Tikkun Olam

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November 1st – All Saints Day. It’s actually my favorite day of the year in many ways. On this day twelve years ago, I encountered the Spirit of God in a life-changing moment of healing and freedom. It’s one of the stories I carry with me, just below the surface, every single day.

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When I got up today, the only thing in these pictures that was planned was the chocolate. A few pieces of delicious dark chocolate are now allowed in my diet so that was my plan for marking this anniversary. I had other plans that fell through and that was when the Spirit’s whisper started up again.

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It seems impulsive, I suppose, to get a tattoo on the spur of the moment. (The Hebrew, and the bird and the anchor are new.) But it wasn’t spur of the moment – it has been carefully considered for months, with prayer for just the right image and phrase to settle out from the pool of ideas. But the whisper said “today” and the day and the time were right, and the ideas settled into place.

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A bird and an anchor. Anchored freedom. A freedom to hope, anchored in truth and faith. Anchored in the prayers of the great cloud of witnesses that the writer of Hebrews tells us is cheering us on in the heavens.

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And this phrase in Hebrew, which transliterated is read “tikkun olam”. There is more to this phrase than I can unpack in this moment, but it speaks of our role as participants with God in the ongoing creation and redemption of the universe. And this only a day after again being caught by the way that all of creation, that even the earth itself groans in longing to be made new. It’s a phrase that speaks out a calling on my life – a calling to all of us, and it’s one I will continue to unpack, long after the physical wound of having it etched permanently into my skin has healed.

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