Thursday, February 9, 2017

Grace Bats Last

I didn't mean to do it.
I was rushing - trying to get my kids to school - calculating the opportunity cost of three minutes , maybe it would be two, of putting on my shoes.

No time.

I couldn't afford another tardy.
I broke my ankle last August and the sheer obstacle course of living my life without bearing weight on one of my legs for eight weeks made for quite a few tardies in my son's life.

So, on this rainy day, I walked barefoot to my car.

Dropped the kids off successfully.
Went to get out of my car and my feet landed in a very small puddle.

It was a foot baptism.

It brought me to the moment.
Took me out of my to-do list...
my oh-my-gosh-our-world-has-gone-nuts list...
my distracted movement through my days...
to a tiny puddle.

It felt so good that a thought popped into my mind:
take Buddy for a walk, barefoot.

I did just that.

Giggling at the craziness.
Enjoying the light-heartedness.
Relishing my ankle's new found strength...

I baptized myself.

It was just what my heart needed.

I want you know something very important:
YOU and YOU alone know your path to healing.

Even if its weird, or makes no sense, or seems impossible like walking the Pacific Crest Trail did for Cheryl Strayed, you know it.

So I walked and felt the bumpy earth, the soft grass, the twigs and leaves still left on the ground.

I walked and thought of all the many people who can't walk, who are in a hospital fighting for their life, in a prison locked away, in a grief stupor too deep to feel anything...and felt the breath of grace.

As I walked, I reminded myself of my warm shower, my cozy clothes, my very happy stripe-y umbrella and again thought of the blessings I often do not notice.

This past week-end, dear friends of mine celebrated their eight day old son's Bris.
They called it Superbowl Bris Day.

What's a Bris?
It is a celebration of life - an ancient faith-filled tradition for people of the Jewish faith.
At the Bris, the family reveals the Hebrew name they have given their son.

Etan's Hebrew name is Elie Shimon.
He is named after two incredible heroes of the Jewish faith that passed away while his mother was pregnant with him.

one a Nobel prize winning author and Holocaust survivor, 
the other an Israeli politician that was both the President and the Prime Minister...
and peace-maker.

Watching Etan's family welcome him in such a mindful, intentional way was humbling and healing.
Having the opportunity to read these words at his Bris is a gift I hold very close to my heart:

"You are your parents' dream realized, their hopes fulfilled.
You are the latest and best chapter in the unfolding lives of your family.

You are a bridge over which we, who welcome you, can gaze from this day into future days, 
from our generation into yours.
You are the newest link in the endless chain of our shared history."

Etan's parents shared a powerful quote of Elie Wiesel's:
"Mankind must remember that peace is not God's gift to us,
peace is our gift that we give to each other."


Like the rain, at some moments it is ever-present and at other times it can feel far off.

It is within our grasp.
We must only stop and stare with wonder and joy at the gifts showered upon us every single day.

So, for today...I'm grateful for the rain.
For my dog.
For being able to be barefoot and steady...
for friendship and faith...
blessings and grace.

Mostly, I'm grateful for love.
It is sovereign here.