Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My days drift away like smoke

Taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who trust in Him. Psalm 34:8

Mostly, as I am rereading Lewis’ A Pilgrim’s Regress, I am impressed with my margin comments from the last time I waded through this dream. It is a conversation with a previous me, in a different time and space.

“What must I do?” said John.
“You must take off your rags,” said she, “and you must dive into this water.”
“Alas,” said he, “I have never learned to dive.”
“There is nothing to learn,” said she. “The art of diving is not to do anything new but simply to cease doing something. You have only to let yourself go.”
“I think,” said John, “that if it is all one, I would rather jump.”
“It is not all one,” said Mother Kirk. “If you jump, you will be trying to save yourself. As well, you would not go deep enough.
And how John managed it or what he felt I did not know, but he also rubbed his hands, shut his eyes, despaired, and let himself go. It was not a good dive, but, at least, he reached the water head first.

Because right now I am doing the Psalm 102 thing, the smitten heart, pretty much emoting with one of those black-outlined hawks perched on the old broken down eucalyptus trees that haunt this neighborhood. I am like a sparrow, lonely on a housetop.

But lament is this long learning, hard like eucharisteo. Lament is a cry of belief in a good God, a God who has His ear to our hearts, a God who transfigures the ugly into beauty. -Voskamp

Taste and see that the LORD is good.

 I remember when I first memorized Psalm 34. I was in the refugee camp. Each day was also broken into five-minute chunks, which was all I could trust God with, to carry me through anything for five more minutes.

That was my first stripping-down moment.

“I see,” thought John to himself. “They have brought me here to kill me.” But he began, nevertheless, to take off his clothes. They were little loss to him, for they hung in shreds, plastered with blood and with the grime of every shire from Puritania to the canyon: but they were so stuck to him that they came away with pain and a little skin came with them.

And I was alone and sick and with a sick baby and with so many decisions to make every moment in a language that I didn’t quite understand; life and death surrounded me.

And He whispered, as I made my way down the dirt road carved by heavy rains and heavy trucks and rubbled with loose gravel so it was easy to slip and fall, “Dive in. Dive into me.”

And I also rubbed my hands, shut my eyes, despaired, and let myself go.

Because I definitely jump into Hillenbrand pool every day, I know the difference.

Let hope not be obscured by night,
But may faith’s darkness be as light.