I saw this beautiful tree on a walk recently and thought: What a tangled up mess that tree is. It’s like it started growing with branches going every which way and now it’s stuck. I can relate.
I think a lot of you can relate too. Being stuck. I’m talking about having a bundle of worries, and thinking about them a lot, and then being mad at yourself for thinking about them a lot, until now you’re a tangled mess. Then the mess festers. Suddenly this tree is like looking in a mirror.
Yet the tree is somehow beautiful it its complexity. It makes me want to pause and look at how the branches could even go in the direction they do. It makes a cool, creaky sound when the wind blows, because of the branches rubbing together.
So I’ve tried to develop a practice over Lent to help with my tangles. Maybe somebody out there will find it helpful.
When I find myself in this cycle of blah, I ask for a blessing on it. Right there in the middle of it. I picture these hands coming over the mess and blessing it. Just as it is. Not fixing it. Not making it pretty. Just making it holy somehow. How could this mess of a mood be made holy? I don’t really know how grace works, but there it is. The blessing makes the mess easier. More comfortable to be with. I can smile at it. And there’s a sense of no longer being alone in it. After sitting with the blessing over the mess, it’s a more airy space. It suddenly feels more gentle, and I can lean into a right way of being again. It’s like the love must be felt before I can move forward. The funny thing is, the love was there the whole time.
So next time you are feeling overcome with uncertainty, worry, angst, ickiness…try picturing the hands of the Holy Spirit blessing all of it. The worries may remain – like the tree – but you will be accompanied. You will find an ease. Simple love. And maybe a way through.
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord,” Jeremiah 29: 11-14.