Hanging in there

On Saturday we had a day of prayer and reflection for members of the Province. We began by prayerfully looking back over the year, recalling what had been difficult or challenging as well as whatever had given us life or joy.

Not surprisingly, given the year we've had, recalling what has been challenging wasn't hard. Division, violence and prejudice, desperation, growing poverty and inequality; a general weariness, and a temptation to hopelessness. Which is why the life-giving has been so essential! Glimpses of God, whether through people or nature, stories of goodness, selfless bravery and generosity; people and situations which speak of love and hope, rather like flowers sprouting up on wasteland. All this and more, to be placed in God's ever-open Heart.

Whenever we gathered for a plenary session we sat around a centrepiece featuring a large vase of lilies. And from where I was sitting I could see a single leaf, detached from its stalk but somehow hanging on by a single, thin fibre. It was a breezy day, and at times this leaf was caught up in the current coming through opened windows and doors: it whirled and twirled, sometimes dancing, at others swaying vigorously like an overwrought pendulum. As the breeze died down it would still sway, turn or tremble slightly, never completely still. All day long it hung there, literally hanging by a thread, rocked and buffeted, and all day long that single, so very slender, seemingly fragile fibre stayed strong.

And so can you... it said to me, so can you... just hang in there, however rocked and buffeted. Allow the wind to lead you into dance when you can, and simply bend into it when you can't. Just remember to trust the strength and durability of the thread which keeps you connected to the Source of your life, no matter how fragile it might at times seem...