Reflection from Joel

A couple of days ago I remembered a gift that I was given on the day of my ordination by a friend who was thinking about what I might need in the most difficult days of my vocation. And she had a playful spirit – and so one of the things in the gift was a set of gel window clings that had the words “DON’T GIVE UP” surrounded by stars. And I pulled it out and finally opened the package and placed it up on the window of the chaplain office in Barrows Activity Center: where any passers-by, residents, staff, family, or visitors can hear a word of encouragement. And me too – although it looks backwards to me.

Because as anyone who’s been through serious illness or injury knows, recovery takes a lot of energy – and can be as stressful at times as crisis – and a lot of the grief that has been shelved during the times of adrenaline-fueled overfunctioning comes to our awareness in ways we don’t quite expect.

So I offer this simple image in a backwards gel window cling form – to say I see you and your longing for flourishing and your wavering in and out of languishing. And the grief you carry from this very difficult year. Don’t give up – each day is a gift and carries with it new possibilities for life. Be patient with yourself and gentle.

It’s all a lot messier than we often expect – and that’s ok. Because that’s not just you, it’s me too. And while no one can fix it, we can at least  know that we’re not the only ones.

May this day be one of release and joy for you.

And may the blessing of God or all that sustains you, keep you safe, grant you peace and fill you with all that you need, just for today. Amen.