I and so many people I love are trapped in circumstances that are belittling, difficult, stressful, and constrictive. How shall we escape the smallness?
Maybe we don’t need to. Maybe the confines are our vice for being carved, our crucible to be refined in, our bonsai pot in which to be wired, pruned and shaped. This I feel is a process I’ve been through over these last two decades, especially during the last few years with two lives and two disabling chronic illnesses joined in the same small house, mostly jobless and crammed in.
And now the prospect of freedom looms large in my heart and it is scary, it feels difficult.
How the seedling transferred to a bigger pot in the strange greenhouse longs for its yoghurt pot on the window sill, and yet how it longed then to be brought outside!
Change must and does come, and it is rarely welcome, we are creatures of habit.
All I can do, wanting to hide away and be silent and unseen, yet told to shine, is to trust. Trust the gardener, trust the one who made me, the one who knows. If I feel enclosed, hedged in, panicked, maybe I am being pruned.
If I am in limbo perhaps there is a life to come.
If I walk out into acres of meadow and an open sky, and am overwhelmed, perhaps it is time to stand up and be counted, or even harvested.
When we agree to this road, we are asking to be perfected and that is no easy thing.
Marble in the hands of Michael Angelo could expect to be hewn from its mountainside home, tied to a cart, dragged slowly to a city miles away, stood on end for months, examined minutely, hacked, then chiselled, then scraped, then polished. All the time with no idea of what it was becoming, of what beauty and truth was being discovered.
But this painful, long journey is part of what it means to become a new creation, to share in the sufferings of Christ as we are transformed from glory to glory in preparation for the day we truly become ourselves in him.
Life is not a test, it is a creative process, and we either allow or disallow it. We can remain untouched by holy hands, or we can set ourselves entirely within God’s mercy. It is not just a journey of self-discovery, but of participation in the divine work of redemption, in the incarnation of creation, both for ourselves and those around us.
We long for freedom, but it will not be given to us until we are ready for it.
© K Dibbens-Wyatt 2015
A Christian for over 30 years, Keren Dibbens-Wyatt is a writer and contemplative with a passion for prayer and the edification of women. She longs to draw others into deeper relationships with the Lord. You can connect with her at http://www.kerendibbenswyatt.com/
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