And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. Exodus 13:21
I am a wandering Israelite who sees the flame in the sky above, the pillar, the smoke from the mountain, the earth open up and give way, and still I forget. I am beset by chronic soul amnesia. –Voskamp
And last night as I was leaving Heather and Dustin’s, having tucked little Everette into bed, well, she fell asleep after I read Spot Goes to the Park fourteen times in a row and we pointed out the cat and the ball on every page and she liked the Quack sound that the duck made too, and having finished grading every single last one of the papers in my manila file folders, I stepped into a man. A big man who had been a sergeant in the army. And he was walking out of an argument with his sister who was comforting her tears with a bottle of vodka, and maybe he had some too because he was a little wobbly but maybe he had just been drinking tears. And we both comforted one another there under the streetlight in the October chill. And we hugged each other, and he yelled back down the sidewalk–Do you feel better? I feel better. I was in the army and we never give up.
And it is a long, long road. With many a winding turn.
Bowed at the edge of the world, Jesus ask me spun in circles, me coming to, only to hope and to forget again, He asks soft of me who is yet again lost what He asked to the man born blind: “What do you want me to do for you?
Has He called me because He wants me to do my own plumbing of the soul? What do you want?
A summer of pain. Always the running. A summer of grace. Always the revelation. Pain is everywhere, and wherever the pain there can be everywhere grace.
Even under the streetlight on Sixth Avenue.
The kingdom laden with glory, this, the pearl of great price, the field I’d sell everything to possess. And I know all about The Pearl, since I just graded forty-four not-so-good literary essays about The Pearl of Great Price and the hold it has on our being.
The only place we have to come before we die is the place of seeing God.
I whisper with the blind beggar, “Lord, I want to see.”