Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
By Rev. Canon Val Kenyon
Wounds… We all have them, some old, some new, some hidden, some painfully obvious.
I am not really speaking about physical wounds, though many of us may be dealing with those as well, but I am really thinking of those parts of ourselves with which we struggle on our life journey and on our faith journey. Several weeks ago, in a daily reflection offered by Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation, I came across a quote from Barbara Holmes’ latest book, Crisis Contemplation:
The wounds that we don’t know about or don’t remember are the deepest. It is through the wormhole of those wounds that we travel to arrive at the peace that surpasses all understanding. Healing is possible because we have the ability to spiritually veer from disaster, and to allow crises to make rather than break us. Ultimately, we can trust the leading of the Holy Spirit as it guides us toward mutual care and love of God, neighbours and creation.
Richard Rohr would go on to add to this saying that if we could see the wounds with which we struggle as the way through for us, as Jesus did, then they would have the potential of becoming sacred wounds, and not something to deny, disguise, or export to others.
I appreciated this discussion as our world continues to struggle with the many wounds of this current age and their impact on both us and on our parishes. While I would never want to offer simple solutions to more complex issues, these thoughts shared by Holmes and Rohr, challenge us to both look for and reflect upon where and how God is leading us in these days, and to be open to looking beyond our immediate response to imagine how God’s Spirit is both our companion and our guide through difficult times. Scripture is full of examples that remind us of this.
As disciples of Jesus, as long as we draw breath, we continue to have learning opportunities presented to us. As Paul reminds us in his second letter to the Corinthians, “And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Cor 3:18).
If you, or someone you know, is interested in seizing one more learning opportunity, in the company of other like-minded people, please consider getting in touch. With Education for Ministry classes only several weeks into the 2021/22 year, please reach out to Libi Clifford, the Diocese of Huron EfM Coordinator or myself Val Kenyon at email@example.com, to hear some of the details and the possibilities.
Rev. Dr. Canon Val Kenyon is EFM Animator in Huron.