Brody Hed is a first-year MACP student from Minnesota whose passion for literature and story evolved into a love of helping others see the beauty of their own journey. This passion led him to pursue camp ministry, writing, student development, to now studying counseling psychology at The Seattle School.
A season of looking forward to the Earth’s restoration through the remembrance of Jesus’ birth –
that moment of divine interruption. That moment when the Heavenly realms and the Earth met in a beautiful collision only previously known in the Garden of Eden, the innermost room of the tabernacle and temple.
And as we remember that moment, we enter a season of anticipation. Hopeful anticipation in the midst of cold days and long nights. While every year has its fair share of each season – reminding us of the life, death and new birth cycle that our Creator invites us into – this year seems to be presenting us with a particularly long winter. I’m not sure what a hundred year long winter without Christmas feels like, as the Narnians experienced in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, but it might be safe to say it feels like this: ongoing despair and more than enough reasons for hopelessness.
It’s so much easier to anticipate in hope when we know that winter will cease and the cold sting of death will subside to make room for an empty tomb. It’s exciting to plant trees when we know they will bear fruit. Calming to pray when we know there is relief ahead. But oh, how difficult it is to hope when winter has taken over and our Advent season continues without respite. When the White Witch has a hold over the land and we find ourselves in constant states of confusion and pain, we wonder where Aslan is… the battle rages on but… where is our King? So many hearts have been turned to stone. How can we keep fighting when our world seems to be solidifying into emptiness and hatred and fear? How do we journey onward in hope?
It is here that I am reminded of my Breath. Our collective Breath.
This year has revealed to more Americans than ever before the preciousness of the inhale and exhale sustaining our lives. Finally, the cries of suffocating Black and Brown image-bearers are reaching past the ears of many White Christians to penetrate the Soul. We are realizing that any asphyxiation is an atrocity. Such a disregard of the Breath of Life’s sanctity is sacrilege, ruthless, and heartless. Eyes that did not wish to see this are opening. Ears that did not wish to hear are listening. And the whole Earth, both oppressed and oppressor, seems to be howling out: “Lord, save us!” This lament, this cry, this “moaning too deep for words,” seems to fall on deaf divine ears.
But it is not so. YHWH has breathed into our lungs the Breath of Life. And so in the harshness of winter, when the sun has hidden herself from us and the land is bare, we recall that there is a healing power, a “deep magic,” flowing through us: for the reviving breath that Aslan breathes onto lifeless statues is the same breath in you and me.
Yes, like Lucy with her cordial, except that our power does not come from something outside of us and in small quantities. Bestowed on us from our Creator, it comes from within – that which sustains us and permeates our entire being. We are intrinsically co-healers with the divine, able to reclaim our hearts of stone and bring our seemingly dead world back to life. No, we cannot do it alone: we need one another. But all of us can go out, trusting that our work is good. Our work is holy. Our work is bringing about that “Beloved Kingdom.”
Work that is far from being over – for winter is still fighting back the forces of spring – but the ground we tread is thawing. The White Witch’s control is slipping, the Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve have awakened to their own life-giving power and Aslan is on the move. So we journey onward… with renewed hope, knowing that the hold of Winter is weakening.
Behold, spring has come.