Thursday, April 11, 2019

Breaking Point

Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 
John 3:17

Mary Oliver writes:
Is the soul solid, like iron?
Or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of an owl?

   -from Some Questions You Might Ask

We used this scripture and Mary Oliver poem in my contemplative prayer group recently. In this group, we listen a total of four times - first to hear; then for a word or phrase that speaks; then for a feeling that comes; finally, spending time in reflection. For this scripture and poem, my word was "breakable." Which led me to the question, "What is my breaking point?"

Science offers us lots about breaking points, melting points, boiling points. Scientific, specific, and static. Breaking point of iron; melting point of ice. But us humans?

There are no specifics on the breaking point for the human soul and spirit. We can be stretched to unbelievable dimensions without breaking. And return to ourselves ~ changed but the same. I think about a piece of string. I hold it between my hands and pull ... and pull ... and pull. If I keep pulling it will break. But if I release it, it is saved.

Through the trials and tribulations of my life: broken relationships; the death of my mother when I was 24; losing my dad, my in-laws, my aunt; my husband's cancer & treatment; being sued by a neighbor ~ through all these things, past and to come, my soul and my spirit has been stretched. At each I have wondered, "Is this my breaking point?"

Like the string, we may reach a point where the soul has stretched & stretched & stretched until it is taut and the tension is unbearable. At this point - this tension moment - we can choose: to release it all to God, being saved and brought back to ourselves. Or we can hold onto control in the false belief that we can save ourselves. And we will be lost and broken.

Saving and redemption and life come through and belong to God. God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit. God the healer. Help me to let go of control and to trust.