This long retreat I have been using Joyce Rupp’s book entitled Open the Door A JOURNEY TO THE TRUE SELF. There has been much humor as I read and pray, study and allow myself to be transfigured here at the Convent of the Transfiguration! Today is Friday and I thought I should summarize the humor before the details escape me!
Dealing with aging and increased pain from osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia I have had to face the fact that as my body and abilities change my attitude and expectations must also. Here on the grounds of Bethany school and the Convent changes are every place. A few years ago I wrote the article “The Bee Lingers.” The location of that story is now gone with the new construction of an updated school building. Most of the fence around the garden has been removed. The shrubs and morning glory vines gone, too.
I have chosen to make a private, silent retreat. Yesterday the workmen were not only cutting down a huge ash tree in what you might call my front yard, but grinding it up, also. I am certain that tree has been here longer than I have been coming to the Convent. Later in the afternoon a young man was busy with a huge chainsaw cutting up some of the branches. His fellow worker brought over some equipment and they picked up pieces of the wood to toss in it. Big pieces of wood! Have you ever tried to lift a tree slice? Very heavy. Made so aware visually that my strength is not what it used to be. Yet, I will be okay as long as I can get in a mental place of acceptance. So examples of change for the better surround me. I found it humorous that I would be reminded that change can be so noisy.
There were also workmen taking concrete into the basement of the church building. They had an on-site mixer, wheelbarrow, gutter-like chute for sending it down the flight of stairs and the sidewalk was almost blocked by their 2 pickup trucks parked upon it while they worked. I assumed they were doing some sort of repairs to the foundation of the building. Meanwhile, I continued to work on my foundational mindset. Interesting to see. Then the tools were put back in the trucks, concrete washed off the equipment and everything loaded up. Once they drove away if you had not witnessed it, you might not have known they were here. There was a piece of wood placed over the entrance at the foot of the stairs.
Every time I enter my quarters I have to push really hard to get my door to latch. I usually have to push twice. Guess what! The door has a knocker on it that bumps when I shut the door. Joyce Rupp has six lessons devoted to knocking on doors. Objects lessons every place!
The basement workmen were back today and I just had to ask them why put concrete in the basement? Was it foundation work? No, not foundation work. They were installing a new DOOR and always build a concrete frame first. I showed them my retreat book and the man told me his was one door I would not be able to open. So true, but I giggled as I walked away amused that I know One who walks through doors!
The Lord is showing me that He will accompany me over every new threshold as I age and change. He will help me grow in the things of the Spirit. This last photo is a closeup of the basement threshold before the concrete dries. Look closely and you will see the moisture on the concrete around the threshold!
May you always find the courage to grow and change in life with grace. Tear down old structures you do not need anymore. Close the doors that need closing and swing wide the new doors! The next chapter in her book is entitled “Oiling the Hinges.” Ought to be interesting. 😉