New wineskins are necessary in today’s gospel. You cannot store the new wine in old wineskins. Some days I think I am living in a new skin. The old one is being shed on this journey. I am finding that I am me at my core but every once in a while, I get a glimpse at someone new, a woman transformed by grace and mercy. I am swimming in new waters, drinking this wine that I am no longer allowed, and wondering who is this new creation.
I had a wonderful afternoon and evening with friends who came for lemonade and then some of them stayed for an impromptu supper. The talk meandered over several topics but it turned to my recent trip to Toronto where I mentioned I had had some beautiful and meaningful conversations with my friends there. I am so grateful for these learning moments and honest encounters. I am always happy too when my disease does not take up the entire focus of gatherings which was the case today. I reluctantly wear these new wineskins at times but today was a day shared with good people who affirmed the new look.
Having terminal cancer can create anxiety in people around me. I loved the freedom of just hanging out with folks today, serving them, being served, and relishing moments of restfulness. We sat outside, listened to the birds chirp, laughed, ate, and shared from each of our lives. I may have missed it but even with the harder parts of conversation, I did not sense anxiety.
I raise a glass poured from this new wineskin to those who embrace me in my transformation. May I continue to grow and be aware of who I am becoming.
What old wineskins need to be shed in your life?
How do new wineskins stretch you?
Oh, Lord, sometimes who we are no longer fits who we have become. We try to pour ourselves into old wineskins only to discover that the fabric will not hold. We are stretching to new limits and taking new shape. We must enter a new vessel, and allow you to fill that with the me-in-the-making. May we not cling to the old, but embrace the new. Give us courage and patience in the transformation. Amen.