Driving in the morning traffic I sit in the left turn lane, blinker on, ready to drop my teen at school as I notice her plugging in her phone to get that charge boost to last her the day. Next to her, my beloved son sits arms crossed, face cinched because I made him get off the coveted iPad before we left home. Soft music fills the car as I look up I see a familiar site, flocks of flying birds in the sky.
I watch for a moment, mesmerized as they fly as one, in sync, swaying in unison to some unheard music only audible to them. One bird flies away off far in the distant sky, then another until there are 5 or so single birds no longer in the midst of the masses. My eyes follow one then the other until I have watched each one branch out set on their own journey. It reminds me of the story of the Shepard and his flock and how Jesus knowing just one of his sheep among many have branched out on their own, he watches over them helping when called upon but not demanding they follow him or the masses.
We all have times in our lives in which we are like these birds once flowing graciously with the group in harmony, we become smaller and withdraw into ourselves. Sometime not knowing exactly why we have left the masses, we have no idea when we will come back, nor what we might do when we do get there. One day you’re walking and talking and volunteering and then out of no where one steps into some state of being where little interaction happens. We have no idea how we got here, or how in the world we get back where we were seemingly only moments before.
We do know that for some it is a desert, for some it is a complete space void of any understanding of the vast loneliness and for others it is a spectacular mask to wear in the masquerade ball called life. No matter what your state of being is, if it is one that is listed or you have one not experienced by this writer, we have much in common on the other side.
It is the light that the grieving Spirit of God still dwells in us, it is that resounding Hope for which we have no reason to have in these states. It is the eternal flame that although is much dimmer in one moment, one day it will burn bright again at its appointed time.
It is as if God in his graciousness extends even more love and grace than we could ever imagine within the darkest places within our souls. As we begin to let his Spirit into those areas of darkness he tenderly injects love, sometimes pinpoint by pinpoint, until we have a space of light in which to begin seeing the flocks, flying back towards the masses, happily, binding to him again. We begin our own flight freely flying towards the masses more aware, more focused and because of his grace, more Gifted as we are again securely enveloped completely in the music within the masses.
Written By: Lisa Wooldridge,
Cypress UMC Member and Volunteer