When I was ordained nearly five years ago, my beloved mentor , Dr. Ted Hiebert, gave my commissioning charge at my ordination service. “Your call, Arianne,” he said, “is to show the world just how wide God’s arms are.”
It’s a call I hold with tears and disappointment and hope in the aftermath of this week’s election – a vote by the nation further marginalizing the marginalized. A vote that’s driven the fear deeper, the anger higher, and sense of rejection stronger.
I’ve been in mourning these last two days, looking for comfort in the words of Scripture, the voices of those I love and admire, and as always, music (this playlist in particular has been total balm).
I’ve found myself paging through my journal, uncovering treasured quotes, like the sagacious Thomas Merton who said, “You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope.”
I’ve had a hard time finding words of my own to cope with and process this new season we now enter, but I take great comfort in a God who prays on our behalf when we struggle to ourselves….
Spirit who groans with sighs too deep for words,
I lean into and rest in those sighs.
I find in your pleas and petitions a home for
and so much anger.
I hold your hand as you help me sift through each layer of betrayal,
my feelings of being deceived,
my temptation to turn against – to blame, to ignore, to lose sight of the you within others, however deeply buried.
You’ve told me you cannot heal what I don’t give space to grieve and feel.
And so I trust that no feeling is final or forever.
That there is room and respect and honor for tears and incredulity and deep, deep sadness.
So, Holy Spirit, would you meld my sighs and groans into your own,
bringing me into a love for you above all else?
Would you make firm the weak knees and quench the parched voice
that I might serve your communion overflowing with peace and healing?
Would you stretch my fingertips to the wounds of the breaking,
tenderly showing them how wide your arms are?
And would you ignite in me the courage to live the gospel with new passion and intensity?
I give you thanks for your embrace of all I can pray and all I cannot.
And that it’s enough in your sight.
In the love and grace of our wounded Healer,