My tanned skin is slowly fading. I chase the warm sun before it shifts from the bright light of summer to the even ‘time shades of gold and russet. The pool is closed most of the day now as kids return to school and the baby needs new shoes. Preparation for a new year is underway and I am keenly aware of the turning seasons. His tiny foot now broad muscles pressed down to hold him up as he makes his first steps in the warm solid earth of this world.
I wonder as I sit in front of the laptop watch the courser blink, if I remember how to write or teach or study anything that isn’t him with his dimpled knuckles and perfect round mouth where cheerios now fit with ease. I know the world rages, terror is amok and new political candidates have burst onto the scene. I am aware of recent abuse and violation come to light from men who stood forward under the bright lights and kept secrets all their own. I haven’t missed the atrocities alleged of women’s clinics where we hoped women were served with care or the number of deaths that continue to rise when my dark skinned brothers and sisters are engaged by those meant to keep us safe. I weep, I cringe, I hold my baby close and count his eyelashes again.
It is not that the world has changed, the jagged edges and soft beautiful wonders are perennial, it is me, I am different. I marvel how this tiny babe has caused my eyes to open, resuscitated my weary heart grown now like so much in the Grinch’s own tale. Here I am at the dawn of all things new, the world as troubled as it was before, my losses a drop of water in the sea compared to so many in my human family and I come to where I have already been—though--changed, renewed, hurts healed over, knees bent in gratitude and bowed to love.
I say aloud and bear on my chest what I have always known but have now come to live-- love heals. These words not a bumper sticker but a victory chant, the broken alleluia of a scholar and storyteller and strip club pastor, new mama and struggling sister. It is the triumphant song of those who stumble in the footsteps of the One who at once reigns and is the slaughtered Lamb (Revelation 5).
I know now that healing is not so much cast down from a grand stage, words sang out under the lights as much as it is the small, human moments when we touch, stand in the gap, hold the sacred space, say what is true and real. I know moving forward is wrought in the fiery irons of authentic friendship with people who sit in the ash heap alongside you and hold your hand at the bottom. I know that transformation is the result of a thousand tiny seconds when love beats through the darkness like a firefly in the summer sky, helps you read your way through and follow the stars. I know God calls to us like God called to Abram and Sarai, “Go, and when you get there, I’ll tell you” (Genesis 12).
This is what I know. As the season fades and the new one dawns I wish you peace and grace, I wish you love and light and eyes to see the shining moments and shimmering skies, time to hold all you love close and the intention to do so. I wish you the blessing of knowing you are where you have been sent and the awareness that those around you are heaven's gifts poured out.