Thursday, January 28, 2010

Living in a Mystery


It's been a long walk since I last wrote in this blog. Maybe it takes that long, sometimes, to live enough to have something to say.

Recently, a friend shared a poem with me, written by Eugene Peterson in The Jesus Way. It's called "Embrace."

Salvation is not escape
The prison door swings open
but we walk into
life in excess of what we can manage or control,
accepting the consequences.

Enter the mess,
for forcing,
no bullying.
Pay attention
Name the gathering,
the shards and splinters of broken lives:
a face, a rustle in the trees
A dragonfly, an old man's gesture
A forced march across a desert

There it is -

Work quietly and gently,
No yelling.
No invective.
Submit to the conditions.
There it is: beautiful
Take it to the altar of sacrifice
Make an offering of it.

Beauty does not impose.
It is a meaningless word
to those in control -
doesn't explain anything
reveals what has been there all along

But there is always more
A storm crashing through the mountains
An accident
Wounding and brusing of all sorts
A new creation in Jerusalem, in Babylon

Live in a mystery
not in confusion.
a deep, reconciling embrace
of all that is wrong.

"Isaiah of the Exile: 'How Beautiful on the Mountains'"

This is the stuff of cancer and its treatment. I am discovering that it is the occasion, not of control nor comprehensive plans nor understanding. But rather, the occasion of relinquishment of outcomes, of dreams, of the pretension of control, of masterminding my significance. It is the event that calls forth a deep and abiding love for people, everywhere I look. It is that crashing storm in the mountains that brings about a new creation, not only in Babylon but even in Colorado Springs.

It causes me to know that great suffering is the encounter point between heaven and earth where we are invited to enter into a deep, reconciling embrace of all that is wrong in our world.

It is enough.