When I wrote my last post on exile according to Kahlil Gibran's prophet, I desperately wanted to include something more at the end. Verses about exile taken from another source, the Bible. But for the life of me, I couldn't find the particular verses I wanted. I searched, hastily turning pages and even typed the bits I could remember into Google, but got all the wrong verses. So as it was late (well, late for me as I am no longer the night owl I used to be and now greedily lust after all the sleep I can get.:), I gave up gracefully and went to bed.
The next day I picked up my Bible again and as so often happens, turned to the very chapter that the previous night had eluded me. I want to share it because the words give a fuller explanation of exile, a fuller view, an idea that whatever sort of exile we are in can be embraced.
"Promote the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you, pray for it to the Lord, for upon its welfare depends your own." Jeremiah 29: 7-9
"For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord. Plans for your welfare , not for woe, plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call to me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, say the Lord, and I will change your lot. I will gather you together from all the places to which I have banished you and bring you back from the place I have exiled you." Jeremiah 29: 11-15
I never viewed my own sadness as an exile until my mom sent me those verses one day in a message. One day out of many when I absolutely could not find the meaning in any of my sorrow, when every day seemed hopeless and my depression and resulting anger, eternal. I read them and cried, not because they suddenly made everything better but because I began to see that someday all the pieces of myself would be gathered together and returned to me and I, whole and strong, would be allowed to return to the life and the joy and hope and promise that I had been exiled from.
A promise of restoration. A promise I was not ever alone. A promise of incredible beauty and a future full of hope if I could just hold out for it.