“What we need are more people who specialize in the impossible.”
– Theodore Roethke
The darkness has passed. Light is coming back to the world. In the forest, the impossible transformation is happening again. New life is pushing out of the hard ground. Buds are about to burst into leaf and blossom. A few weeks ago, this seemed unlikely. Yet, there has never been any doubt that it would happen. Forces have been at work below the surface. Even when it seemed that nothing was happening, something was. Why is it so hard for us to believe that these same forces are at work within us, too?
I have a friend who once came to believe he’d fallen into a hole. The harder he tried to dig himself out of it, the deeper the hole got. Eventually, he just gave up and made his home there. I have another friend who loved this man so much she’d climb down into that hole every day to sit with him. Sometimes they’d watch a film together. Sometimes they’d play cards. When he wanted to talk, they’d talk. When silence was more comfortable for him, they’d be quiet together.
Weeks went by. Months passed. One day our friend asked, “Why do you keep coming? It must be so boring for you to spend time with someone like me.” She looked right into his eyes and said, “I know that when you look at yourself right now, all you can see is the hole you’re in.” He nodded. “But when I look at you,” she continued, “all I see is wholeness and possibility. Besides, I love you, and I actually enjoy your company. Any other questions?” He didn’t have any right then.
What she saw was a glimpse of what the Beloved sees. This is what she offered him. This is how she loved him. This is what love does. Where we see brokenness, love sees transformation. Where we see a hole, love lights the way out.
It seemed impossible to him that he could be so loved, and yet something in him knew it was true. Still it took awhile for this to sink in. Sometimes doubts would rise up and cause him to ask, “Are you sure about this?” She was sure. “You are so loved,” she’d say. Eventually he believed it.
That love when on to transform our friend into the teacher he is. That love went on to transform her into the artist she’s become. And who are these people? It’s a true story, but their names don’t matter here. They could anybody. They could be you.
Spring is not just an impossible transformation that happens in the world. That same process is at work within us too. Yet in us it often needs someone who specializes in the impossible to see and offer us a glimpse into what really is, into what could be. That’s where you come in.
If you’re looking for a new beginning today, consider becoming a specialist in the impossible. Take a look around. Who needs your help today? Who needs to know they’re loved. Who needs to know what’s possible? Wherever you are, you live in a world where impossible transformation is at work. Specialize in that.
Read: Isaiah 43:19