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.”
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:
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
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 even soul.
While the quiet pour
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
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.
(By the way, I think it no small miracle that as I type/write this, heavy, healing rains fall again) 🙂