Yesterday I left my home to finish a root canal.
Is it strange to think that a root canal could be a bright spot in one’s week? I have had a few over the years and they have never been anything close to a bright spot. But something about getting in my car and driving somewhere with a purpose other than groceries… it was oddly wonderful. Also having a face to face (ok face to double mask) conversation with real people outside my family was also enjoyable.
But the other thing that made it a bright spot was that at the end I got to see the before and after x-rays, 10 years apart, and take in the final solution right in front of me. The first root canal was never finished. The x-rays looked like the dentist just suddenly stopped most of the way down each root, packed it up, and sent me home… for a very long time.
Our lives feel a little like that right now, huh? We were going strong fixing problems, living our lives, and then suddenly we were packed up and sent home. I wish we could see the x-rays of our lives in early March and the x-rays awaiting us months down the line… to see right now that everything will, in fact, have a resolution.
But right now we are in the in-between. And that is the hard part.
It is also the hard part of Holy Week. We are in the in-between with Christ right now. We know he is going to be betrayed and led off to crucifixion. We know he’s going to also come back. But we are sitting in limbo right now… waiting to see the final x-ray and feel renewed and deeply loved once again.
We are in the in-between – but we can not skip these intermediate stages… because they have something to teach us too.
As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote,
“Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.”
Allow yourself to feel the in-between. Even if it’s messy, even if it’s hard. It may take some time but healing is right around the corner.⠀
Have a blessed Holy Wednesday .