My ponderings lately have been many – my writings few. The theme of “stand” arises again and again. Today - “and having done all…stand.” Ephesians 6 :13. Yesterday - “I did not hide my face from insult.” Isaiah 50:6. Approaching the end of Lent, I consider how Jesus stood in the face of assault during his life and particularly at the crucifixion.
We are in the midst of Holy Week and even if you do not believe in the crucifixion and resurrection, it is still a great story. The images and metaphors of dying to self and rising again are powerful. Standing in the face of life’s trials and not backing down. “I did not hide my face from insult.” No matter what happens, stand firm.
Standing firm can take on many forms. It can mean grieving or gritting your teeth and bearing things. I see it as not numbly checking out or fleeing, but staying with some form of presence. I will not leave. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God stands firm. The ultimate image of parent. Again, even if you do not believe in the God story – choosing to parent yourself and stand firm in the face of life’s trials. Choosing not to leave yourself.
Feeling our feelings. Being impacted by others. Standing firm. Firm does not mean rigid to me. It is grounded. Perhaps my face in the dirt - head to the ground, humbly weeping. Terra Firma. The ground as holy. My feet planted deeply and entwined with the roots of the world – like an old tree that can be blown about and lose its leaves in a storm or provide shade in the heat of day.
Lord, may I stand firm with strength and tenderness for myself as well as others.
Where do you long to stand firm today? Where are you tempted to flee? How might you consider changing your view of what standing firm looks like? Is it full of strength? Tenderness? Both?