Feel-Good Friday: Rebirth

They say things happen in threes.

I wonder if things also sometimes happen in themes.

Or maybe, as in a good story, the themes aren’t intentional or planned by an omniscient author… but are instead serendipitous patterns we see when we pull back and look at the big picture.

Sometimes, in my own life, I think this is how the Holy Spirit shows up. Not in the neon signs and flashing arrows I wish for, but in the small plot points that thread through my story. I don’t even notice them when they happen. But later, when I pause and look around—look back—look inward, the Spirit’s themes appear.

Only then can I look ahead, and see where the Spirit may be leading me forward.

Threads.

I thought the events of this week were freestanding; they added up only to emotional and physical fatigue and a bonus migraine headache. Until I paused, just now, to write this post, to look back and see the thread connecting them:

  • A group I belong to experienced an unexpected crisis of leadership that—after a week of grief and hurt—has shifted into renewed energy and care for each other. It seems to be unfolding as a whole new expression of the group itself. A rebirth of community.
  • I had an early-morning chat with an old college friend and discovered that 25 years later we are both feeling a pull to reinvest in the gifts and the work and the dreams we set aside years ago. A rebirth of creativity.
  • I absorbed a two-night anti-racism webinar, and was stunned by the the depth of joy and love underpinning the painful, sometimes awful work of freedom. A rebirth of conviction.
  • And this morning I had a brief Twitter conversation (is that a thing?) with one of my childhood icons. (I rarely Tweet, and except for today I certainly never engage with famous people! It was stressful! I didn’t want to be a goofus!) It reminded me that we can’t lockdown in nostalgia for our teachers of the old days; it’s up to us now to live into what they taught us. To be good stewards of their investment in us, whether they were our real-life neighbors, or the television kind. For me, that short exchange felt like the rebirth of a calling.

Now what?

That’s the perennial question in my life, where there is always, always a next thing, a next step—a next move. Asking “Now what?” of the Spirit may seem demanding, but it feels to me like a statement of faith. It says “You’ve shown me this much, and brought me this far. I’m ready to follow on.”

I don’t know what this period of rebirth is going to bring. I expect it’ll like every birth: eyes newly opened, slowly seeing more and better. A world of senses to sharpen and ways to explore. People to hold close, and a lot of tears.

I’m ready to follow on.

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