“Yet even now…return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger abounding in steadfast love, and relenting in punishment.
delight and rejoice in the Lord, your God. For he has faithfully given you the early rain, sending down on you, the early and late rains as before. The threshing floors will be full of grain, the vats spilling over with new wine and oil. I will repay you double what the swarming locusts have eaten, the hopper, the consuming locust, and the cutter, my great army I sent against you. You will eat until you are fully satisfied, then you will praise the name of the LORD, your God, Who acts so wondrously on your behalf! My people will never again be put to shame. Then you will know that I am in the midst of Israel: I, the LORD, am your God, and there is no other; my people will never again be put to shame.” Joel 2
In a recent conversation a friend shared the highlighted scripture with me. When I later told her the physical effect she admitted the scriptural nature of the comment. Being the curious sort, wanting to see the comment in its natural habitat I went over to read it. When I saw “return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping and mourning. Rend your hearts and not your garments.” there was an ocean wave of calm, and peace that washed over my soul.
For a long time the experience of rending the heart has meant an emptying my self of selfishness, and other barriers in my relationship with God, self and others. *yes, my self too* It’s often hard to remember that this emptying allows me (us) to be open to greater possibilities: to learn to be kinder, to listen with a softer heart, to share the heartache with a person in need, to hear and see the underlying pain and hurt behind the actions of the other. It also leaves us open to being filled with God’s Grace and Mercy and Peace. This heart rending hurts and is painful. But the oil that enters in is soothing and healing.
Let the healing
This song started playing on Pandora as I ended that last sentence. The healing leads to trust, a longing and an ability to put out into the deep of the ocean and go where God leads. The healing and trust lead to an openness of direction and an ability to hear and see where God is leading and head in that direction.
I am grateful for the healing and mercy and grace. I’ll be excited to see where the healing leads. I’m more excited to see not only where it leads but the effect on my quilts and quilting. Yes, stress does affect how I quilt. When I’m overly stressed out due to any number of things the quilting, that moment of sheer joy, get’s set aside. It’s true. I can do the “have to quilts” but can’t do the “want to quilts”. A lot of the stress is over. I am experiencing that healing and rebuilding. I am going to enjoy this gift for the moment.