The Reality Is




2020.

Crazy year, right?

I feel it.

Crazy, that is. It has “all” been quite overwhelming and it is not an exaggeration to say that my spirit is grieved. The part of my soul, my spirit, that is irrevocably linked to you and to those that are hurting, is grieved. The space, the air, the energy around me is laden with sorrow. Grief can be a heavy burden to bear.

But it is also telling. It informs me that change must come. Healing must come.

I wonder: can I, will I be an agent of healing and change?


I’ve needed to take a step back and regroup. My creative pursuits have been on pause, work has felt overwhelming, output has been minimal. As I have taken time to reflect, I was reminded of the theme words I was given for 2020:


Nurture

Growth


At the start of the year I thought “growth” would mean more creative production and output. But it became clear in March when my work, my husband’s work and our four son’s schooling moved full-time into our 1100 square foot home, that this would not be the case. Like so many others, we had to maneuver, rearrange and problem solve our way into an effective routine that made it possible for all of us to do what needed to be done on a daily basis. It was difficult, but we adapted. Now as things are opening back up and the Covid numbers continue to rise, it feels strange. The growth I saw was in the communication of our family, not in the number of books I was able to write (to date I have completed one book this year...I’m two behind my original goal!) In a way we were forced to nurture ourselves, getting more/better sleep than we had in months and taking the time to cook together and have more intentional family time.

But Covid isn’t the only disease we are fighting in our world right now. It wasn't the only thing that made 2020 a devastating time to endure. Even as states exercise their rights despite the coronavirus to begin reopening, there are other rights being violated and lives being taken, a disease of the heart and mind is the culprit. This "sickness" runs so deep... The grief of sickness and death and violence, the heaviness of heart, has really slowed down my creative process and yet that creative process has also provided a healing space for me in the midst of this real-world crisis. Involving myself in the tension and problem solving of my fantasy-world has been therapeutic. In the Kingdom of Monde there is tension. I’m now writing book five where one of the main people groups has broken into two factions. The Kingdom of Monde is waiting to see if they can trust the faction that says they want peace. Do they really? Will they give up their barbaric practices to live in harmony with the people of the kingdom?

In this series for middle grade readers, The Sage Cheval Series, it is an ancient breed of horse from which comes the wisest voice in the kingdom. The young royals must decide for themselves whether or not to listen to this ancient wisdom. (Spoiler alert: things work better for them when they choose to listen to this wisdom!)

For me, that ancient wisdom is God, who created each and every one of us in His image. Even somewhere in the depths of hateful, deceitful people in our world today, there is the image of the Divine. They have tried to bury it, they have made choices that cause decay and mutilation of that image, but it is there. I cry, “mercy!” for the mutilated image-bearer who has been deceived; “mercy!” for the victims they inflict with their hatred. I cry, “Save us! Save us now!” to a God who is near but sometimes allows us to suffer through the consequences of the choices we make.


There is a greater Wisdom in our world than what seems to be prevailing now. This is the Wisdom I cling to, the Wisdom I seek out. It is an ancient Wisdom, older than the stars, brighter than even our biggest, brightest star. This Wisdom is rooted in love, is Love. Love that would give itself for the sake of another. The same light that burns within this Wisdom, this Love, is the same Light that was placed within us even before we began our transformation within our mother’s womb.


There is a strong and harsh word in Proverbs, the book of wisdom, that continues to resound in my mind. When I first heard it it moved me, touched my heart, challenged me. It speaks of the foolishness of following the impulse of hatred and the inevitable consequences of poor decisions. It also speaks of the perils of complacency. I would like to share these words here:

"Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: 'How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. ... the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.' ”

-Proverbs 1: 20-23, 33 NIV

Wisdom, Love, come and fill us. Teach us. Heal us. May we be moved to compassion, no longer comfortable in our complacency. May we choose wisdom and act it out in our care for one another. May we, each one, allow ourselves to be used and accessed as agents of change in this hurting world.

Amen.


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©2020 Sarah Fenlon Falk