May this Ascension Sunday find you rising to greet the horizon, where the Creator opens up arms of grace and mercy to meet our fragile Spirits.
Self care is something that we as pastoral leadership routinely preach and rarely practice.
As a Seminary intern we are all allotted two weeks of vacation to do as we wish.
Initially with myself and my tribe and trying to coordinate everything I first told my supervising Pastor I probably would not be able to take any vacation.
This gypsy is a creature of habit
Bad habits however, are shattered by the Holy Spirit who always finds comfort sitting in the trees, barefoot and laughing at me.
And so this past week I had not only the middle of the week off
But also today
Sabbath journeys should be for rest and respite, and exploring.
The presence of water, and the connection to being immersed in baptism has always been healing to my very being
Unfortunately, during my middle and high school years, I was plagued by a form of Keratoconjunctivitis
Which among other things, meant no swimming
Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise poem calls deep within my ancestral blood
Regardless of how we, as people of color and children of Africa were demeaned, broken, discarded and misused
Still, we rose in the brilliance of the morning sun
Because we are a part of Creation
No matter what obstacles, heartache, pain, suffering…
caused us to roll ourselves into a corner and remain hidden in the shadows
Still, as the trickling of the Creator God’s eternal Love dripped over our heads in blessing
We would rise to meet God’s call that cradled deep within our recesses and the abyss in our soul.
Still, as the risen Christ rose, and the disciples were astounded
So too, did our hands in praise
and our feet to carry the news
and our hearts, because we knew that the Holy Spirit would remain by our side
Just as Christ remained not too far away from us.
A couple of years prior, while working at a camp, as camp staff we had to do a canoe tip test.
I hadn’t been in the water in years
Perhaps I was too confident
because diving into a man made pond that waters are darker than sin and spookier than night
Does get the heart pounding
But as the temperatures rose here in Austin
So did my desire to get into the blessed pool here in our apartment complex
Wading in the waters,
Remembering my baptism
And with my wonderful husband at my side
I strove to drown my fears in this precious gift from the Creator God
“Do not be afraid, I am with you…”
I emerged, heart pounding, laughing, loving this new adventure
Thankful as I lifted my head towards the sky
Somewhere, the Creator was smiling and laughing,
Knowing I would rise.
Lape Bondye, God’s Peace.