THE LETTERS DECEMBER 2012
“Living slow is the way to carry an extra flask of oil joy and living life slow is a way to see.”
OPENING THE FRONT DOOR
and marveling with you My Dear Friends,
And I didn’t quite know it then, what the months ahead would hold and how the dark would depress and the hurt multiply The rain’s falling hard on the windows, like this washing and the confusion come like a poison to all that holy joy. Only away of everything before. I reach for a scarf, wrap it close He could have known that the greek word lived would heal & around my neck, slip feet into boots, arms into the wool. bring miraculous understanding to all the broken places. And The expanse of a whole fresh year knocks at the door and in all these things, we give thanks. And how could I have known last I have no idea how to rise to it - too scared to answer it. January first that eucharisteo would change everything? How to make the new places feel like home? How to tap Sometimes you don’t know you’re taking the first step out a few thousand words on a keyboard and publish the messy, through a door - until you’re already inside. everyday graces? How to form the habits of joy and worship as And no matter what room you step into - every space holds the the hands, the feet, the mind labors? How to bite my tongue possibility of this profound joy and deep pain and the two always mingle more and read His Word daily and never fear and lead others together. There is no other place to arrive at. Joy and pain always higher up and deeper into God and not slip in my own sin? A co-habit every season of life. Accept them both and keep woman can know faith in her head and fear in her heart. I bear the company with the joy while the pain does it’s necessary stretch-marks of my 2012. renovations. I had christened the year 2012 as the year of eucharisteo. As I can see it out the window - how the rain is washing away, I watched the clock strike midnight, my heart thrummed joy. the spruce trees dripping wet.
THE LETTERS DECEMBER 2012
Koinonia, it’s the word I’ve christened for 2013. It’s Greek for union - “communion”. And I never stop needing this: communion with God every moment of the year. And it means too - “community, communicate.” And I need community with the Body to stay attached to the head, Christ. I need to dig deep channels of communication between my God, me, my family, my friends. A three-fold cord - communion, community, communication - ‘koinonia’ may be this lifeline that careening days can hold on to. And more - ‘koinonia,’ it means sharing. Sharing breaking oneself and giving oneself away. And don’t we only have what we hand away? It means sharing out of brokenness to bring healing to community. We only are broken and this is beautiful: in brokenness, we are instruments in the hands of the Wounded Healer. It means in our brokenness, we share in the sufferings of Christ, and this is communion. God, He calls His people to share - not out of any sense of perfection - but out of brokenness, patterning life after the God who broke Himself and gave. Would koinonia let me accept my brokenness instead of being terrified by it? I see it hanging in the chapel, the colored strokes of Da Vinci’s, The Last Supper and He, the God-Man, shared the bread, broke it, commanded us to remember, sustain on the brokenness of Christ. Could I really not run from mine? He passed the cup and said drink in full. And I’ve been swallowing down this grace I never get over and never want to get over and I close my eyes because Christ alone washes clean. We begin the new year the only way we begin anything - with Communion with God. With brokenness. Maybe in communion, in koinonia, I could embrace the broken parts of my life:
Embrace every scar as surgery - to make me more like his Son. Embrace every pain as a peeling away of something - to make me know it in new ways, that He is enough. Embrace every moment as a miracle - that it might never have been. That makes me wake to all as grace. And contentment is never a matter of circumstances; contentment is always a state of communion - a daily embracing of God. A thankfulness for all of the gifts - and moments and life, just as He gives it. Trying harder may only bring harder trials and contentment, it won’t be found in the resolutions, but in the revolutions - in the turning round to God. Where else could I fully live but at the table of communion, the table of eucharisteo, of thanksgiving? Is this ‘koinonia’ the deepening of ‘eucharisteo’, the deepening of thanksgiving, of life full? The new year and day are dawning & I commune with God in the quiet - what my New Year needs most. Wherever you are, in comfort or trial, you have with you the glorious, surpassing, treasure of Jesus. May you enter into communion, drink in full the grace, the joy. HIS, yours, & theirs, La Multi Ani,