My oldest daughter and her neighbor friend have been at this fort since the beginning of COVID. Socially distanced, at least as best as elementary kids can be in the midst of a pandemic, they have built and rebuilt this minds-eye castle more times than I can count. Twigs. Fallen branches. Stones. Old drop cloths. Rolls and rolls of duct tape. It doesn’t take much to blow this thing over, but each time it collapses they have strengthened their resolve, empowered one another, and become more determined to build it back bigger and better together. This weekend, Christmas music was even heard from their tablet as they reconstructed from the depths of their imaginations.
Resilience is a buzz word these days- and for good reason. We may need this grit now more than at any other time of our lives, as endless gusts of dejection continue to bluster our way. There is no need to rehash the examples- we know them well enough. Yet this drive may become harder and harder to muster with nights longer, darkness thicker, and air colder. Seasonal stress and sorrow creep these days like dementors that seek to siphon the hope and joy from our spirits. That’s when I look to my backyard at my daughter and her buddy, bundled up and frequently masked, finding whatever resources before them to raise up and strengthen their fort once more. We can do this, beloved siblings of the human family. And every time we dare to enter the struggle with courage and creative collaboration, the story of God with us is strengthened among us all the more (1 Corinthians 1:6).
You got this. You are loved.
Check out the calendar of words for sacred imaging through AdventWord.