There are days I need to be reminded. Days like today.
As this world plays its crazy game of Crack the Whip – with you and I holding on to that tiny last knot, our hands calloused and bleeding from the unexpected snaps of circumstances that threaten to send us crashing uncontrollably down into a broken heap – I need to be reminded.
As the mundane overtakes the exquisite in the everyday, and our feet are tired from a life that feels more like a plod that it does a prance, and our hearts wonder if the dreams planted in them will ever be given an opportunity to take root and bloom – I need to be reminded.
And even I sit here at the computer, with tired eyes staring at a growing folder of undone pages that whisper “nothing worth saying” or even worse, “nothing to say of any worth,” I need to be reminded that our stories – my story and your story – are incapable of being contained on pages because they are so. much. bigger. than. words.
Yes, there are days I need to be reminded. Days like today. And tomorrow. And the other tomorrows that glimmer with hope on the horizon.
For those calloused and bleeding hands.
I believe that God is making all things new. I believe that Christ overcame death and that pattern is apparent all through life and history: life from death, water from a stone, redemption from failure, connection from alienation. I believe that suffering is part of the narrative, and that nothing really good gets built when everything’s easy.
For those plodding feet.
I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look.
Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted.
And for those tired eyes.
You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural.
You are more than dust and bones.
You are spirit and power and image of God.
And you have been given Today.
So, what do you need to be reminded of today?
All of my reminders today are from Shauna Niequist. She writes many more in her three books – Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way, and Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table, with Recipes. I think we could be kin.