This week's become prompt reminded me of God rebuilding the ruins of Jerusalem with help from the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah. You may know about the Babylonian siege of the city, destruction of the temple, deportation of many prominent people to Babylon, and eventual return of some exiles to Judah.
God's people Judah had to rebuild structures and infrastructure; they had to restore almost everything connected to economic, political, and civic life. They needed to reinstate public worship. In recent years several books related to Ezra and Nehemiah in the Old Testament have been published.
Restore, reinstate, rebuild? Doesn't that sound like right now, two and one half years into a global pandemic? Even people Covid has minimally disoriented still need to explore and trust what and how God will have them become in themselves and become for others.
I especially appreciate Barry Pearman's Broken to Build (I read it a couple years before Covid snuck into the world and then engulfed it) because of practical ways it parallels Nehemiah's narrative with our need to move forward after loss and disappointment—and because it's short enough to easily start and finish. Here's my blog review.
Mental Health Pastor Barry explains, "…we are in recovery mode. We are building and growing a life out of the rubble of what was left behind. In the choking dust of rubble we find that this is no fairy tale. The biblical Book of Nehemiah is a love story. God is in love with the people of Jerusalem and sees them broken, shamed and without dignity." … "The big idea is that recovery/life takes place in a relational context."
"Become" is a helpful and holy consideration at any time, but as we gradually ease out of Covidtide into new activities, new or renewed employment, restored or new relationships, absolutely everyone will become other than who they had been to a far more radical extent than typically would happen so soon.
Similar to God's people who returned home to the Land of Promise in literal ruins, we feel as if we need to recover a life of participation from rubble and fragments; often we can't clearly remember what a full life was like.
We are who we've become so far, both up to the dawn of Covid and in our struggles through the worst of the pandemic; God has dreams for our future becoming. And remember Barry's reminder, The big idea is that recovery/life takes place in a relational context. Although we've discovered real relating can happen on zoom, let's celebrate and enjoy meeting face to face. Because now we can!
PS A super shoutout to Kate for the irresistible succulent in process of becoming where it's been planted. Last I knew, she finds most pictures for FMF on unsplash.