Rapid Re-Birth

October 24, 2011

In June, there was a fire in Okefenokee Swamp from a lightening strike.  The fire ripped through the area burning everything in its path.  When we visited the swamp in September, I was amazed at how quickly there was re-birth.  While the trees still appear scorched, new, vibrant, green life is rapidly growing underneath.    I was struck by the contrast of destruction and new life.  

How is it that new life appeared so quickly after such a traumatic event?

These pictures capture the reality of our lives also.  We, too, experience unexpected loss, hurt, and damage.  While we are are still busy treating our scars, new life is already emerging, but we so rarely notice it at first.  It is only later, when the new, vibrant, green takes over that we really see and understand new life.

The question is…how can we become aware of the new life and growth that is taking place at the same time we are busy licking our wounds?  For me, the Examen helps me to understand the presence of God even in the “hard times”.  I can both name my hurts, my worries, and my fears and at the same time be mindful of God ever present working in my life.  Chris and a small group of trusted friends also invite me to see moments of new life and hope, even when times are hard.

Is there, or has there been, a time in your life when you experienced a loss and it was hard to see new life emerging?
Who or what helped sustain you in hope?

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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