“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
All around is a sense of weariness. Though we are beginning to emerge from pandemic isolation and fear to more openness and joy, we are tired. As we are growing into recognition of the full humanity of all others, we can feel the exhaustion of transformation along with its exhilaration. As we remain with forces seeking to divide the nation and the world, we know the energy needed to remain loving and kind.
This week, I invite us all, you and me, to consider what we find to be nurturing. Then let’s allow ourselves to be nurtured.
Here are a few thoughts from my own pondering which I offer up. I welcome hearing yours.
1) Set aside striving. “Learn from me. I’m gentle and humble,” Jesus invites. We do not need to strive for status, possessions, or approval of others. We do not need to fight in anger as one who knows what is right. We are loved; we are worthy.
This week I had the privilege of guiding a large memorial service on Zoom for a man who lived gentleness and kindness, who never gave up on others or on the power of the AA program which calls one to humility. His gentle persistence and non-judgmental kindness brought many to sobriety and to their better selves.
2) Spend time in nature. We humans connect deeply to all creation when we allow our rigid boundaries to relax and to notice the world around us.
Over the months of Zoom calls and worship, I sat at my desk looking out the window at a large and glorious tree across the street. The tree guided and anchored the seasons for me and reminded me of the world beyond Zoom. Sometimes we just sat and spent time together.
3) Take time for family and friends. In our busyness and concern to get all things done, we can forget that neither we nor others will be around forever. Not only through the pandemic but in the normal course of events, we have lost many dear to us in the past year, and perhaps we have discovered our own fragility and mortality.
How often have I discovered the value of making that phone call or writing that letter when the Spirit nudges me. Sometimes because I said “yes” to the nudge and sometimes because I ignored it and put it off to my regret. May we know in our bones the value of reaching out to one another.
“I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day.” Mary Oliver from “The Summer Day”
With every blessing,