Things take time. One of the older priests in our community had an operation some weeks back and returned feeling a little weak but on the mend. Just a few days ago he shared how he noticed himself healing slowly to the point where he now feels almost back to normal. ‘It’s amazing’, he said, ‘How the body heals itself slowly. We just have to give it time.’ Very wise words from a man whose spirituality and prayerfulness I am in awe of. Wise words for us too, especially during this difficult time in the middle of Lent. Things take time, we need time. We need to allow ourselves time to breath, to heal and to live.
I remember a sharing that I did some time back with a group of young adults where I mentioned the concept of liminal space. A liminal space is a time of waiting and a time that’s in between two significant events or periods. It’s time where things are not quite certain and also a time of transition or change. It’s often a space where we try to rush through, wanting to get to the main event as quickly as we can because the in-between is rather uncomfortable. In Lent, we have a mandatory 40 days of liminal space, to prepare ourselves for Easter and to live and wait in this liminal space, uncomfortable as it may be.
It is within this space that we’re called to stay, but not to make ourselves feel miserable – far from that – but to make ourselves feel the little changes that happen within us, like the priest who felt his healing, and to realise that these changes happen not because of us but because of God who gives us life. I imagine that it is somewhat similar even the blind man in the gospel for this weekend (John 9:1-41). He was healed from blindness but not only had to learn to use his eyes again as he was blind from birth (we all know how disorientating it can be to suddenly go from darkness to light) but had to deal with unwanted attention from the religious authorities as well. His physical healing was quick but his reintegration into society and learning to use his newfound sight would definitely take time.
Time heals, life reveals. The number of ‘instant’ products around us is staggering and that just reminds us how waiting and patience are not quite the virtues they used to be. I feel that we’re invited to wait and allow ourselves to be healed by God in whatever ways that we need to be. We’re invited to wait and enter more deeply into life with God, to unite us more deeply with God. That’s all – wait, pray and listen.