Opening Prayer. God, root me in your love that I might be a place of healing and safety for those in need of harbor, comfort, and peace. AMEN.
Scripture. John 14:27 New Oxford, RSV
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
The Stable, part 2. “Being Stable at Christmas.” From Janet Hagberg.
My “assignment/invitation” from God this year during Advent is to imagine what it is like to be the stable in the Nativity scene as a symbol for my life. The first image that came to mind was the physical, external structure encasing the holy family. But the second image or meaning that came to mind is more internal, being a stable person at my core; the inner life, a life of stability and calm, a non-anxious presence in the world even in the middle of chaos. Balanced, steady, sober, down-to-earth.
The major challenge for me, a call for me to be especially steady and down-to-earth this year, is that a young 47-year-old man, a dear friend who is like a son to me, has had a recurrence of aggressive brain cancer after two years without symptoms. I feel called to be present to him as a spiritual mentor, to be even more conscious of leaning on God for my own sustenance. In prayer recently I learned that, in order to be more stable now, I need a change in my internal perspective.
God is shifting my perspective of my healing role with my friend from what it was during the first occurrence of the tumor when we did intense inner healing work and I rode along with him on the roller coaster that is the cancer and treatment process. He embraced the healing of his life story and has brought that and other creative and life-giving work to a larger world in amazing ways.
The shift is from a roller coaster to a carousel–with my friend and all his supporters riding along. The hand-carved animals we ride up and down with are moving gracefully forward. God is the strong, consistent center. Memorable and engaging music is playing. We are all moving together to this new rhythm. I don’t know what the future holds for my friend. I pray for his healing. Yet as I ride along in this new carousel frame of mind, it seems time for me to release the outcomes to God and ride along with these new experiences. It is a graced way to experience my stability in God. And God is whispering, “All will be well, no matter what.”
Invitation for Further Reflection
What challenges are you facing this holiday season and let us wonder together at how God will help you find renewed stability in the midst of them.
Closing Prayer.God who holds our center fast, hold us as we engage the newness of what this year will bring, trusting that you will be with and for us in all things…and thus, all will be well. AMEN.