This season of Lent our theme is “We are turning.” Lent, this season of spring, serves as a time of reorientation, of turning back to God. Repentance is a part of that, as it reframing, reimagining, refocusing, and simply turning around to get a new view. Each Wednesday in Lent we are blessed by hearing stories from members about a “turning” experience from their life, a time when they have seen things in a new way or discovered God right in the midst of things. May you be blessed by these stories and may they get you thinking about your own stories of “turning.”
In Peace, Pastor Ruth
“A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” Ezekiel 36:26
By Jean Olson
It happened decades ago……A small group of teenagers had just concluded a Sunday afternoon meeting at church. The specifics are sketchy; however, I remember being in the sanctuary. The late afternoon sun streamed through the stained glass windows. A stillness blanketed the space as prayers were being offered. Hands were gently placed upon my head. All was calm….when suddenly an unintelligible “gibberish” began to fall from my lips. Astonished, yet ecstatic, I was overcome with an immense feeling of love — of JOY!
Several days later, doubt crept in: “Was I just gullible? Brain-washed? Really…God’s Spirit?” I felt embarrassed. Instead of continuing to share with others my experience, I said nothing. The gift of the awareness of the Holy Spirit within me drifted into memory.
Until…..years later. I am standing at the kitchen sink looking out the window. It is winter. The sun is stretching its early morning rays over the back yard while snow lies gently on the neighbor’s cedar trees. I notice the trunk of one tree which appears to reach towards the sky while shadows of light and dark play upon its branches. In the next moment I am aware of a shape created by the trunk, the branches, and the snow. It appears as a “figure” standing with outstretched arms. Then…in my head —in my heart — there is a resurrection of that decades old “gibberish” saying: “Come unto me…. my beloved child…. I am with you always.”
God of Grace, Wake us up. Lead us. Give us courage to turn toward one another with a new heart and a new spirit. AMEN