little bit of lagniappe

reflecting on everyday grace

Archive for the tag “miracle”

Miracle

AdventMoon

Photo captured while on a mid-December “moon walk”…

 

Night falls.

Moon rises.

And beneath this miracle

whose ingredients are

star

and dust,

light

and darkness,

life

and death,

joy

and pain,

we go on

singing —

the low notes,

the high notes —

into the rest

of our days.

 

p.s. Thank You

for the miracle

it is

to see,

to feel,

to wonder,

to write,

to love,

to remember.

Amen.

The “unsayable” gift of forgiveness

On this final Monday in July (gasp), I stumbled across a reflection by Mark Nepo. In it he talks about the beauty of the sea that he has been drawn to since he was a boy, and yet he asserts how even now, in his 60s, he cannot fully describe or name it. It’s “unsayable.” I can relate to this as I attempted to give life to mama’s “quiet courage” through words in last week’s post. The feelings are there – always – but the descriptions often pale to what can only be felt.

Here is the juicy conclusion of Mark’s eloquent reflection:

“I only know that what matters is unsayable. And yet, every attempt to reveal it helps us live, the way every plant grows by reaching for a light it can’t see or name. God is such a sun. Truth is such a sun. Love is such a sun. And each of these—God, Truth, and Love—is just a temporary name for something too big to stay named.

I only know that to be alive and to gather meaning from living, we’re asked to throw our words and feelings and questions, like wood, onto the fire of all that’s unsayable—to keep the shimmer of what matters before us.”

Yes.

And so now, with those powerful thoughts in mind, “to keep the shimmer of what matters before us,” I throw out with love and hope and gratitude these words and feelings in attempt to reveal and describe the unsayable gift of forgiveness and being forgiven:

Forgiveness

While walking

just the other day –

a summer day cloaked in heat –

I got caught in a rainstorm

far from home

with nothing to protect me

except these weary body clothes

and this fragile, beating heart.

The first drop compelled me to look up,

and from there

rains fell

in heavy beads

swollen with purpose,

as if filled with far more than water.

Without protest or permission,

they drenched me, head to toe,

and I surrendered –

outstretched my arms and opened my palms

to the soaking embrace.

The rain danced and dripped

like fingertips across my brow,

softening every inch of skin

and thought

and even soul.

While the quiet pour

came down,

something lifted me

up and out of my water-logged shoes

on that holy ground.

When I look back now,

it reminds me of the undeserved rains

of your forgiveness:

a force of divine love

spilling unquenchable hope

from out of the great big blue –

a baptismal flood

soothing stubborn stains of sin,

cleansing tired wounds,

to reveal healing scars

that cover over what cannot be reversed,

and yet liberating me from their bondage.

Washed and bathed

by grace,

I am able to continue the journey home

beneath parting clouds

and soft sunlight

as wet tears leak joy

and the forever memory of your

loving, forgiving rain.

-C.C.T.

(By the way, I think it no small miracle that as I type/write this, heavy, healing rains fall again) 🙂

Amen.

Morning Snow

This morning, I’m in love with the  miracle of snow.  I, with my little black kitty huddled in the nook of my arm and chest, took a silent stroll in the pouring snow at the break of dawn.  These words came to me as we looked into the sky, and let white petals cool our blood-warm faces, and let mystery soothe our weary souls.

Morning Snow

Just when we least expect it,

or want it,

but when we need it most,

snow comes

and quiets our souls.

It covered me this morning —

patches of a blanket

formed from grandmother’s hands,

soft, known.

 

Her delicate dance

on my brow

felt like a lullaby

that’s not been sung in thirty years.

And yet, I knew the tune,

and my heart sang

forgotten words.

 

Her falling,

desperate, lonely, full, and silent,

made all the world

stand still,

in awe

and in love

with mystery again.

-C.C.T.

Miracles in the dark

One of my favorite  activities is taking an evening stroll through the beautiful neighborhoods surrounding my little town home.  There’s something so innately centering about this practice, as it stills and fills me with such peace.  There’s something, too, about wandering ‘neath the enormous sky at night, overwhelmed by the possibilities that are so much higher, so much greater than tiny little us.  A few times this fall, that bright full moon has looked as though she could swallow me whole, but rather she offers her radiant light and shows me the way home.

Just the other night, on my habitual evening walk, as the daylight began to fade and slip under the horizon, my heightened senses led me to a protruding gardenia bush who seemed to beckon me with her scent.  My Lord in heaven, her blooms were intoxicating, and I could not help but snatch an entire branch.  I admit it; I am a gardenia thief  (some of you know this full well already, and I do believe I am making my Gran Edie AND my mama proud!).  However, I promise to you and to them that I am a gentle adopting mother; I take good care when they come home with me.

This particular branch of gardenia blooms had ones that had already opened brightly to life and others that were still hidden tightly in their buds.  Already, I felt affinity with this chosen limb, as so often I feel wide-open to the world and to the people and circumstances in my every day, while at other times, I can feel myself still clinging to and hiding fearfully in my own taut bud.

Nestled comfortably in the front pocket of my sweatshirt, the gardenias enjoyed the rest of the night walk home, and the moon shed her generous light for us, as if grateful that someone took the time to notice her kindred spirits.  By the time we arrived home, my gardenia branch and I, I placed her gently in a humble, wide-mouthed vase and felt her strengthen the moment she received her first drink and quenched her thirst.

While the entire evening’s event was lovely, what was most beautiful was the surprise that awaited me when I trudged downstairs to see my new friends the next morning.  During the darkest passage of the night, two of the tightly pinched buds had awakened and dared to show their glorious faces.  Hmmm.  A miracle in the dark.

May we dare to wait patiently and endure the dark, for it is in this time that new life can form.

“The seed is in the ground.

Now may we rest in hope

While darkness does its work.”

-Wendell Berry, “A Timbered Choir” (1991)

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