06 June 2005

Another hike along the path of healing

It's too long of a story ... and I won't tell it here ... tonight, anyway ... but I've been reading my fellow bloggers' posts, and I am in tears.

Dale Price wrote the most beautiful thing... here's the whole thing:

I am sitting in an easy chair at my parents' cottage, blearily nursing a cup of freshly-brewed coffee. I have gotten my usual six hours of interrupted sleep, woken by our eldest's unfailing internal clock. Just as blearily, Heather joins me. All three kids are playing on the floor in front of us, for once harmonious about the toy distribution. Each looks up and smiles or offers a variation on "Hi, daddy!"

At that moment, it hit me: with all due regard for the delights of the activity that gave us our children, this was way better than anything I had imagined in college. In that moment of grace, the only word that came to mind at that moment was "Thanks." To Heather, and to God.

and then from crazyacres, this.

Tonight I am praying for you all with such gratitude. I beg God to bless your dear hearts and your families. Please hug your dear spouses and your tykes and cherish them for just one moment in between all the busyness.

When I was young, in the 70's, and a new Catholic, I was afraid. I could not trust God enough. My mother and the Church were both going through an amazingly similar transformation (which I shall write more about later) - everything that made sense in my life was becoming unrecognizable. In the middle of the maelstrom, God gave me a dear and precious gift - a chance for happiness - but I was afraid of the future, and I let it go.

Now I look back, and I think: what in the world could I have been so afraid of? Is there anything that is harder to endure than the moments which ambush me like these, tonight? Lord, when I went through my mid-life grieving two and a half years ago ... wasn't that enough?

I am a child and selfish and spoiled and I know it. So many have heavier crosses to bear, full of splinters and with demons along for the ride. I pray for strength and courage. I cannot go back; the years are gone. I can go forward, for a walk, and then to bed. Tomorrow will be another day.

- - - - - - - -

What's really sort of funny about this is that people often remark on my patience... my incredible calm. God and I get a private chuckle out of that one; He knows I am nothing of the kind. He also got a bit of a giggle out of my teenage resolve to live so as never to have any regrets. Pride is a lonely sin, my friends.

- - - - - - - -

I am back from my walk in the cool summer evening. Everybody's got white star jasmine; everybody's jasmine is blooming; it smells wonderful. My good dog is so happy to be out with me. As I walk, I prayed... and God blessed me. He reminded me, deep in my soul:
There is no sparrow which falls from a tree which I do not notice; do you think I do not know what you feel?
I feel like those words were said all those centuries ago just for me, tonight. And then, another unbidden thought:
You have confessed your lack of trust. Shall we try again?

I have to smile at such loving, gentle humor.

There is comfort for me, more than I can tell in this forum. Let's just say that God sometimes gives, and gives again, in His own way, and in His own time. In my life, it's all about do-overs. I've no idea why I should be so blessed. I think maybe it's because I am so weak, He takes pity on me - whatever it is, I'm grateful.

Tonight, if I could have any thing in the world, I would ask only to hold my gift from God once more, just for a moment - but of course that is the one thing I cannot have. However, I believe fiercely that God gives no desire without a purpose. Tonight it's to turn my attention firmly from the gift to the Giver. Let's see if, thirty years later, I'm getting the hang of this trust stuff.

In the meantime, please: hug your dear ones for me, and kiss their faces, and look into their eyes. Pray for me that I may trust Him, this time, no matter what He asks of me, and that I may use these feelings to write something, someday, that will help those who also live with full hearts, and empty arms.

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