(Photo: Kate McDonald)
If you search on the word rest you’ll discover, as I did, that it appears in all kinds of unrelated words, like interested, forest, wrestling and restore – each word containing a world of meaning of its own.
I like that unrest and restlessness are somehow related, and yet substantially different. Unrest generally has negative connotations, while restlessness has mixed overtones. A holy restlessness and an unholy restlessness are both feasible, but unrest feels far removed from God’s good intentions for us and the world. Still unrest might be a truer reflection of what is going on under the surface, and God has been known to use unrest to bring about necessary change.
Here is a morning prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer that features both restless and restore. In prayer we can bridge the two.
early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray,
and to concentrate my thoughts on you:
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness,
but with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
but you know the way for me …
Restore me to liberty,
and enable me so to live now
that I may answer before you and before men.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.
~ by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, posted on cinchreview.com
The photograph was part of a batch that Kate McDonald sent me to accompany the 2017 Holy Week series. It is somehow linked to a small family-owned farm outside Bethlehem, Palestine and their project called Tent of nations.