I have been a bit absent the last couple months from writing.
A lot of things have been up in the air in our lives, and with the darkness of the winter, I have been at a loss for words. Maybe it is feeling the sun getting warmer, or maybe it is the knowing that the snow that falls is going to be gone by the end of the day. Or maybe, it is the buds on my Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus that belonged to my grandmother.
I am not sure what I am doing wrong, seeing that my cactus plant is blooming in the spring and not in the fall or winter. A quick google search shows there is such a thing as an Easter Cactus, but the images I could find all match the Christmas flowers. Regardless, I'm thankful that the blooming will happen, and it's beautiful when it does.
In the darkness of the last few months, it has not been uncommon to hear or read comments about how to focus on gratitude or how to be thankful for your own blessings of the health of those you love, a job, or a warm place to sleep. A month ago while Texas was in the midst of a brutal winter storm you might have heard someone say, "at least we don’t live in Texas!"
In the last year our world has suffered an untold amount of loss. Mental health has been at the forefront of discussions, from students who have had an “unprecedented” school year (anyone else tired of that word, yet?), to senior citizens to whom darkness and loneliness seem to be their only companions in the small rooms they live in. Be careful, pushing down your loss and grief from the last year. Be careful dismissing someone’s darkness. Be careful about telling someone how to fix it. Sometimes the only way to get out of the muck is to sit in it. And sometimes the only way to walk with each other is to climb in the muck and sit.
Hugs will happen. Gathering will happen. Blooming will happen. But not necessarily when we think it is supposed to happen. But it will be beautiful, when it does.
Today I invite you to find a flower.
Go out and buy one. Find a picture on your phone. Draw one.
Set a timer for a certain period of time, maybe just a little bit longer than you think you are comfortable with. Close your eyes and take three long, slow breaths. Then look at the flower, the color, the shape. As you inhale, breath in the color of that flower. As you exhale, breath out the darkness that you might hold inside. The grief of the last year. Let God take it from you.
God is big enough.
God can hold it for you.