Genesis 1, gifts of the spirit, God, love, redemption, Spirit
Sometimes it is good to go inside of ourselves and brood a bit.
Brooding is a dark, deep examination of an experience or idea. No doubt most science fiction/fantasy authors spend time brooding about how their book and the characters unfold. Today I was put in the mind of brooding. It was a good thing to do for a short while. If it goes on too long it can slip into depression or other mental health consequences. A little brooding can bring a lot of insight.
Today I engaged in a mundane interchange that somehow shifted to memories of the fire. I usually can tell the stories without getting teary and choked. I am getting used to the stories because I have told them so many times and more than 3/4ths of a year has passed. When I apologized for choking up saying that I thought I was past that point the person I was speaking with quietly said, “they will be with you a lifetime.”
They will be with us for a lifetime. They will make the journey as hitchhikers in our souls. Neither we nor God put them there but they can be blessed and they will, like those things blessed at Creation by God, they can be called “good.”
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. Genesis Chapter 1 verses 1-5, New International Version
I am not reaching for a literal interpretation of the creation story. I am looking for the sanctified aspect of brooding. And “the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep.” This mental image of God hovering over the waters and paying attention is powerful to me. God was brooding, spread his power over the void and saw that it was good.
We cannot presume to understand as God did the formless, empty, darkness. I can only experience it for what I am told in the story and in prayer, that it was formless and empty. I can imagine that the creation was like that. Some translations even use the word brooding. As much as it is tempting to imagine that my brooding somehow is like God’s I could not imagine that.
The fire crept into my soul formless, empty and dark. This I will carry. I will also carry the redemption of the fire.
If God can redeem us as people, how could he not redeem the consequences of the fire? I do not believe that God causes things to happen to us so that we will have an opportunity to learn. I think that things happen and God, present in our lives, is with us when those things happen. We are not abandoned in the dark, formless void. God comes not as the hitchhiker but quietly and with respect and awe as companion in the Way.
It is through this relationship that redemption comes. No one wanted my house to burn, not I, not God. Sometimes things are set into motion and the consequences of unfold like a torrent leaving us in awash in confusion. The peace in the torrent can be God and the kindness of those around us like our fellow Citizens in Pocatello, Chubbuck and to our west and our south and all of our families and friends, they are hands of redemption. They are God’s hands carrying the healing of the soul.
Our hitchhiker will be with us always, but so wrapped in love, cannot help but be redeemed.
Bruce Olenick said:
Hi Beth…your writings stirred up another thought I had of God in the Genesis story…that is the use of the term, in Hebrew, for brooding…or to give birth/hatch. This play on words I believe is intentional…God giving birth to a new world! Perhaps our own “brooding” over events or delemmas gives birth to new life in a different way? Just a thought…
Bruce, fascinating. Since we have farmers in the family I know about a hen and her brood but it never occurred to me to think of God “incubating” the world. It is fantastic imagery. I certainly am in favor of a little brooding now and again. I do think we can learn things in the process.
Dear Friends, If you are brooding and it is not helping but hurting you may be dealing with feeling of depression. If you find yourself doing a lot of brooding you may want to talk to your health care provider. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Lifeline assists with any type of mental health concerns. They offer assistance for friends and family members too. Their website is at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org