Words of Hope: Metanoia

I love the word metanoia. It’s not necessarily a pretty word but the meaning is beautiful to me. It means a change in thinking and behaving resulting from penitence or spiritual conversion with a future orientation. This season of my children leaving the home has a feeling of metanoia which has been strange to me. The house reverberates with memories, so many years of parenting. Some wildly delightful, full of glory and delight, a few others wildly shaming, damning in their ugliness and then all the life memories in-between. I walk through these memories with awe and gratitude.  

Grieving my children leaving has a similar feel to the loss of my dad. I look at the chair where my friends held Dad wailing in grief as they said goodbye to him a month before he died. That image distracts and troubles me but also serves to remind me.  

How can I use that image as metanoia? Instead of shuttering away the image of this wailing goodbye, can I remember it with the purpose of repentance? How often I make this world my home. That house that means so much to me, will be gone. That messy situation will be resolved. That unfilled dream really doesn’t matter. Can I picture those tears turning to joy? This is what is promised. No more death, no more tears, abundance overflowing eternal joy.  

I look through my memories with my dad and with my girls. How can I walk with Christ through the stories of my past with this attitude of metanoia? The table that is now empty is a reminder of the eternal table. The bedroom that is clean is a reminder that all shall be restored. The silence in the home is a precursor to remember the heavens will be filled with the singing of angels. Each moment and past memory can be a moment of redemption. 

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ – Revelation 21:5