Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite. I know what I should be doing, but I can’t manage to do it. I wonder if it’s about long dark winters and just being tired of the cold … I don’t know. Is this what the writer of Romans meant when he wrote, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (7:15)? I really hate wasting time, but where is the energy to do more? From where comes my inspiration?
Take my use of my personal sacred space, for example. We lost our meditation room when we decided to put in a “proper” guest room. Before, we had a futon in the library (the third of the three bedrooms in our three-bedroom house), but I said to my husband last spring–when I still had my gardens–“We really should have a proper guest room, dear.”
I still have my space in our living room with the three candles, and I still pray the three candle prayer, but what can be said about someone whose best prayer time is in her car on her way to work?! How deep can those prayers be with both eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel? And they don’t last the entire time–one swerving driver or getting cut off, and I leave praying entirely!
So in winter, without my backyard gardens to sit in and now without my meditation room, meditation has become a chore. This makes me feel like a hypocrite.
I find myself saying mean things to people I care about and I can’t even blame menopause! Oh, my Lord, come see about me!
Or maybe it’s the season? I really do up my house up for Christmas–four trees, three nativities, table tops and window tops, along with a decorated staircase. I have said that if I have to live inside during the darkness of winter, I can at least live in a jewelry box! So for those weeks, I live in the midst of beauty (and have the electric bill to prove it). I took everything down after Epiphany, and while I have a warm and comfortable home, it seems that by the end of this January my internal joy-o-meter had become stuck on “Oh heck, who has energy for that”!
I have been careless about my own good self care. And I can’t blame ignorance! Oh, my Lord, come see about me!
But when I hold my newest granddaughter, I am filled with love and my soul’s cracks are filled, warmed, and smoothed. When my three-year-old granddaughter crawls into my lap pretending to be a newborn, my heart’s weariness falls away. And when my ten-year-old grandson listens to my words with his heart, soul, and hands, I become a wise woman once again. For a sacred moment, I see the sacred space within my soul where the Spirit of Life which is Christ dwells and where the sun is always shining.
The Lord has always been seeing about me. Have I again been taken to a place of healing by simply counting a few of my blessings? Is this a way to beat the winter doldrums and the fatigue that comes to the soul after a long, gray season? I won’t say, but I suddenly no longer feel like a hypocrite. Right now I feel like someone richly blessed!
Inez Torres Davis is a happy, blessed new grandmother and director for justice for Women of the ELCA.