This Spring inspired me to transplant one of my plants out of its tiny cupcake-sized container into a larger, more luxurious, condominium-sized container. The little plant, he was getting along, but I could tell by his wispy appearance, this little guy was ready for a new home.
But darned if that little plant would not budge when time came to move. Oh! How the tiny foot-roots clung for dear life to the sides of its cupcake land. Didn’t matter how much more spacious or how much it needed to let go and move on – the little plant was not willing to change.
But with a good, strong tug, the plant finally released its hold on the porcelain and allowed me to gently “Plunk!” it down into the warm, awaiting soft soil.
At first, the little plant was rigid with fear. Eyes tight shut (if it had eyes) and leaves at the sides, the plant wondered, “What’s going to happen now?” (It seemed to say.)
Eventually, the little plant lowered his leaves, stretched out its little root toes, and got comfortable. Quite literally, he let go and let God.
And that, ladies and gentlemen is the story of you and me. The story of us. All during this pandemic, we’ve been living in our little cupcake hideaways, haven’t we? Living, breathing, getting along like the little plant did.
Now we are poking up our collective heads through the soil of our lives and begin to see we have changed. We are not the same.
Like the little plant, we begin to ask ourselves, "What's going to happen now?" "How will I fit in?"
To restore something takes longer than to create something brand new. To restore a car, for example, takes a lot longer than buying a new one.
Another story of restoration comes from our friend the eagle. As the eagle ages, it’s feathers no longer take him so high nor so fast - and he may die.
So, you know what he does? The eagle flies deep into the mountains and finds a den or a cave. While safe inside, he plucks out the feathers that no longer work. In fact, he takes out all his feathers. He also bashes his claws and beak against the rocks and until he is a beat-up mess. Then he waits. And he waits. He waits for the restoration of his full plumage. The beak and talons are renewed to their former ferocity.
The eagle emerges flying higher and swifter than ever. He is reborn. He is transformed.
In many ways, we are like the eagle. We lost our flight. We were driven to our caves and, like the eagle, we waited, and waited for our restoration. Tonight, we begin to emerge. Ready for new flight, new adventures, and new conquests.
Metaphors of restoration and eagles abound in the Bible. Like the story of Job. A man who lost everything right down to his health. Restoration brought back “twice” what was lost. When something is restored, always it returns better than it was at the outset.
From Isaiah: They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
They shall walk and not faint, as was the case with my pandemic eagle story of a whole year of trips to the hospital, with hip and foot surgeries. A break-down of my entire right leg system.
While breaking apart in my eagle cave, I found myself seated for hours at my desk. I could not walk but I could write! Every morning, I prayed to be shown what to write. "Dear God: What would you have me say?" Out of prayer, pain, boredom, and loneliness came a 150-page book called, Confidently Speaking. Seems like God took away my flight long enough to settle me down to do HIS work. HIS way.
The best part is the book was completed on my 30-year sobriety birthday. 30 years since my last drink, barely able to cobble a sentence together, now Confidently Speaking, like the name of my book. A tangible gift of sobriety and of God.
Demolishment and Resurrection: Symbolic of our Earth walk: our rising and falling and returning into the world again. When we surrender to the pain, we find release and transformation. We are ragged and we are blessed.
So let us fly forth, fellow eagles, ready for adventure. Ready for conquest! Ready for our fellow travelers in need – extending our hearts, hands, and wings – knowing as we raise others – we raise ourselves at the same time.
Like the beautiful Sanskrit salutation: “Namaste,” which means: “‘I salute the ‘Father/Mother God within you’.” When we acknowledge someone in this way, like so many things in life, the prayer is returned to ourselves.
Therefore, I bid you Good Night, God Bless and -