Personal ponderings from a natural night-owl!

Archive for March, 2010

I doubt I know

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” ~I Corinthians 13:12

Today is Palm Sunday for Christians.  I have always felt that Palm Sunday was  an oxymoronic day.  On one hand we remember, commemorate, and even replicate in small degree the parade that heralded Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem for the celebration of passover.  It must have been such a joyful outpouring of adoration!   But minutes later, we hear for the first time this week the somber and dramatic story of Jesus’ last few days of life on earth.  The same people shouting “Hosanna!” one day are yelling, “Crucify him!” practically the next.  It’s a wide swing of emotions for one day, but a good precursor to the emotional roller coaster ride which is Holy Week for me.

Lately, my entire life feels like an oxymoron, a carousel ride: up and down, moving, but getting no where.  I feel at the same time wise and foolish; old and young; loved and invisible; supported and abandoned – some times all of those in the course of a single day!  I am exhausted but cannot sleep, hungry with no appetite, desirous yet apathetic.  I have been energized one moment, yet sit down and in an instant have literally no momentum.  I have been full of words and thoughts…and speechless; strongly, boldly confident…and reticent; sure in my faith…and spinning in a void of questions.

Since mid-December, I’ve felt like I’ve been holding on for the ride of life.  I’ve felt complete awareness of this pulling back, yet a distinct disconnect from it all.  Part of my brain analyzes and worries that this is not right, not good somehow while another part acknowledges that life has ups and downs, like a carousel.  All my life’s a circle, and I’ve been here before; there’s nothing to be done but patiently wait it out.

I’m asking some faith questions, too.  Questions to which I thought I knew the answers.  Questions that are a bit scary in the asking.  But at the same time, I have always believed – still believe – that God is big enough for all our questions, that we were given brains to use, to apply, so as to come vigorously to our faith.  And I do have faith.  Deep.  Forever.  Unshaken.  Though the details may well move around and readjust themselves for me, that truth is unmoving.

I have faith that God is.  I have faith that my life has purpose, that I am loved for who I am in my entirety – good, bad, and gray.  And I have faith in humanity – or at least in God’s ability to turn all our mistakes into triumph.  I also have faith that we’re part of a bigger picture, a larger story.  I have faith that I am fully known and that I will know fully.  Someday.  I know I doubt, but I know.

I’ve Been Here Before

I’m in the throes of a mid-life crisis. At least, that’s what I’m calling this limbo in which I am suspended, hanging above the ground with one hand on the line of my past and one on the line of my future, looking down, seeing both, connected to both, yet disconnected from everything.

It’s the fall of 1989 and I’ve just finished the phone call which opened a portal of understanding I didn’t want to acknowledge or walk through. But I gathered my courage and I did walk through – to a life of uncertainly where there was once understanding and though I didn’t know it at the time, a life of profound joy where there would have only been disappointment. But at the time, I mourned deeply, intensely, for what was lost, both immediate past and perceived future.

Another portal has opened now, similarly earth-shaking and grief-ridden, but strangely comforting in its familiarity. This time I walk through with more confidence in the unknown, but still sad for a lost past and a lost vision of the future. And for pain I’ve caused. Though I’ve been pained equally as well, mine feels the lesser somehow for the knowing, the having been here before.

Back again in time, to 1990. I see an ethereal Easter morning, I smell the flowers, hear the birds, feel the caress of the sun through the bite of the breeze and know I am wrapped in a cocoon of love I have never felt before. And I know it’s real – and that I almost missed it for illusion masquerading as reality. Very quickly, the plot of my life takes a turn toward profound fulfillment, and I know it, but am afraid to embrace it. I can flip rapidly through the pages of the book of my past, seeing more clearly that part of the story that was once a dim reflection in a mirror. Has it really been twenty years, this blink of an eye?

It could have been over, the road bending in a different direction, a chance lost. But I was given a second chance. Or maybe the road bent and bent again – that’s what he has always believed. But in the last moments of 1992, a portal of joy blinked open for a brief moment, and I jumped through with whole heart dragging reluctant head along for the ride. And what a ride it’s been, more lush a life than my wildest fantasies could ever have conjured. And to think, it all started with an email. Twenty years ago.

Fast forward another decade, another snapshot in my life, another moment of upheaval planned for yet so completely unanticipated despite all possible, futile preparation. A push, a letting go, a tug, a cry, a joy and a love so instantaneous and enveloping it cannot be understood except by those who have experienced it. Again just a blink of my eye and the new creation is becoming again a newer creation apart from me, from us, yet so much a part of us it steals my breath.

So here I am poised at the brink of … something unknown. And it’s not as terrifying now, this suspension, this not knowing. This time, I feel change stirring, but I can wait for it with quiet confidence. I see the past, the journey, the way forward into fog. But somewhere beyond there is sunshine burning brightly and I will be in it soon. And I can wait.

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