Wednesday, 14 November 2007

And next...thinking about too much

There are times when words come to me in the dead of night. Lines that I sometime scribble down in hope that in the cold light of day they actually
a) mean something, and
b) are actually as good as I thought they were at the time.

From here, I more often than not kick them to the curb, sometimes though they become poems or journal entries, short stories or film scripts.

In the early hours of this morning as my husband and I lay awake these words circled around my tongue. There are a couple we care for greatly who at the moment are faced with an agonising grief, all we could do in the end was lie there and talk softly to one another and pray for miracles and blessings. The horror of the event washed over me again and again and I frequently found myself in tears. The words were not great or profound they were simply

"I am struck by an unbearable grief
Silent to all but young mothers in closets,
and old spinsters in ruin.
It curdles milk in the breast
And sends us screaming silent dark into unlit alleyways and cruel places"

At such times I find my prayer to be closer to begging. There is a pleading quality in my tone as I beseech God for a miracle for those I love. Please Please Please I hear myself say. I list the qualities of these people in hope of making the case for divine intervention stronger, yet even in saying this I know that God knows all of this, all the reasons that this pain should not be so. And also God knows the little girl in me that aches for the heavenly Father to make things all right. For miracles that fit my desires to be fulfilled, and that in doing this, this trying to direct or control God that I end up missing Gods working in and around me and indeed in and around my friends.

It is easy at such times to get angry at God, to hear myself saying all those things that I have sat with other people in distress saying. To demand a sign, a wonder. The irony today is that I am preaching this weekend on Luke 21:5-19 the ultimate signs, wonders and temples falling and persecution and betrayal.

In the end of the text I see the words "Even so, every detail of your body and soul—even the hairs of your head!—is in my care; nothing of you will be lost. Staying with it—that's what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won't be sorry; you'll be saved."

In my Ordinands training group we mull over the text and in the translation from Greek we find not only will you be saved but that the same word means life, breath, psyche, and soul. Jesus never said there wouldn't be pain and suffering, in these words I see not a proclamation that we will be saved from suffering by God but instead I hear a call to stay with that pain, to be with that suffering, to lay this before God because here through all this I know that in somewhere through this I will be saved.

1 comment:

Jodi said...

Amen. These are powerful words and emotions and thoughts. Pain through the human experience is a problem I continually bump on in my spiritual-ness. I am sorry for the pain your friends are going through and sympathize with your pleas to our God for mercy...or something. Is the word for salvation in Greek, sozo? I once heard someone talk about this word for a long time and it quite changed my outlook on this whole thing we call 'salvation' and what it means, what it's intent was and how hopelessly inadequate the English language can be at times.
The biggest thing I've come to learn in my mortal existence is that salvation is a process and God will continue to work it out in my life until my baptismal journey is complete.