As I write this I am sitting in a coffee shop, on a beautiful spring-like day. It’s amazing how a bit of good weather in the midst of the cold we’ve had can lift the spirit to new life. And new life will ALWAYS come after the cold of winter. It’s in the cold of winter that I need to remember this!
No matter what the “winter” of life is, whether it be illness, a broken relationship, loss of job or even death itself, we are promised the advent of new life beyond it. I just need to mentally remind myself of that fact, even though I may not be “feeling” it at the time. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of looking for small hints.
Last night, as I left the hospital I looked up and noticed that there was still light in the sky and it was 6:10pm. The light of Spring is coming! But right now, it’s just a hint, barely noticeable. But it’s there and it points to the warmth and light to come.
As my friend shows signs of improvement and communication, so may this point to his full recovery to come. May healing light and warmth surround you my friend and brother Mike.
Happy New Year!
I know a woman who is almost completely paralysed. She has ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She is unable to move and almost unable to communicate, yet she has full capacity of her mind. Most probably she only has a short while to live.
I think of the hope of Advent, the wonderful readings from Isaiah, the hope of life coming from death . . . And then I think of her. I wonder how she hears these words now? How would I hear them if I was in her place? I imagine at times there might be depression and anger at a God who seemingly has abandoned her. Hope? What hope?
Yet, in the end I have to believe that faith gives a whisper of hope even in such circumstances. I have to believe that somehow, in some mysterious way, there is a Power that can lift the spirit within – the same Power that overcomes addiction, that leads when we surrender, that opens doors when we thought all were closed. If we really look back at our lives, this IS our experience, isn’t it? If I can look back at various times in my life and see this Power at work, can I believe that even in this circumstance that same Power can work to calm, heal and bring peace – in some mysterious way.
I visited her yesterday. And in the midst of this situation, still able to scribble a few words, she was more interested in hearing how I was doing than in talking about herself. What amazed me was that her smile and the light in her eyes was radiant! Just that morning I had chanted a morning hymn as I regulary do and I thought of her. It said:
Let the numbed spirit now arise
Stricken with many squalid ills;
To cure our troubles, in the skies
A new star’s light the morning fills.
(Camaldolese Hermits – Big Sur CA)
Somehow, in some mysterious way, the numbed spirit can arise and light fill even the worst darkness.