Wednesday, November 12, 2008

rending and healing

Dear ones,

The prophet Joel tells the people to rend their hearts, not their garments in today's reading. The practice of rending garments was written about in Genesis and is a sign of mourning. Joel calls for the real thing, not just a symbol. Most of you know that my first marriage ended in divorce after 14 years of marriage (it was an 'arranged marriage'  which is longer  story than my daily reading intro can deal with). A few years after the divorce, when I was in seminary and studying the practice of rending garments I decided to rend the garment of my first wedding dress as a sign of that marriage ending. I had no idea how hard it is to rend a garment! It's easier to split a 2x6 in half with your hands (that also is another story from my martial arts days!). I persisted and successfully 'rent' the garment and then sewed two of the pieces together to make a small baptismal stole for a young girl who had been sexually abused by a priest (she was only 2 years old when she came into my life).  I carefully stitched the tear together and sewed a cross over the tear in the fabric. It was very healing for my soul to do that. What do you mourn? What do you carry in your heart that you need to let God take care of for you?

Thanks to Evelyn Wickham for the poem we have for today. Peace.   Debra+

Joel 2:12-19 (NRSV)

12 Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with
mourning; 13rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and
merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. 14Who knows whether he
will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD,
your God? 15Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; 16gather the people. Sanctify the
congregation; assemble the aged; gather the children, even infants at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his
room, and the bride her canopy. 17Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD,
weep. Let them say, "Spare your people, O LORD, and do not make your heritage a mockery, a byword among
the nations. Why should it be said among the peoples, 'Where is their God?'"

18 Then the LORD became jealous for his land, and had pity on his people. 19In response to his people the LORD
said: I am sending you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a mockery among the nations.



Now when the breath of frost has chilled

The waiting aspens, when the sky

Has floated the birds to another country

and summer’s brook goes dry,


I can review and list my losses

Without complaint, shoulder my grief

While the cold-fingered wind strips

My heart of its last leaf,


And watch time’s plow turn under days

Like stubble, I must lace my boots

And fill the cellar bins – they winter,

Trees, in their roots.

~James Hearst,  Snake in the Strawberries