Today’s reading from Ezekiel 12 mentions an exile’s baggage. Ezekiel is told by the Lord to prepare himself to go into exile. He is to prepare his baggage for exile. He shall carry this baggage through a hole in the wall that he will dig. He shall lift the baggage and carry it out in the dark, with his face covered. Ezekiel does with the Lord commands him to.
As I heard these words at mass this morning I had the same reaction as reading them earlier in the day. What is an exile’s baggage? What is it that we carry around as an outsider? It made me wonder what I was lugging through the dark these days. I do feel a certain heaviness sometimes lately. I seem to be a little more tired than I would like to be. Is it perhaps because of something I am carrying? Most of us have something that we haul around that maybe we do not even need. Of course, being on vacation, I am toting a suitcase that seems to get heavier along the way even though I am not really adding anything to it on my journey. What is it that we carry and drag through holes in walls that we build and drag along in the dark? Can we do what the Lord is asking us to do?
Today is the feast day of Saint Clare and she has been on my mind these past few days. I cannot help but remember my time in front of her tomb in Assisi. I still do not completely understand what happened nor do I know exactly what God was trying to tell me. I wonder if Ezekiel was not exactly sure what the Lord was saying to him either. I know that God was showing me something but I still do not know exactly what the message is yet. During my illness, I realized that God was showing me that I would face death but that I would not be alone.
I have had a day of feeling unusually tired and I have found that frustrating. My brain seems lacking in clarity a bit, too. I have this image of me dragging myself along…of feeling like an exile in my own body that betrays me on a whim. I remember how sick Saint Clare was at one point in her life and then she suddenly rallied. I do not know what my future holds for me but I need to not let it be baggage for me. I need to drop the suitcases that seem filled with stones and to run the race that God is setting before me. I cannot have heavy baggage on this journey. I must learn to be gentle with myself, and not judge myself by standards that I am no longer able to uphold. Tomorrow may bring a different level of energy and I must be open to this, either way. As I tried to check in today for my flight home tomorrow, the system kept booting me out. It was somehow connected with my luggage. I wonder what message I am supposed to be getting about baggage today. Saint Clare, pray for me.
What heavy baggage are you dragging around?
Are you carrying out what the Lord is commanding of you?
Saint Clare, you loved God completely. Show me how to drop my suitcases filled with stones and run the race that God desires. Amen.