From One Grasshopper to Another
It is God who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in; who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. – Isaiah 40:22-23 (NRSV)
How are you holding up in this fleeting world of ours? How is the song in your wings – does it still have its passion?
How is your spirit – blissfully shedding layers of noise and busyness and stress, or building up its defenses against disappointment, against change, against loss?
Are you tired of flying and fleeing, without a decent moment of rest? Or longing to defy limits and leap free of every care?
In our most glorious moments, at the height of our vigor, in our most aspirational living: we are still just like grasshoppers, small and short-lived beneath the heavens. In our most weary moments, when the pain of living is acute, through the long seasons when purpose feels elusive: we are still like grasshoppers, intricate and beautiful within the vast tent of creation.
Dear fellow grasshopper, stretch toward the heavens and marvel at the stars. Reach down to the earth and give thanks for the fading flower.
And be at peace: The day is fleeting – no matter how deeply we plant our stakes in it, no matter how long we write our “to do” lists, no matter how valued our labor, no matter how lofty our motives. The abuses of the day are likewise fleeting – from the vanity of princes to the injustices of rulers, from the wildfires of fear to the plagues of power.
No matter what else: today we reside within God’s tent.
No matter what else: tomorrow the Morning Star will again rise and bless this holy tent.
For the fleeting days we are given: thank you Jesus. For all the joy and humility of being just one life under the whole tent: thank you Jesus.
Rachel Hackenberg serves on the national staff for the United Church of Christ. She is the author of Writing to God and the co-author of Denial Is My Spiritual Practice, among other titles. Her blog is Faith and Water.