We're halfway to Pentecost, the feast of God's Spirit. In the West the color of the Spirit is red, just as the color of Jesus as Lord is red. In the East, however, the color of the Spirit is green, marking the Spirit's greening, creative, birthing work. As I struggle through the labor of giving birth to the vocation that's been gestating in me all my life, I am in need of a skillful, experienced midwife. I find myself wondering if I'm fit for the mothering I'm preparing to engage in. Will I have the energy to do it? How will I maintain balance so I don't fall apart? Is this sort of mothering my true call? What if that which I birth is nothing like what I expected? I have a whole team of midwives to help me through this process, but their skill and encouragement doesn't make my birthing easier. It hurts. It's one of the most difficult things I've ever done. And there is the horrifying-because-it-seems-so-selfish possibility that I will disappointed with what emerges from me. I am conscious of wanting things to go a certain way, and aware that they may not, and aware that that's out of my hands. The Spirit has something in store for me beyond my imagining, and my job is to let my expectations roll off me so I can focus on laboring it into the world. The above image is from Matthew Fox's Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen. It's called "Sin - Drying Up."
Yesterday I engaged in radical transparency as I told a story of my life that's been hidden for many years. Sharing this story of brokenness had the unexpected effect of rendering me more, not less, whole. This has me wondering whether the gospel writers couldn't make due with the original ending of the gospel of Mark because it wasn't enough for the scandal of Jesus' rising from the dead to go untold. Perhaps the resurrection event became redemptive as it was whispered with others. A grain of wheat alone is small, lonesome, and dry--but if she dares to expose herself to the enveloping, all-penetrating company of rich, moist, nourishing soil, she gives herself over to the possibility of growing up to new life, and eventually fulfilling her life's call to feed others from her new life. What still remains hidden, isolated, and untold within me? What lonesome seed from my life needs to be plucked from its isolation and planted within the soft soil of my heart so it may rise up?