Between February 23rd 2002 and July 2nd 2008, Ingrid Betancourt was a political prisoner. An activist, anticorruption campaigner and a senator, Betancourt was held captive by leftist guerrillas. Her remarkable rescue brought worldwide media attention. As she left the plane she held in her hand a rosary and a crucifix that she had made from the same thread that her captors used to weave their gun belts.
Her rosary was still with her as she visited sacred Catholic sites and worshipped there.
In our first story God entered a chaotic cosmos and ordered the materials to bring forth life. Enmity arose between those living creatures and they began to destroy each other . God’s response was to un-create the world in order to re-create it, to start afresh. Something always carries over, something that cannot be forgotten (the destructive impulse, the sense of loss); but life comes again and multiplies and replenishes and expands.
This story of God’s creative power, his capacityr to bring forth life from chaos, reaches down to us; helping us to see in the chaos the materials for an abundant life. Finding God in our suffering is a creative work that sometimes requires us to take the most painful details of our lives and to fashion an abundant life from them.
For me, Betancourt’s rosary is a material metaphor for the possibility of that abundance.