This morning I happened to hear Natalie Grant’s song Held on the radio. That song comforts me. I think it is because the image of God holding me is one I comprehend. The song also is not for the weak of faith. It does not promote the if I am good than all shall be well philosophy. The lyrics tell the tale of a woman who has lost her child and yet experiences the mercy of God. For weeks now I have been falling asleep to another song by Sons of Korah, Psalm 91. I turn out the lights, take a deep breath, reach for my iPad, and press play. This beautiful psalm of protection and blessing calms me. I imagine St. Michael, St. Raphael or St. Gabriel wrapping their wings around me and a bright Light falls over me as I close my eyes. Many people have wondered if I lay awake nights since the news of my illness. I can assure you that I sleep solidly and restfully for which I am grateful.
We look for meaning in music, in nature, in life. Today’s Gospel from Mark talks about the people looking for a sign. I have experienced profound signs in my life. I am grateful for reassurance or wisdom that comes with these signs. I hold lightly to it all though but sometimes I chuckle. My brother and I have this recurring number in our lives–11, sometimes double 11:11. When I went to my first appointment with the liver surgeon, I went to the clinic in the purple bear wing of the hospital. I laughed and texted friends who know my favourite colour is purple. I also mentioned to them that the bear was a symbol of courage and protection for Aboriginal people. A friend later added that bears also mean healing. My next appointment is in the pink owl wing. That made me a little nervous because I know owls are associated with death often but a little research shows that they also are for guidance, wisdom and sacred knowledge. They can also predict a life transition.
Jesus had reason to caution people about looking for signs. We do not always understand them. We often read into them too much. We place our trust in them when we need to place our trust in the One who knows all things. When I let go of looking for answers, I let God hold me. That is the safest sign for me that all shall be well.