September 30, 2021
Lessons from Paradise
Instead of your shame you shall have double honor. And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore, in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs. NKJV
The prophet Isaiah seemed to know quite a bit about the power of doubling. The need for more to create a level field. He knew what was needed to address trespass, inequity and emotional stress. That his people needed to lay their burdens down, reconcile with God and life. Yesterday’s wisdom, from Isaiah’s vision, is today’s lesson. Through the experience of doubling, people have an opportunity to experience true satisfaction, when life, no matter the condition, is alright with the soul. Perhaps, it’s my training as a consultant, but when I think of doubling, I think of it as an intervention that helps us move out of constriction and survival into a state of confidence and fulfillment.
For the last month, as I’ve been exploring the concept of doubling, I am seeing it work through little acts and big events. I’m realizing how important it is in creating stability. In fact, I’m seeing the many different ways we employ “doubling” whenever we try to heal a hurt. I remember my parents complimenting me, giving me an extra scoop of ice cream or treat, when I had a major disappointment. Instinctively, they knew they had to shift my thinking so I didn’t internalize my loss to the point of self-loathing and doubt. I’m watching how our government is attempting to double efforts to help each and every one of us find our post COVID, flood, fire, lives. In my contemplation, I’m understanding the difference between doubling and the behavior of EXTRA (going overboard without any spiritual anchor). Yes, I am also experiencing loss and sadness as I uncover the unlevel places in my life. The places where I could use “doubling” in resources, affection, opportunity. It’s unsettling, but being honest with myself is helping me heal what often feel like open wounds. Gingerly, in my internal world, more assertively in my external world, I’m understanding the Prophet Isaiah’s description of the upending and resettling of life, the precursor to paradise.
I welcome the leveling, the chance to know the beauty and healing power of seeing and being seen. All of my discovery and experience is giving me a profound appreciation for God, Jesus, and our little church. During this troubling time most of us could use more love, more care and more consideration to help neutralize fear, stay present, and allow God’s grace. I think our new normal requires living peacefully amidst change. It requires we re-frame how we respond to turmoil. Perhaps we need to know that with God, we need to allow, pivot or relinquish whatever blocks us from embracing this great awakening. Within every quickening there’s a wave of peace that I believe carries the signature of Christ. It’s up to us to find that wave, surrender, and ride it.
May each and every one of you receive a double portion of whatever it is you need to be safe, and know you are loved. Nothing less than double honor will do!
Peace and Blessings, Andrea Bolling