a 2010 epiphany

today, january 6, is epiphany. i love that word. i love this day. though i must admit that i didn't think much about it until tonight. i mentioned the celebration of epiphany only once, after hearing a student say he was playing joseph in a play at church tonight. ok. to be completely honest, i had forgotten today was epiphany until he said that. in any case, i've been thinking about this particular, usually forgotten, and rarely celebrated christian holiday since he mentioned his play. i have an image of epiphany i'd like to share...

epiphany.jpg (750×574)
image from here

it's not your typical three magi, or wise men, following a star. epiphany is the celebration/remembrance of the magi and their journey following a star to the christ child. so, light, stars, magi...those are the typical images of today. however, i love this image...there is a woman, who perhaps is reaching for or yearning for the light. there are natural, earthy things all around her...butterflies, flowers. there is what i think is a broken chain. to me, it represents freedom which comes from searching and journeying to discover who you really are. it's chaotic and beautiful all at the same time.

whatever epiphany is, it is celebration of the journey. the journey of life. or self-discovery. or spirituality. or truth. the magi journeyed for 2 years from their homeland because they saw a star. and they trusted their instincts which told them to simply go. they left home, journeyed to another land, and followed a star to find the way. not exactly what others might consider to be smart, practical decision.

but they reached their destination. they found the newborn king...the christ child. but, not a king in palace...a baby, in a stable, with smelly animals, and young parents. yet they came bearing gifts and accepted with joy the circumstances in which they found their king. a little unexpected, perhaps, but right. i think they knew it was right. you know? like when something turns out to be completely not what you expected, and yet, just perfect. you just know.

then, after this brief, life-changing expeprience, they returned home following another 2 year journey. they did not travel the same road that took them to the baby. but, a different path. they were changed men. so, their path home was different, and when they arrived, i can only imagine what it must have been like to report their experiences to others. would others understand? would they been ridiculed, made fun of, and even disliked because of their travels and experiences?

the image above inspires me to think of a woman's journey toward light and truth. i read a book (2 epiphany's ago actually) called eat, pray, love by elizabeth gilbert. it is her story of the events which led up to an amazing epiphany in her life. following a divorce and a desire to know herself, elizabeth took off and traveled to italy, india, and indonesia for a year. she left everything behind and journeyed in search of her true self, and love. today, i got her next book, committed. in this book, she writes of her journey back following the experiences of her first epiphany (the end of the first book). this new book takes her deeper into love of herself and her partner.

when i read the first book, i realized that my life was taking a similar path. i was going through a divorce and planning to leave everything behind to move to denmark...no plans, just going. my instincts, my gut, God...all were telling me to just go. like the magi. like elizabeth gilbert. like abraham (my biblical mentor at that time in my life). just go. and i did... even though i felt the stares and heard the whispers of others. i journeyed away from my homeland to some place new. and i did encounter, like the magi, christ - in the middle of everyday life in denmark. like elizabeth, i encountered and met myself in a much deeper way. and then, after the brief encounter was over, i was completely changed. i had experienced love. love of a very present God in everyday life, real love of myself for the first time, and the love of my life...my wife, my partner. so, i began my journey back to my homeland, and i have been on that journey for the past year now. going back a different way from which i came. because i am different. and yet the same.

my epiphany in 2010 is the realization of the light and freedom that i have experienced over the past 2 years. i am a changed person. my perspective has changed because of the love i have found. and now, i begin again. there is another star shining brightly in my life. another path to follow. i have completed my first journey, and i didn't know it until tonight. and tonight, i also begin my new journey. one that is deeper. one that i share with the most important person in my life.

perhaps every journey we take is simply a journey deeper and deeper into love, and into a fuller understanding of who we truly are. it's not an easy journey. nor one that others will understand perhaps. but, it is worth every step. just a few days ago, on new year's eve to be exact, i was talking with some swedes about being willing to risk it all, to live life to the fullest. i remember saying that i was never going to be an old lady of 85, sitting in a rocking chair, wondering "what if...". so, i had to go. like the magi, i knew that love was waiting. i had no idea what to expect, but i had to go. in search of love. in search of myself. in search of God on earth. what i found, what i encountered, and what i learned was more amazing than i ever could have imagined.

epiphanies are amazing, powerful, unexpected moments. they are chaotic and beautiful.

Postat av: brian

I'm all here with ya, Liz. Could I substitute Eat Pray Love and Committed for my Star of Epiphany? The author has been haunting my landscape a bit, and I wonder what I'm supposed to do with following her story if not so much of her journey. Thanks for sharing your joys with us, and prayers and congratulations to you and Lina in this New Year. All our love to you both.

2010-01-10 @ 03:13:58
Postat av: Sarah Lipham

I love it!

2010-01-11 @ 22:20:20
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