Thursday, February 27, 2020

life and death, blessing and curse

"I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse." - Deut. 30:19

"Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." - Luke 9:24

Do you plant a garden in the spring?

Prepping those planting beds, making little rows, then filling them with seeds, and covering them up?

Isn't it interesting that we cover the seeds up... we put them in darkness, in the ground - the bearer-instruments of new life - before they begin to grow? And in a very real sense, being buried in the ground is a kind of death, isn't it? We certainly associate being buried with death... and so with seeds, after they are buried, they absorb nutrients from the soil, take in water, and cease to be a seed as they grow into a plant... a kind of death, perhaps, and followed by a resurrection, by new life.

And of course, like plants, in our spiritual existence, we grow and bloom and (hopefully) produce some kind of seed, and experience many different kinds of spiritual and emotional trial and death, over and over and over again.

Life brings us many wounds. All of them bring about some kind of death in our lives, some more severely than others. These emotional and spiritual wounds have real and serious consequences - they can bring tremendous darkness into our lives, and disrupt our relationships with God and one another.

They are a very real form of non-physical death, and returning from the most serious - resurrecting, as it were - is hard work, but at some point, that healing becomes a difficult and conscious choice we make. Though I believe it is true that we are all inclined to seek health (spiritual/emotional/physical), that does not lessen the difficulty of the work we do along the path of that seeking.

We suffer these deaths, but each time we seek healing - we seek life - we experience resurrection. Clinging to our woundedness is akin to choosing death - like those who wish to save their lives, but lose them. In our willingness to engage in the difficult work of vulnerability and healing, we find our lives again.

Let us not choose death in our pain. 

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