See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
~ Isaiah 43:19
Howard Thurman is quoted as saying, "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
One of the most radical demands for you and I is the discovery that as Ecclesiastical people we live our lives as seasons, or as passages that create our life narratives. When we are born, we begin our B
As I looked at them, I was reminded of how different our lives were then, and then turned to realize the woman that she is today. Emily continues to work for a non-profit that helps people with mental illness and addiction, while also attending nursing school full time. This morning she walked in after spending the night with a coworker that had to have an emergency C Section, with no one available to be with her. Emily volunteered to help, and was present for the birth of the baby, and was the first person to hold the baby. I just smiled as I shared, "You were the first person to show this baby love."
I think back to the first months of her life, getting up in the middle of the night when she would cry, taking her to her mother so that she could be fed, then taking her back, walking the hallway, and sometimes sitting in the rocking chair while thinking about who I had hoped she would be. I remembered many of the dreams that I had for her, and how I had hoped to protect her from so many things of the world. God has blessed her with gifts I never knew she would have. She is living her life in a way that it is bringing life to others.
Besides the dreams that I had for both my son and daughter, included in those dreams was a prayer that included the people that they would fall in love with later in life. My prayer for those that would fall in love with them was simple. "Dear God, keep this person safe from harm, protected for wounds that would prevent the person from loving completely, while giving the person eyes only for my child, and a heart that knows and is filled with the love of God while sharing that love with my child."
I know for some parents, watching their children grow up and move out on their own, somehow makes their life less meaningful. I am simply reminded that for each of us our lives continue to change. Each day I encounter folks who are at the end of their journey, and I am reminded that at some point we all will encounter daily "new normals," as we age and come closer to the end of our life.
Whether we realize it or not, we are always passing from one chapter to the next, gaining and losing someone, some place, something.
As Thurman reminds us, we are to discover the things that make us "alive."
I have always found that finding ways to unconditionally love, recognize the sacred among one another, and a desire to ask God first, seems to help me remain focused on being my best self, for myself, and others. These things also what that make me, "feel alive."
While losses remind us that life is not always perfect, we cannot let them disillusion us from knowing that each day is an opportunity. The question is how do we choose it as a passage, and live our life more fully each day, rather than as a loss that we will never move beyond?
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams is the author of the book, "Remember Me When..." and is a former hospice chaplain and pastor.