Don’t Let Go of the Thread
Cheryl Saur of Saint Charles, MO, USA
Listen carefully to the many testimonies of those around the world who have been led into the fellowship of the Community of Christ. The richness of cultures, the poetry of language, and the breadth of human experience permit the gospel to be seen with new eyes and grasped with freshness of spirit. That gift has been given to you. Do not fail to understand its power. -Doctrine and Covenants 162:4a
“There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.” -William Stafford, “The Way It Is,” The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems, 1999
I am a very visual person and so the image of the winding (or unwinding) of a thread in this poem really intrigues me. The thread can be several things…the Spirit, God’s love, God’s grace, or even that which I have come to rely on as God’s “audibles” that keep my spiritual connection that I feel calling to me deep within my heart alive and pulsing…my connection to the Holy. This fiber binds me to my creator and is not only leading me to the future but connects to every phase of my life. As I look back, I am amazed to see that the thread I am holding today is the very one my ancestors held as they journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean from Denmark to settle in the United States as pioneers.
As a young child I recognized that this thread was also meant for me, too, so I eagerly followed when the Spirit tugged at my heart through an encounter that my mother experienced one Wednesday evening during a prayer service. The realization that this thread carried my name and connected me to a loving God brought me to my knees at the age of 13 as I was fully enveloped in humility and God’s grace.
During my times of struggle through the adoption process of our son, I now see a parallel thread holding the same kind of pain that his birth family must have carried as they answered the call that was buried deep within their hearts to place their child with a “church” family. Their pain and struggle evolved into one of immense joy and love as we both followed the thread of God’s grace.
Upon the death of my brother, my mother, and my father within a very short space of time, I carried deep pain as my two sisters and I stood in a circle of three where there once stood a circle of six. This thread tightly encircled us, brought us comfort and did not break.
I will never let go of the thread because it binds me to whom I am called to be. I know that I am a beloved child of God, and God’s love goes far beyond what I can see or will ever be able to understand. I also know from the very depths of my soul that I will never turn away or say no to the call that God instilled deep within me from the very beginning of time. I will always pursue the thread of the Holy Spirit as it touches, nudges, and guides me. God’s thread is for all creation and for all time. You don’t ever let go of the thread.
“In God’s hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being” (Job 12:10).
All That Lives
Sit quietly and sense God’s presence flowing through the trees and all creation. Offer a prayer of gratitude for your connection to all that lives. Ask for grace to discern and carry out one small act of justice or healing that creates greater wholeness for the plants, animals, trees, waters, air, and land that are part of the community of creation.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.