Let’s Talk: About “Walking Trees”
In her January 24 Stillspeaking Devotion, Rev. Mary Luti shared a devotional called “Walking Trees,” based on Mark 8:23-26, where Jesus lays his hands on a blind man’s eyes and asks him if he can see. The blind man replies that he can see people but they look like trees walking. Jesus then lays his hand on his eyes again and this time the man responds that he can see everything clearly.
Rev. Luti wrote about her surprise at this text. She wasn’t surprised that it takes Jesus two tries to heal the man but that it only takes two tries. And then she makes a statement that I now have posted on the desktop of my computer:
“Healing is a mysterious negotiation between divine grace and human desire, God’s power and human availability. It’s a gift and a choice. Sometimes we aren’t able to receive the gift or make the choice. Or we’re not quite ready to heal. Or we just don’t know how. And sometimes we can only take a little healing at a time.”
A mysterious negotiation between divine grace and human desire.
A gift and a choice.
Sometimes we aren’t ready to make the choice or accept the gift; sometimes we just don’t know how; and sometimes it just takes time.
A number of faithful people in my life, including my Spiritual Director, have told me to “be gentle with myself” or “go gently” or “be kind to you”. The first time I heard those words they startled me. I’m used to people reminding me to slow down or take a break and as I go plowing through this world to seek out the work that God has called me to and to make sure that everything is in order and works and all is well and right with those around me, that’s good advice. But, even if I take the time to slow down and rest, I realize that it is not often I stop and take time to go gently or be gentle and kind to myself.
Earlier this week I spent a few days at a meeting with other Conference Minister colleagues. We were at a beautiful retreat center in Phoenix and I realized at the end of our time there that I was so busy meeting and talking that I didn’t take time to experience the Healing Garden or the trails and paths. The last night we were there one of my colleagues introduced us to a Meditation Chapel she has found. We spent some time there together praying and sitting in silence and singing together. It was a beautiful reminder of how good it feels to “go gently.”
A mysterious negotiation between divine grace and human desire is another way of reminding all of us to be gentle with us and take the time to heal, to find peace, to lean on God.
What is it in your life that is hard? That hurts? That seems like it will never heal?
Be kind to yourself and go gently. God goes with you and the divine grace that is waiting for you will be there when you are ready. And, when you are ready, that divine grace will be quick to embrace you become part of you.