MORE THOUGHTS 5 Mary Pearson
The autumnal sunshine has been warm, even as the nights have grown cooler. The quality of light is different as the angle of the sun is lower on the sky for us in the southern hemisphere, just as it climbs higher on the other side of the equator. There is something that seems right in this sharing of levels of light and darkness around the world – experienced most by those who live further from the equator. It seems to tell us that life finds a balance over time. We may find this and personalize it as we look at our own lives and recognize the ups and downs, the ebb and flow of energy, of spirits rising and then the times when we don’t feel the same life within. We may designate the times of struggle as somehow wrong and the good times as right when, in reality, all times make up the whole.
If we just look at the weather, would we want to live in a world where all the days were some kind of perfection? What would that look like? Would that “normal” lose its edge and be taken for granted? What would be enough rain to maintain life and growth and not too much to restrict our lifestyle, and would the farmers agree? It is just as well we don’t control this. However, we probably also begin to realise that weather extremes and the devastating impact of these on people’s lives are becoming more acute, and along with that we know how powerless we are in the face of nature. We want to be able to live in beautiful places near the water or in the bush surrounded by trees, but we perhaps now look at these things differently. We may think about safety more than ever before. In recent times we have been challenged by talk of vaccine risks and the withdrawal, temporarily at least, of the Astra Zenica vaccine for those under 50. While we, in Australia may not feel very threatened by the virus, we still know it is there and that things could change, as our politicians keep reminding us.
Do we feel safe these days? Does our growing awareness of the limits to our control cause us anxiety? These issues of climate and pandemic lead us to ask uncomfortable questions, which they should. Whatever we may personally think about these things – and there is a wide range of opinion – we perhaps also see that becoming angry about viewpoints that are different from our own does not do anything other than probably raise our blood pressure. Perhaps these things remind us of how easily people can become abusive; how we can be hurt by others, by words that intentionally or unintentionally cause offence that we are unable to counter. We may recognize how we may do that ourselves. In our better moments, we know that we all carry hurt and wounded-ness. We have all been shaped from our earliest years by experiences, good and bad. Sometimes we may carry scars have become an integral part of who we are. It is in these times that the message of Easter speaks to us and tells us that we always have a place of compassion and safety. It is where we discover the light of love is not extinguished by darkness of any kind because the tomb is empty. The light shines into all our hidden and vulnerable places when we allow our stone to be rolled away. The message of Easter tells us that our brokenness can no longer be a matter of shame because it is not removed from the love of God that is a power greater than anything else. No matter what seems to threaten our safety, that love still always calls us to look beyond ourselves, to reach out to one another and to live our lives as best we may in hope and in wholeness. We may not be able to change everything we would like, but we continue to hold on to the way of Christ that offers us strength for our ongoing journey as Easter people.
We shall go out with hope of resurrection;
we shall go out, from strength to strength go on;
we shall go out and tell our stories boldly
tales of a love that will not let us go.
We’ll sing our songs of wrongs that can be righted
we'll dream our dream of hurts that can be healed;
we'll weave a cloth of all the world united
within the vision of new life who sets us free.