Who is 23 and still carries a blanket?
It isn’t uncommon to have an “item” that we keep around us that brings us comfort. A “security” item like a favorite stuffed animal, a blanket, or a religious symbol like a cross, a scripture card, or a rosary. It’s presence calms our fears, makes us feel secure, and brings us joy.
As a child, I had a blanket that I loved. I carried it everywhere and ultimately used it so much that it began falling apart. I remember holding one of the last pieces of it up to my dad and asking him to “fix it”. There was no fixing it, the pieces were too fragile and the blanket batting wouldn’t hold together anymore. I had to move on to a new item.
Now, those final blanket failings happened around the age of 8 – 9. And I became a somewhat “ok” adult so losing that security crutch didn’t hinder my emotional growth/maturity.
With that in mind, you can imagine my shock when my “in 19 days she will be 23” year old daughter called me the morning of the staff retreat to ask if I would do her a huge favor.
“I need you to go to my house and get Blankey and bring her on the retreat.”
(Please note, 1. I asked Layne’s permission to share this story. 2. The correct spelling of Blankey is with an “ey” – not “ie.” I stand corrected).
Layne’s had that blanket since she was an infant. I knew she still “loved her” but I had no idea that at 23 she still slept with her. Because I have “parent guilt” of all the times I’ve not done something right as a parent I drove to Statesville to fulfill the request. But – I also thought it would be funny to try to convince her that I destroyed it so she would learn independence.
Once I acquired her, I noticed that she, too, is borderline falling to pieces.
“Layne, if you are going to carry the blanket for perpetuity I suggest having her cut into 4 smaller blankets and getting a border sewn onto her so you can have her to last throughout the rest of your life.”
Layne would hear nothing of it.
“You can’t cut up Blankey!”
What I couldn’t get her to see was that by dividing her, she would ultimately have more.
This week we begin walking through the time where we recognize that in the subtraction of something (someone) we actually end up with more.
Jesus had been trying to get his friends/followers to understand that he was embodying God for them. That he bridged the gap between them and God and now, they had God living in and among them just as he did. While there were glimpses of them “getting it,” they still didn’t quite understand.
“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.
They had to lose something/someone in order to ultimately have gained.
All of our lives are like that.
Even though we don’t want to “lose” – we have to descend before we experience the fullness of life, hope that overcomes any darkness, and joy that sustains through all things.
We begin our journey through Holy Week. A path of descent into death so that we can experience the resurrection.
Layne is wrong on this one . . . it might be painful for a few minutes to see her beloved Blankey cut into four pieces, but how amazing would it be if she is 80 and still has pieces of Blankey with her because she was willing to let her go so that she could have more?
Is there something you need to divide or let go of so that you can experience life as “more”?