shift: adjusting to a new normality

We might be tempted to think that there wasn’t too big a shift in the atmosphere and that life went on pretty much as normal for the ordinary citizens who lived at the time of the resurrection of Christ. But what if it didn’t? What if nothing ever felt quite the same afterwards?

Such a cataclysmic event was earth and world shattering in its effects. The news about it spread over the whole known world. The story of the resurrection got shared year after year, retold with wonder, speculation and awe to future generations. And it still is.

Because God’s evident, sacrificial love for us and the hope it brings to human hearts has spread faster than any virus can, multiplying exponentially nation to nation.

It affects everyday people from every stratum in society, turning humdrum lives upside down in the process. The message the resurrection imparts brings us deep rest when all else is unsettled and shaken, including our emotions.

So let’s consider how one ordinary person, just like you and me, might have reacted to the resurrection, to this shift in their expectations and experience, followed by an adjustment to a new normality.

“At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.” ― Matthew 27:51-53 NLT

A shift

There’s a shift
where identity used to sit
like an old cardigan,

well-worn, moth-eaten
but familiar
because it became part
of me, what I always wore.

Now I don’t know what fits
me anymore
or suits the woman

I have become
since the earth shook, since Sunday
and a man took
on death to set us free.

Tombs broke open
and people were raised
to life again
like they had never died,

restored to their
loved ones, their families
as if they’d
never left them bereft.

And it is whispered
that this world
is just a stepping stone
to somewhere
better, a place of beauty

where we can sit
and think and dream and breathe
and bask in who we are,
who we were created to be.
© joylenton

shift - envisioning eternity - shift poem excerpt (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

God Himself changes not. He is totally dependable and faithful to His Word. His promises can be relied upon. God doesn’t shift like the wind, alter with circumstance or sway from continually pouring out His love, mercy and grace for us. 

“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” ― Isaiah 54:10 NIV 

Whatever fears or uncertainties might be shaking your world right now, my friend, remember the unshakeable power of God to rescue and save us. He is the still, calm centre of every storm we encounter, and our souls’ peace, always. In the valley of the shadows, God is with us and fighting for us as the core strength of our hurting hearts. 

normal: living beyond our limitations

 

What does it mean to be ‘normal’? Is there such a thing? I guess it depends on your personal definition, doesn’t it? Because the world will always try to compartmentalise, squash us into boxes and confine us in its own straitjackets, if we let it.

The good news is God created each and every one of us unique. And we answer to Him alone, defined only by what His word says about us and who we are in Christ. That thought comforts me as I aim to live well with M.E and chronic illness.

You and I don’t have to fit within the world’s narrow (and frequently judgemental) parameters. We are special to God, understood completely by Him, if no-one else. God wants us to grow into the best version of ourselves we can be by His grace, to know we are His cherished Beloved.

I miss some of the activities I used to do before illness made being housebound a normality for me, especially spending summer days at the beach. Here in Norfolk we are blessed to have a few within driving distance.

However, they are often hard to access by foot (or wheelchair) once you’ve parked, with their steep inclines, long, winding pathways and uneven, pebbly stones to traverse, never mind distance from car to beach.

It’s been an outing I’ve had to forego for years because the car journey alone would exhaust me. Though I still travel there fondly in my memories, as in the poem below…

Normal for Norfolk

The sea tosses back and forth with wild, hyperactive
froth churning up thick rivers of mud, reflecting the sanded
character of a Norfolk beach, whose waters are latte-brown
with a side shot of espresso hiccupped out now and then

There’s a roar that steals away our words, deafening
as it drowns out all sound apart from its own
and we wonder anew at the way waves crash so
violently, yet dissipate into delicate filigrees

A surging wind stings our cheeks with saline drops
which wake us up, catch away our breath, bring tears
to stinging eyes and a gasp of surprise at its velocity
making unsteady, giddy skittles out of you and me
©joylenton

 

How do you view your life in terms of being ‘normal’ or otherwise?

What helps you to retain a positive outlook?

I’d love to hear in the comments below. 😊

PS: I’ve been writing about  the calming effects of the sea over on my Facebook page. You can find it here and read the #dailyhaiku #novembernugget posts being shared. May the soul snippets of poetry bless you, friend. ❤