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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Held

I have long loved the picture of the Good Shepherd carrying the lamb.

This image evokes love, care, trust and rest.

But little lambs and children, and most often anxious and stressed adults sometimes have difficulty with this.  We are independent creatures, and one of the first full sentences of any child is "I can do it myself!"

When I come alongside people with great pain or grief, I often invite them to imagine this picture... we are the lambs, can we trust the Shepherd?

In doing so, we let go of the anxiety, the pain, and our bodies relax into loving arms.

I have witnessed much grief recently, and collectively our country Canada is in mourning as well.  Sometimes there are no words.  And yet we need comfort.  We need hope.

I was struck by this word today... Held.

It reminds me of the "Footprints" poem, that famous poem where there was only one set of footprints and the author wondered where God had gone.  And then she realized that the footprints were those of God... and she was being carried.

There is a wonderful scripture from the prophet Isaiah which says "I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."  (46:4).

Sometimes we hang on to sacred words and envision holy hands carrying us when we are bereft, in pain, and full of questions.  There is a surrender to what we don't understand.  This is radical trust, and it doesn't always come easily.

We are held.  We are loved.  We are not alone.

Good thoughts for today, and every day.


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