Daily Step – Growing our new tails


“I pulled the worm apart, did I kill it?”

Since our backyard is a bit of a mud pit right now, we went into the front yard to play yesterday. Of course, they found the mud there too. Mud is like a magnet for these boys. And as one child dug a hole to make a mud creation he called an “acorn house”, another one dug a worm out of that same hole.

He played with that worm for awhile, and when it was finally time to go inside… he, not surprisingly, pulled the worm apart and placed it on the ground.

“It’s still wiggling, mama. So did I kill it?”

Everything right now kinda feels like it has been pulled apart, doesn’t it? People are losing jobs. Events kids and adults alike were looking forward to and working so hard for have been canceled or postponed indefinitely. Some dreams feel like they’ve been pulled apart and left to die.

“So mommy, did I kill it?”

No, son, just the tail. The front part of the earthworm will grow a new tail and keep on living, even as the old tail fades away.

So maybe we are just all losing our tails right now… and in a few months time, we will grow a new tail and keep on living. We will be renewed and stronger than we were before.

All is definitely not lost.

Henri Nouwen once wrote in the Inner Voice of Love: “When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don’t say to yourself “All is lost. I have to start all over again.” This is not true. What you have gained you have gained….When you return to the the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started.”

This morning I’m praying for the grace to imagine ourselves as that earthworm, waiting patiently for our new tails.

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