Another week begins.
Another week without our usual workplaces, casual trips to the store, or gatherings of friends.
Some of us have let go of long-planned vacations.
Some of us are seized with panic about lost income.
We have let go of what is not essential. We are waiting for “normal.”
Our situation reminds me of this beautiful work by Macrina Wiederkehr, a Benedictine sister, author, and lover of the spiritual.
She wrote this poem, which she gave me permission to share, about times when we are stripped down, vulnerable, and “wearing the colors of emptiness.” At those times, we are living out the Sacrament of Waiting, ready for a new, surprising kind of beauty.
The Sacrament of Letting Go
© Macrina Wiederkehr
Slowly she celebrated the sacrament of letting go. First she surrendered her green, then the orange, yellow, and red finally she let go of her own brown. Shedding her last leaf she stood empty and silent, stripped bare. Leaning against the winter sky, she began her vigil of trust.
Shedding her last leaf, she watched it journey to the ground. She stood in silence wearing the colors of emptiness, her branches wondering, How do you give shade with so much gone?
And then, the sacrament of waiting began. The sunrise and the sunset watched with tenderness. Clothing her with silhouettes that kept her hope alive.
They helped her to understand that her vulnerability, her dependence and need, her emptiness, her readiness to receive, were giving her a new kind of Beauty. Every morning and every evening they stood in silence, and celebrated together the sacrament of waiting.