Slow down, beloved.
Take time to breathe. To be. To honor the life that God has given you.
Take time to acknowledge His presence with you. Smile at him.
Listen and you will hear his voice. In the silence. In the birdsong. In a melody. In a word written on a page. Spoken into your heart.
Feel the breeze waft over your skin. The water run over your body. The snowflake land on your tongue. The softness of a single flower petal. Give yourself to this moment before it is gone and so many others like it are gone.
I have been ill for many weeks now, almost months. This has happened to me before, this long illness that slows me down almost to a standstill and isolates me from normal day to day activity. This coughing that tears at the fibers of my ribcage, hurts now, but will be forgotten when I am well, in the same way that a new mother forgets the pain of delivery when she holds her baby for the first time.
Because I know, in the same way as before, that I too am receiving a gift. The gift of slowing down will not be forgotten. It will be remembered – treasured. An unexpected gift.
I have been forced to move out of the rhythms of the world and I have found God’s arms waiting for me. His ear ready to hear. The joy of His presence. The comfort of His love.
This is not a holiday – more time to read or write or do the quieter work. As anyone with chronic illness (mine isn’t) might tell you, your illness is bossy and demands your attention, taking its toll on your well-being; wearing down, not only your body, but also your soul and spirit. So, any illness is not a holiday, for certain. But, because God is with us in our dark valleys, there are treasures in these places. Unexpected gifts. Small joys, no less precious for their size.
Look for the gifts.
Do you know, really know, deep down, that nothing can separate you from God’s love? You are not less because you are ill. You are treasured and beloved for all eternity.
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