"Arise my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one, and come! For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come, and the song of the dove is heard in our land." - Song of Songs 2: 8-14
Advent and Lent tend to be seasons when I am on high alert as to how my spiritual life is going. Am I spending good time with Jesus? Have I gone to confession lately? Are my priorities straight? However, my thoughts sometimes lead me to forceful "shoulds" rather than graceful "coulds".
As an over achiever, I'm pretty hard on myself. I'm learning to catch myself sooner, to take a deep breath and make space. As I invite Jesus in, I see His loving eyes, His gentle face, and listen to His words call me His Beloved.
The first reading today reminds me of the seasons for rain and for flowers, for pruning and for blooming. There are times when I feel tight with God, when "life is beautiful even when everyday's not pretty," and times when I feel we're distant, maybe because of distraction, excuses, indifference, or fear.
I've just arrived in Toronto where it's wet and icky and the maple leaves aren't crunchy anymore. I love stepping on crunchy fall leaves. Jesus tells me on our walk today that it's alright, enjoy the crisp air. It's alright that I've been crazy busy, that I haven't spent as much time with Him in the Word as I used to, that I haven't been serving as much or addressed that one relationship that's been "ugh." He's here in this moment, in all the truth, beauty, goodness, and love around me. In awe I tell Him:
Lord, I'm amazed by your grace. Thank You for always gently being here so that I may spend time with You who meets me where I'm at, in whatever season I find myself in. I want to make a path for You, to deepen my faith and trust in you, because I can, not because I should. Amen.
Reflected by Chau Anh Kim