“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.”Jeremiah 17:7-8
Spring is on the way. Swelling buds show us that we have recently passed the halfway point on the passage through winter. We gripe about the cold and the darkness of the shorter days, but both are necessary. Without cold, the bluebonnets won’t bloom and the trees won’t have rested and gathered the strength to produce new leaves.
Though we sometimes forget, we humans also move through cycles of dark and light, of cold and warmth. Without those rounds, like the plants, we won’t blossom either. The dark cold times force us down into our roots. It’s not comfortable. We seem to go there only when all other options are closed. Deep within us, awaiting our discovery, lie both our wounds and our spiritual power. Courage is required. We encounter the pain in our wounds that they may be acknowledged, learned from, and healed. We meet the constructive authority of our spiritual life, accepting it, and so coming to know ourselves and our potential more fully.
We too, as individuals, as a country, and a world, have over these last many months surely been through a winter of heart, mind, and soul. We’ve been forced into our roots. Uncomfortable as it has been, we’ve seen what has kept us constricted as a society – racism and bias, disconnection from Mother Earth, hurtful economic disparity. We’ve likely also seen what has constricted us in our individual lives – old abuses survived but still hurting, battles with addiction in ourselves or loved ones, shame, fear, feeling that God is not there for us, or that life is just a scramble for survival. All that is faced can be healed and transformed into wisdom meant to be lived and shared.
As we’ve confronted what has narrowed us, we also have met what expands us. In the quiet and dark of this recent winter of heart, mind, and soul we have stumbled upon spiritual power we didn’t know we had. We have found resilience, humor, grace, love, forgiveness, and the courage to take a stand in integrity and compassion. We’ve put our faith in God into action, daring to believe in the good we cannot yet see, and with that energy, helping that good to birth. We’ve rolled up our sleeves and taken action to help our fellows and entered into building effective, compassionate community.
Yes, this winter has brought us into our roots, into our soul, and into our inner Christ. We are confident, as the Hebrew Prophet Jeremiah proclaimed, that we and our magnificent world are consistently fed by the stream of living water. Cold, heat, drought will come in outer experience, but we are safe. We flourish, joyful with nourishing fruit. Our roots go down.
In the Love and Light of the Christ,