Speaking of answering questions…
Does rising to make an answer always mean that we have to fully know the answer? Mercifully, no. The call to rise is much less about recognition and has more to do with releasing.
Thy life’s a miracle. Speak yet again.
King Lear, IV, Vi, 55
This morning as I listen to the voice of the river speak I keep remembering last night, standing at the edge of land and water in a steep place, not gradual like our river bank here but rather a lake, cut and contained, stark and definite. I realized the truth there that, within our own souls, it is not only stunning, but also essential to experience harsher boundaries, limitations, and humanly speaking, what some may deem as weakness.
These places in our lives are holding places, defining us from others—but more than that, they are delineating us from our old selves as we are continually becoming new. I have often mourned the old on one hand and been anxious for the new on the other.
It is easy to be afraid in powerful and rigid places. It is like Jesus, to be present there. To learn from the I AM is the call in these slices of the wilds. To hear the call may mean to face deep cuts, defining lines, limitations maybe, but seen in the light of His presence, all that we do not know and all that we fear can transform into what we experience as the most pleasant places of our life.
“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Psalm 16:6
Love…does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth…these are the next lines in 1 Corinthians 13.
It’s popular to imagine our Father in heaven as a kind of tyrant King, but in learning about love we are learning Him. He takes no joy in our pain, rather He is nearest the brokenhearted. He is not political, partial, proud, or pale compared to anyone or thing. Truth, being the essence of His presence, means it is joy for our Creator, to see His creation—us—encounter the edges, the places that teach us the shape of our own soul, because it is there that we can find her Lover.
Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you pasture your flock, where you make it lie down at noon; for why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions.
~Shir-Hashirim (Song of Songs) 1:7
In the process of unveiling, with you…the water is fine.
P.S. Favorite current read: Life is a Miracle, An Essay Against Modern Superstition by Wendell Berry
P.P.S I love to hear from you, in the comments, in an email. Thanks for traveling with me! I have loved growing through this series and I hope you have too. If you missed it you can read Part One here. Part Two here.
Subscribe to receive my posts in your inbox, and I’ll send ya my poem, Bound by Light.
To have a companion in prayer, check out my book, Pray, Like a Woman in Labor here.
Paul J. Elder
Thank you for being yoy.
Paul, I’m not sure if that typo above was meant to say “joy” or “you”, so I will hope for the first, not be disappointed by the other, and thank you for taking the time to send some love my way no matter which it is! Blessings on your day!
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