My little hands made like the ceramic angels, little houses of prayer, fingertips touching. My eyes closed, asking, as if prayers were wishes. I knew that God was up and stars were up and one wished on stars. My father’s finger traced the belt and arrow of Orion, the cup of the Big Dipper: Is God in those pinpricks of light? Are those God’s eyes? Can God see me? I press my hands together, close my eyes, and try to quiet my mind. Or is God inside?
Friday, March 28, 2014
So much I ask God to remove from me, but this service happens slowly, honey-pour slowly. A little less judgment is still a big pool in my heart. Less of the wrong is still wrong. Wrong food, wrong words, wrong thoughts. I wish I could sift it all away, and shine, clarified and calm. Instead, I’m wrought with wrongness. Even when it’s down to a splinter, say, of gossip, well, you know how a splinter festers. But every bit I wish I wasn’t keeps me humble, human.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
My father urged me to stare at a clock with hands on it, imagine another hand that swept counter clockwise—fifty-nine, fifty-eight, fifty-seven—and I my brain started spinning somewhere, anywhere but in the body I was born to. Nothing wrong with my body when I was born, but I was mishandled, and a kind of terror took over, that made the house of me not a safe place to be. (I know I’ve told you this story before, forgive me.) I lived, instead, hopping from cloud to cloud, searching for angels, hoping to see God, like a girl wandering the North Pole looking for Santa Clause. But while I leapt and sought, that backwards clock hand started careening, sweeping faster and faster. I’d blink to try to bring myself back to body, but the hand moved so swiftly, I thought the clock would spin. And my father sat there, grinning, dumb to my flights, patting my head, Good girl.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. –Luke 1:38
Yes, she said. Yes. Brave woman, to walk through the fire of what God presents her with such willingness. Wish I could be that willing. I don’t even like when the alarm clock rings in the morning or if the sun comes through the window before I’m ready to be awake. Awake. If on waking I could pray with openness, instead of holding a secret no tucked somewhere, the bottom of my foot or in my navel. Instead I say, Yes, but. . .with all the exceptions of what’s acceptable. Have I not had my fill of trial and fire? Now what? Flood? I strive to be as Mary, but I fall short again and again. I fall down at this vocation of being a servant. And I fall brilliantly. But I rise. And there is wanting. The wanting to be yes. Yes, without reservation or hesitation.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
I assemble the evening meal, lay the chicken in the pan, add rosemary and lemon, drop broccoli in a steamer basket. So much plenty in our life, when others have so little. What can I offer up? First, thanks for the gift of a full belly. Blessings to the farmers and workers who tilled the ground. I take much more than I deserve from this earth. I want to tread the ground more lightly. If the earth needed my money, I would bury it in holes, dug with my own hands, planting treasures. In our yard, after the thaw, we will sow seeds, pray for a fruitful harvest, and share, humbled by our bounty.