Lenten Devotion, Thursday, April 14, 2022

Published April 14, 2022 by Martha Doolittle

A New Thing

At last, my final trip home. The culmination of six months of dread and anticipation: two and a half months of planning and preparation as deeply veined and craggy as the terrain outside the window of my cross-country journey and a daily choice to anticipate miracles and blessings in the unknown of every step. After all this preparation, it suddenly occurs to me that I am going home (my family's home) for the last time.

Not only is the house being sold, but everyone in that house has moved to another place, from heaven to Tennessee.

While this final journey is overwhelming with time-constrained detail, the emotions have only begun. I am anticipating some sudden tears over the detritus of treasures left behind, but I'm also mourning the lost presence of my parents who held us there with a general memory and vague expectancy of their everlasting love and constancy. Mom's passing was a valiant, hope-filled battle with cancer while Dad's departure is a slow burn of dementia that uncovers a life of hurt and anger from which he has not yet been healed. And yet, Mom's passing was the rumble of fault lines that would begin to crack open our hearts.

The unprecedented time that my sister, brother, and I have spent in these last six months has exposed deep fissures of pain yawning through our hearts, at last uncontainable, crying out for the healing work of God's grace as He knits our hearts together. If we don't recoil in pain and shame, I believe our healing has begun.

Our personal Lenten story of death to life. Resurrection.

Here I am, doing a new thing;
Now it is springing up?
do you not know about it?
I will surely make a way in the desert,
rivers in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19 (TLV)

Martha Doolittle and her husband, Ted, have been members of South Main since the summer of 2016. Power and Light Sunday school class, Midtown South Main at Home, and Sanctuary Choir are vital "family for us in this place." Passionate about the arts and God's plan for unity of the Body of Christ, Martha facilitates The Artist's Roundtable and enjoys her work on the Discipleship Committee.