is in a showdown; Japan had another 7. earthquake in the same area as the last; Israel attacked Gaza; Libya is in civil war; airplanes are showing stress cracks; gas went up 13 cents a gallon; the stock market is wobbling; and Prince Harry is stranded in the Arctic. The runway they constructed out of ice broke in half. Everything feels the stress of these times.

With everything cracking and breaking, it’s hard to believe a rebirth is coming. Yes, the trees are blooming – and sometimes that takes me by surprise because so much is pretty grim – but it’s true. The rebirth has already begun. 

It’s not an easy task to keep looking for the promise when so much seems so dark and difficult. And yet, the birds are still singing in the thicket next to the fence even though I’ve forgotten to fill the bird feeder for several days. They just keep doing what they do. Building nests; preparing for the next generation of eggs and babies.

Maybe we know too much. Maybe not knowing would simplify our lives enormously. I mean, it’s not the first time the world has been on the brink of something or another. And we got through. We’ll probably get through this time too.

I don’t think we need to be callous about problems or suffering. We do have to trust in this moment. This moment when the bird sings out; this moment when I lift my eyes from the computer screen and see the green leafing willow framed by purple buds in the neighbor’s yard.

A later verse in the same Wisdom reading says, “Many are the troubles of the just one, but out of them all the Lord delivers.” And in the reading from John as later verse reads, “…but no one laid a finger on him because his hour had not yet come.”

Our hour hasn’t come either. Instead, it’s another day to breathe, trust, keep on going. The simple fact that I’m sitting here writing with a laptop on my lap and a cup of tea at my side means I’m safe; the simple fact of you reading this message on your screen, perhaps with a cup of tea beside you means you are safe. No one has “laid a finger” on us. Our minds might be giving us a beating, but no one else.

Trust in your holy spirit today – the spirit that resides within you – breathes in you – supports you in your life. Smile at the realization that your mind has cleared, your breathing has evened.

Keep building your day.