Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Wednesday Weekly Devotional

By Pastor Sarah Winter

As one of my assignments for my Intercultural Spirituality class last week we were to take part in a spiritual practice that we didn’t have familiarity with. As many of you know, I am a big proponent of spiritual practices as I truly believe that they open our hearts, minds and souls to encountering Holy Spirit in ways that we may not be attune to during our daily lives.

I chose Visio Divina, in which we are called to gaze at an image and allow it to speak to us without an agenda while noticing our breath and reflecting on how we feel looking at the image. We are to ponder where we would place ourselves in the image and is God speaking to us in that moment.

As I was sitting on the deck of Covenant Harbor for my class, I saw a beautifully intricate spiderweb. I had been watching it for days (partially because I am not a fan of spiders and wanted to make sure that it’s creator was not coming near me!) On this particular day a bright yellow leaf had fallen off the tree above and landed right near the center of the web, essentially rendering the web useless for its intended purpose.

In an unexpected twist of emotion, I had a wave of empathy for the spider. He had worked so hard doing exactly what he was created to do, making a beautiful gleaming spiderweb to use as his home and source of nourishment… then the autumn winds blew and spoiled his efforts.

It was nothing in the spider’s control, however now he had to start all over again – rebuilding for his survival, growth, and livelihood. Was he frustrated? Was he resigned to having to re-build, as the end result of his work is always out of his control with people, animals and blowing leaves any moment shattering his sense of normalcy?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I do know that the spider kept on going, because it is what he is created to do. And he doesn’t realize that what he is doing for his survival is actually a work of art – think of the days when the dew drops are on a spider web and the morning sun shines through. The beautiful autumn trees are also works of art – the majesty of God’s creation – but I have to believe that the spider may not share my love for the bright yellow leaf.

We are all walking through a season of uncertainty now…. Where what we have worked for, planned for and dreamed of feels sometimes feels as delicate as the spider web that can be altered by a strong gust of wind, leaving us to wonder what just happened and how we should move forward.

But just like the spider, we do move forward. Strengthened by Holy Spirit, we take a deep breath, say a prayer and create something new. No two spider webs are constructed exactly the same, every one is a fresh start. I’d like to think that the spider built his next web differently yet still amazingly beautiful, learning from the past and strengthening himself for the future.

After gazing on the spiderweb, Isaiah 40 verses 29 & 31 were placed on my heart: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak…. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint.”

May these words inspire us this week as we move forward to do the things that God has created us to do, with Him strengthening, loving us and guiding us every single moment moment.