Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.”Genesis 32: 24 – 28
What if in the midst of this unprecedented global public health challenge and the financial stringency it has engendered, there is an unprecedented opportunity? There is no pretending that the pain isn’t real nor that it isn’t huge – it is. There is a lot of suffering happening. And people who live at the margins of society are being the most weighted down. There is no downplaying this. We have a choice. We can numb out and ride it out with fingers crossed hoping for this situation to go away fast. Or we can face our own emotions, our own inner responses and wrestle with them. We can bring them into the presence of God’s light, and so be transformed.
Jacob’s story in the book of Genesis is a testament to our ability to grow. He chose to learn through his losses that full living means community. On his journey back home to make amends Jacob wrestled all night with the man he had been. The new man that Jacob was becoming won out. He refused to let his old self go until he had gotten the blessing, the love, the wisdom from his old hard experiences. In that way Jacob received his transformation. He went forward a new man able to love with a full heart and give with abundant generosity. He saw things differently.
We are Jacob – as individuals, as a country and as a world. We are wrestling with our old selves so that we might go forward with a new consciousness. One that lives from the spiritual reality that we are all one. We shall be transformed. We shall see things differently.
In the Love and Light of the Christ,