The months are passing faster than I’d like them to…
The leaves are almost gone, June has turned into November… It seems that death is finally sinking in, and nature has finally caught up to my grief.
The purple thistles that gave me hope in those tumultuous summer months
are shriveled and brown these days… but still standing.
The natural world around me now echoes my heart under this dark shadow:
The bare, dead branches
the cracked and yellowing grass…
I walked this lake in summer,
when it was full of flowers and green grass.
I walked it in harvest time, under September sun
through golden fields and crisp red leaves.
(Walk another mile, stare across the fields of grain: this is how the prophets trained.—Josh Garrels)
Now I walk it in November, as autumn turns to winter.
I have watched this lake scenery die around me.
And yet, even as I sit here,
birds chirp in the dead trees
and ducks flock to the waters.
The sinking sun kisses the earth
and all the world glows at death of day.
Because I cannot survive any other way,
And, thankfully, the Majesty just won’t let me go.
* * *
I read what Ann Voskamp says in her book One Thousand Gifts: “When we are despairing, we can choose to live as the Israelites gathering manna. Forty long years, God’s people daily eat manna- a substance whose name literally means, ‘What is it?’ Hungry, they choose to gather up that which is baffling. They fill on that which has no meaning. More than 14,600 days they take their daily nourishment from that which they don’t comprehend. They find soul-filling in the inexplicable. They eat the mystery. They eat the mystery. And the mystery, that which made no sense, is ‘like wafers of honey’ on the lips.”
I choose to eat the mystery, because I am hungry, so hungry. I do not understand this time, but I have to believe that my soul will be filled anyway, if I gather it up, if I keep carrying on, if I let the mystery nourish me. I choose to take in that which makes no sense, and pray that I too will find honey on the lips soon enough. Amen.