Alabanzas

In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making
New wine

There are those moments in a staunch season that still ripple forth beauty, that find us in our quaking or our stirring. My thoughts are soft and versatile this evening, in the cool and quiet of the night. Sometimes we find ourselves where we don’t want to be, but this is not the end.

There are identities we choose in life, and those that choose us. I’ve been pondering the latter. For all that we don’t like about being forced into a situation, I am learning that at least then we grow from making our own space within that realm. There is beauty, artwork, from learning to work around obstacle, from learning you can gather the steps and find the rhythm, from making your own indelible mark in that realm. Struggle and pain, sure, but also resilience and growth.

As the abuela of In the Heights says, paciencia y fe. Patience and faith. Walk through life with ‘alabanzas’ for the simple things, lifting up the ordinary in prayer and thanks.

I think back to dancing. When we first learn to dance, we shuffle our feet, eyes glued to the teacher, clumsy and perhaps bewildered. When we grow familiar with the steps, work the timing into our very body, it’s then that we can make artwork out of it by making it our own. When we first run, our bodies scream against us, but when we train them, they grow strong. Then we grow thirsty for the trail. We can do hard things, and we can excel within them.

I’m in a season of breaking new ground, of growing through things I wouldn’t have hand-picked for myself. It rouses my somewhat atrophied muscle of resilience, and dregs up a familiar tussle between control and creativity. Mountains have taught my feet to take one step after the other, but my mind is slower to be soothed. I crave certainty, and try to manufacture it through preparation. Not all days shine. But in this space, I’m still surrounded by the everyday love and care of friends and family, which adds up to an extraordinary sum. Beauty can and does find us in our wrestle.

Paciencia y fe.

Shuffling is not the end, but only the beginning. Hopefully, in the end, there will be dance.

~

Quote from song “New Wine” by Hillsong Worship

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