Today’s Reading

The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come
    the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
    and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
    and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
    and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
    and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war any more.
O house of Jacob,
    come, let us walk
    in the light of the Lord!

Isaiah 2:1–5

Dear God,

I hope you are alright. It has been a while since we last connected for a heart to heart. Apologize for that. It is just that I have been through a lot of changes from last year until now. I lost my job in the beginning of 2019 and I had part-time work since. My paternal grandfather and my dog died right before 2019 so this transition period was challenging to say the least. All of this happening after climbing out of the emotional void. I want to at least reach out.

I appreciate that you found a way to be present with me through all of the changes, even when we did not talk as much. I was able to find more support groups in other areas of my life, a therapist, and more writing opportunities during this year.  It is a lot to process and more layers to peel and shed off. Even with all the healing work I did, there are still more layers to go.

Advent is here and the end of the year is coming up. I have been reflecting on how to face the dark night of the soul. I have a lot to ask and talk with you about this. I want to know how to make the most of it and find a possibility of transformation in the midst of it. I am feeling both the weight of people’s anguish and the reminders of principalities and powers wanting me to be erased. The fine line between standing above the drift and being crushed by both the world’s brokenness and my own wounds. 

This piece is called “Martin’s Anguish”, inspired by a discussion about Martin Luther on trial in Rome, and having spent hours in the Sistine Chapel.  While the reference is from The Creation, it was the gap between man and God that he struggled with... which we too may struggle with.
Martin’s Anguish, 2003
Oil painting by Michael Wei* 1 This piece is called “Martin’s Anguish”, inspired by a discussion about Martin Luther on trial in Rome, and having spent hours in the Sistine Chapel.  While the reference is from The Creation, it was the gap between man and God that he struggled with… which we too may struggle with.

While I am aware of the promise of the new heaven and earth, I am still struggling with how to live out the vocation I am called to live with this winding pathway. What good can it come out of it? How to live with the tension of balancing the important work for me to survive and thrive while still face the principalities and powers? 

Also, is it possible to transform wounds into medicine for myself, my relationships, and the world? Creation is groaning in pain and I am wanting to be the vessel of healing grace yet I am still dealing with both losses and changes and the winding pathway. Some of the survival patterns and auto-pilot behaviors still manage to take hold when I least expected. 

What I want to ask of you is this: is there a way to have miracles emerge in whatever shape in my life? I could use some inspiration and contact. I also want to be better about being in touch with you and others. I just want to be reminded of what is possible. Mostly, I want you to keep your promise of showing hints of the new heaven and earth. In return, I will do better at deep listening and walking justly. When would it be a good time to hear from you? I am open to making time. Let me know because I don’t want to take too long again.

Xeres

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  • Xeres (she/her) is the co-founder and project director of WE Empowerment Center. She has deep roots in community building and activism in Los Angeles. She is involved in community building projects such as Tuesday Night Cafe and Jesus 4 Revolutionaries. She’s been in the world of freelance, social enterprise, small business and non-profits. Her interests include media and pop culture, cultural activism, liberation movements, economic empowerment, and food.

  • Michael (he/his/dad): Painting in oils is a process that resonates with me. My portraits and figures often have little voices with loud messages; still-lifes of the ordinary revealed; and narratives that unfold or unsettle. My family and I live in the Bay Area (CA), and are affirming. I am second-generation Chinese-American and my wife is first-generation Korean-American. For more information visit www.wei2cre8.com.