A poem by Michel Quoist
Severed ties always create anguish. Think how
a spider panics when one of the strands of its
cobweb is broken. In the same way, people panic
and suffer when their ties with nature, with other
people, with God are broken. They lose their sense
of security. They’re cut off from their lifeline. Hurt
and frightened, they lose their self-control. Like
shipwrecked people, they frantically search for
something to hold on to – but there’s nothing strong
enough to carry their weight, so they drown.
Ties between people must be remade.
Without stealing from the reflections that will come next weekend (thank you to Julie Lipp-Nathaniel) there are echoes at Ascension that remind of the desolation of those long hours between the event of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, between Crucifixion and Resurrection, marked as it is by the Church in Vigil.
Vigil that can feel both empty and eternal but are neither.
So Jesus leaves, returns , repeats a bunch of promises, and checks out again
this time for good.
I don’t really want to say anything more other than invite each and all of us sometime this week to take time
(there are walks posted on the Ascension Page of the website) and think back to an experience or forward to imagined circumstances where the feelings captured by Michel Quoist ring true (aside from – do spiders panic ?) ….. – do this for yourself or family or some other context, a church interregnum if you are really stuck.
Only when you have really given this some space move on
To reflections of growth and life needing change
That ruts and stagnation lead to death
That when babies are born the umbilical chord needs to be ‘severed’ for the baby and mother to survive
And then finally, into prayer……. for people and places and contexts and relationships….
That Severed Ties would not be an end but a beginning, a fresh start of new things
Only now might we be ready to receive the Wind of Change we know as the coming of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus and celebrated at Pentecost – but that is the week after Ascension.