Friday, June 22, 2012

when they ask for a mission statement, this is what i will say

when i saw old people i was astonished, even confused.

how did they survive for so long?  how were they still breathing and not just that but moving, and doing

eight of my friends had been killed suddenly, all of them young and so so so full of life and passion and dreams.  I wasn't conscious after the accident, didn't lay eyes on one of them in the west african bush clinic and then they were gone, no goodbye.  i was 24, the wave hit, the sky went black and the world was all wrong.

the fragility of it all returns sometimes when i hear the stories of others - moms and dads with cancer especially, when their children still need them (do we ever outgrow that need?).  it pounds in my ears, this groaning so loud, creation's labour pains roaring across our lives this way.  none of us are immune, no matter how hard we work, no matter how much we pray.

its hard enough to walk in winter's darkness, carrying our loss heavy through her barren places.  grief is always solitary, even when we share it with others we are still alone.

but even harder is the thawing to spring, the enticing breeze and shedding our layers to expose skin, also our hearts.  how do we trust that the mountains won't shake again, that our optimism won't be found foolish and the next strike worse than the last?

but we must.

we must unpack boxes and hang up our curtains.  we must throw our seeds in the abandoned lots of our neighbourhood.  we must get married, make love, make babies even in this exile of disorientation, uncertainty and wound-ability.  we must confess our hope, confess our fertility, and lay out our clothes for the morning, our bellies stretching with new life again.

this confession doesn't protect us, but it is true.

it's the dimly lit one room home in which i sat with an indonesian woman, newly married and pregnant.  her bed was a thin mattress on the floor, all her belongings in neat piles around.  above her bed she had painted a window with curtains pulled back and I could see the green fields and blue skies of the new world coming, even in her crowded city, even in her own poverty.  she was a prophet and my spirit was stirred.

may my own eyes see as clearly, and yours as well.

1 comment:

  1. I never have words to properly convey how your words speak to my heart... all I can say is thank you. You mean so much to me.