Wow! Those winds were strong! Things were uprooted and many lost power! Many are now sitting in a sort of “darkness,” waiting for the light to come back, the warmth and heat to return and to have life return to “normal.”
Oh. You thought I was talking about the wind storm that just devastated Rochester! No. I was referring to our Lenten journey so far. I feel like this journey has become a kind of wind storm that has uprooted me, made me lose some power, sit in a bit of darkness and unfamiliar places, and wait for life to return to normal after Easter. If what I want is a return to normal, then I have to ask myself, “Why do this journey at all? Why not just stay the course and live life as I always have?”
Because sometimes the winds of change need to happen in our lives and shake things up a bit! We need these experiences when we become unsettled so that we can reflect on how things were/are, and how we (and maybe God!) want them to be! Maybe we need this time of destruction to help us see what’s really necessary in our lives, to look behind the “walls” and see how we are really constructed. To look at what truly has been the driving force in our lives. To really look at ourselves in the mirror, let the façade and mask fall, and see what motivates and moves us. Do these driving forces come from a sacred place, a place of goodness, integrity, purpose, or connectedness? Or do they come from some dark recesses of ourselves?
Today’s reading from Matthew’s gospel reminds us that we are to be reconciled with our brothers and sisters. To enter into reconciliation before one comes with one’s gift to the altar. With these Lenten winds blowing, have they uprooted and revealed some places in us that need reconciliation and healing? Reconciliation, at its root, means “to bring together again.” It implies that there is separation. As we move through this journey and let go of the things in us that need to be released, what in us needs to be healed and brought together again? What aspect(s) of ourselves or our relationships need to be brought together again? Reconciliation is hard work, maybe even harder than sustaining a wind storm.
I read this line recently: “Why are the drives to anger and lust so powerful and the drive to reconciliation so weak?” Tru dat! We can certainly put a lot of time and energy into anger and getting even. However, how much time and energy do we put into getting reconciled? What would our lives be like today if we made the choice to reconcile in some way, either with another person or with ourselves?? In that experience, we might just see roots that have gone deep and need to be uprooted. We might just start moving from darkness into light. And quite possibly, we won’t return to our normal life, but to life renewed with a new landscape!