On the night of a bad day, I wonder if people truly change. If we’re all just out here screwing each other up or if there is, as I’ve been taught, a capacity for a better way.
Can the envious toss away layers of green? The angry encounter peace? Can the yeller stop yelling?
And then, this:
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
I used to think this was an old verse about material goods, about how meaningless it was to amass objects void of permanence. You can’t take it with you, and all that. I used to think this was a simple reminder that we’re wasting precious hours adding another chunky knit sweater to our cart, or fretting over our 10-year plan.
And yet, when I re-read it, later mulling it over at the kitchen sink scrubbing oats from the pan, I think it might be about tomorrow, sure, but also yesterday.
Sea cucumbers, too.
Do you know of them? Their ability to regenerate, or as 5-year-old Bee explains to me, “to grow and to grow again?” Sea cucumbers, as a defense, can release their organs to a predator, slipping away to be quietly reborn in 1-5 weeks. Spending themselves entirely. Allowing themselves to be made new.
Waiting patiently, week after week, knowing restoration is already happening within them. Knowing change is on its way.
They do not sow their failures, reap their mistakes. They do not store away each hurt. They do not cater to their wounds and they do not cling to their scars.
Instead: they spill their guts, surrender their insides, become reborn.
They regenerate, and regenerate again.
It sounds a bit like mercy, I think. And patience. Quietly, expectantly awaiting your own small and many rebirths. Delivering them, then allowing them to deliver you.
Look at the sea cucumbers, I wish it read.