Today’s Readings: Isaiah 35:3-7; Luke 7:18-30; Psalm 126
During my seven and a half year ministry at my previous parish, I made a practice of visiting an amazing woman named Dolores every 3 weeks or so. Dolores was a wonderful woman who had a rich personal history. She was an African-American woman in her 80’s who was the third generation of college educated women in her family. Her grandmother had been among the first group of African-American women admitted into college in the part of the country where they lived. Dolores herself had had a wonderful career as an educator and had found time to raise two talented children.
Once Dolores entered the nursing home where she lived, however, the way Dolores was perceived by others changed greatly. Those who had called her a friend suddenly dropped out of Dolores’ life simply because they were uncomfortable visiting her in the nursing home. Over time, her sense of social isolation grew; as a result she began to question her worth.
Of course Dolores wasn’t alone in wondering this. Many folks in our society come to a similar place where they wonder if they have anything left to give. They feel as if their life has become barren.
Thankfully, the sacred readings of our tradition provide us with wonderful words of encouragement like those from today’s passage from Isaiah to keep us going at times we may feel like this. “Energize the limp hand,” the passage begins, “strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, ‘Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here…Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness, streams will flow in the desert” (Isaiah 35:3 & 6 from The Message).
If you are in a place where you are battling feelings of low self-esteem and wondering if your best days are behind you, grab hold of these words and hold on tight. These words can remind you there is so much more for you to give. The springs of water are waiting to break forth from what might feel like the wilderness of your life. Til next time…