It has been awhile since I posted. With all the challenges of the pandemic, the horrendous political climate, and deep sorrow stirred in 2020, so much of the time I found it difficult to write something coherent to completion. Which is sad; I love writing, especially writing to you. I appreciate all of you who read this blog. Thanks for being here. I thought I would get this out before the end of the year but as you can see I did not. So as we slip into 2021 hoping for life to get back to normal, whatever that may be, I want to share some gentle thoughts with you.
This post is inspired by The Mending Life: A Handbook for Repairing Clothes and Hearts by sisters Nina and Sonya Montenegro. The book opens with these words:
We all wear clothes.
Things fall apart.
But we are gifted with hands that
Things come back together.
Hearts forgive and deepen with compassion.
Mending is a part of life.
Right away I was moved by their expansive view of mending. Does anyone else tear up thinking about 2020 and all the pain that exposed old wounds as well as inflict new ones? So many turned away from one another ripping big holes in hearts and relationships and in our nation. This is not about government; it is too personal. It’s about how we want change but often are not willing to sit down and mend torn places.
The Montenegro sisters say it so well. “At first glance, mending may seem inconsequential, but not only does it mean buying fewer clothes (thus slowing down the fast fashion cycle), it also invites us into a new way of being. Mending is a powerful act of restoration, both for our clothes and for our relationship to the world. . . . Making something whole again is also a form of healing, and we have a deep desire to heal what is broken. . . . We may even begin to see opportunities for healing: we can make amends with someone we’re at odds with, we can restore fertility to degraded soil, we can create a thriving urban oasis for pollinators, and with each small act, our broken hearts begin to heal in turn. . . . We need more fix-it shops! Owned by moms & pops. Places of resurrection, second lives, second chances, thirds, fourths, fifths . . .”
The Bible has a few things to say about mending. In Colossians 1:19-20 Paul writes, “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.” Christ’s tattered skin pressed up against the splintered wood of the Cross restored our broken relationship with God. Restore means “to repair, rebuild, renew. To restore is to return something to it’s original or usable and functioning condition. Restore can mean to return to life; get or give new life.” Believing Jesus to be God’s Son and following Him gives us new life. Through Christ we are restored to our original condition – in relationship with God.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:18, those of us who have been reconciled in Christ are given the ministry of reconciliation. Reconcile means to restore and restore means: “to restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken (Synonyms: repair/mend).” Mending is a part of life.
Mending cannot restore to the original condition but it does restore to a usable and functioning condition. This personal act can only be done one to another. Though scars may remain from a mended tear, mending can restore a relationship – making it stronger. This plays out in our torn and tattered culture. How can we begin to make steps towards mending? What can each of us do to make amends in the communities in which we are planted? What a difference it would make if we all recognized that mending is part of life and each has a part to play restoring relationship with God, with one another, and with the natural world.
Colossians 1:20 (The Message)
“. . . but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe – people and things, animals and atoms – get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood poured down from the cross.”
Believers aren’t better but we are given the responsibility of leading in the ministry of mending. I am praying about how I can be one who mends in 2021 and taking the next step. Want to join me? Let’s put a new face on 2021 and invest in healing, reconciliation, and repairs. What will this look like for you? What are some things or relationships you mended in 2020?