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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Take a breath

Anticipating a new hurricane season, I await the Spirit

A husband's question, "Do you know where my extra razor blades are?"
Scratched off a November scab,
exposing the wound,
and readied me to grieve little things lost amid hurricanes of '04.
Razor blades, a book of my poems, watches ... vanished, just like the time spent looking in vain.
Wedding cards, the baby's freshly painted room, the pieced-together, cherry-stained furniture
set ... discarded, soggy, smelly, spent.
With wound raw, each step toward rebuilding a reminder of loss.
And, when our privacy was violated and the Gucci baby shoe stolen,
Had there been any theft of identity?

Uncertainty and violation. Words that let wounds of years past air out too.
Of tickling hands that wouldn't stop,
no matter how hard I pleaded.
Of penetration when I had said no,
unprotected, violated.
Of awaiting the HIV test results.
Yes, the stiff winds and pounding rains of a hurricane
change lives in ways that can't be compensated by a check.

Yet in each painful reminder of struggle, the wound isn't the final answer;
the pain shall not be too great to bear.
The King stayed not on the cross.
The scars of the nails and pierced side are not the end.
So with the disciples we await fresh outpouring and strengthening of the Spirit,
a commissioning to share his infinite, boundless, most complete and triumphant Love.
Worried about a repeat summer? Take a breath, and let's dive in to the river of life.


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