Sunday, September 21, 2008


The birth of anything new requires the breaking or tearing of something old.

Snakes break through their too tight skin—wriggling and undulating in order to shed their faded, restrictive casing.

Butterflies split the transparent chrysalis—bursting it because their new selves cannot be contained. Their wings must unfold.

Birds crack the ivory shell—emerging so that they might step out on unsteady legs and dry their feathers.

Babies rupture the protective membranes (and sometimes tear our bodies)—entering the world and taking their first real breaths.

Tearing, rupturing, breaking, cracking, splitting.

This is violent language.

And it frightens us.

We don’t want to admit this. We want to avoid it.

We beg and plead for the process to be lessened or averted. We don’t want to be torn or broken.

There comes a time, however, when who we are no longer fits our skin, our shell, our fetal amniotic sac.

Deep inside we cringe because we cannot see beyond the violence. Our vision is too limited in scope and depth perception. We suffer from spiritual myopia: we are near-sighted; we do not see far.

Our fear often blinds us to the reality that this violent passage is essential for our growth toward wholeness.

We can be strengthened through the process of the tearing and the breaking.

The very struggle (if we allow it to happen and embrace it) releases what we will need in order to survive and thrive in the next stage of our metamorphosis.

Correct my vision, O God. Allow me to see far beyond the violence to the wholeness you have planned for me.

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