This weekend, these two felt like they went together for me. Settle is a word that can have a negative connotation like one is resigning themselves to something lesser. But it also has a sense of relaxing, calming, or slowing. And there is where it connects with “restore” for me. I really felt both of those when I was out hiking Friday morning. The sun was out and the temperature was cool but not cold. There were elements that reminded me that winter was not quite done yet but there were lots of signs that Spring was starting to emerge.
But it was the latter that really brought the restoration and settling. There were some daffodils starting to bloom and we’re only a few weeks away from these beautiful yellow flowers emerging all over. But it was the stems that had not yet bloomed that really drew me in. The ones where the bright yellow was at the base and it was just green up to the top. Scientifically, I’m pretty sure this isn’t how it happens but it just felt like the yellow bloom was working its way up the stem until it eventually blooms.
For me, this was restorative – to see what is ahead and that the emergence of new life is just around the corner and, at the same time, is also starting to emerge. It is settling because there is beauty in both.
Several scriptures came to my heart as I walked. One, as I crossed the creeks were the words early in Psalm 23…”You lead me beside still waters, you restore my soul.”. The other is from Psalm 51 but also connects back to the Lutheran liturgy that I heard every Sunday as I grew up. In the liturgy of confession came these words..”restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.”