Wednesday, July 10, 2013

journal from the plane home

    [journal 7.9.13 yesterday evening]
     Today I sit in the midst of my piles of things for tomorrow - back pack, string bag, notebooks, suitcases, clothes for the wee hours of the morning when we will stand tired-shivering in front of the church in the dark, with dawn still hours away. Today I wrote in the gifts journal: "44. Packing for an adventure."
     It's getting dark, now, both with fading light and gathering storm clouds and before this time tomorrow I'll be in Haiti.
     I got to talk to Demi today, in the far-off Hawaii, and me here and about to be in another country. It's scandalous, the way we can jaunt about the four corners of the globe in just a few years, she in Maui and Kona and Japan, and then Nashville and Spokane, and Geri in Greece and seeing England, Italy, Cypress, France; me on my way to Haiti with Geri and then off to California for school. It's craziness, all of this.
     So I try to sink down into today, in the ladies voices in conversation downstairs, in the dark greying sky outside and the brightness of my room within, because for me, my little world is so big I can scarcely imagine the hugeness of our little planet in its ridiculous enormity.

     Welcome to the world, child. Come and gape at the incredible detail of it, stand in awe at its ginormity.
The Creator loves pizazz.

     [journal on the plane 7.10.13 bound from Miami to Chicago]

 Hours and hours ago we took off into the dawn, pink-gold and dazzlingly bright with our eager hopes and shining faith and then, after a few sleepy hours we descended into clouds and rain and little did I know it would not just be literal, that descent, but figurative as well. When we trudged off, baggage-laden from the plane we found out that due to the tropical storm over Haiti our flight had been cancelled and we sat in limbo, time-spending in the gate where we'd hopeful arrived as DeeDee made phone calls to find out what there was to know.
     All flights to Port au Prince cancelled for the next two days. Mudslides and flooding. No open flights for two weeks. A flight home hours later, for us up since 2am, or since Tuesday morning for some. And a trip rescheduled, tentatively for two weeks from now.
     And I can't go.

     Time and again this door has shut and I've fingered every crack and tried one hundred keys and this time I thought it was finally flung wide, God-ordained and ordered and now I am tired of fighting to kick it down. I thought I was supposed to go back and now I don't know what to think because that impenetrable wall is staring me down and the ache in my chest and the lump in my throat have all day threatened rising and spilling over.
     It's all so fragile, this world, this time, and as we fly back to Chicago I'm reminded of that idea that our small semblances of order and protection can be kicked to pieces like child's toys rough scattered, bits upon the floor.
     I don't know what to think, but something in me screams "You were wrong! You are not supposed to go!" and I don't know discouragement from Holy Ghost this time, I can't see to separate misplaced guilt from real concern because my eyes are welled-up, dripping over.
     I want to be there. I want to be offering up eucharisteo in the land of mango trees and tent cities, where  winds are raging and mud slip-sliding and water terror-rising, where in my memory the sun is hot, the land dry and cracked and the children smile slow delighted surprise. O Christ, I want to be there, and I thought you called to me "Come back, child" once and I don't know if I was in your will or outside it, and I don't know what is my heart hungry-calling and what is your voice sweet whispering. I don't know what to think of this door shut hard so I press up strong against my window and look out, see the sun bright upon the clouds, us flying the wrong way.
     On our other flight I was on the aisle, and in descent I had my eyes close-fixed on a window across the way, to see the touching down. I want to keep my eyes on his glory like that, set-upon, close fixed to his Kingdom Come so that when I am surrounded by the gloom and clouds and confusion hits, I have the vision still bright burning before my eyes and I can remember what that means, Kingdom Come. Even when what should be light is swirling grey and I can't see where blue meets blue.
     Today I am fishing in the dark and my nets are empty. My hands stretched out have no hold. I'm waiting for the light to crack open the world and the Fisherman to tell me where to cast that I might fill my cup overflowing under the waterfall and leave spills of grace behind me. I'm anxious for the dawn to break and split me open, full with joy and aching with pain because the Lord is here and he is mine and I am his, cast together in love. But just now I am Peter in the lonely boat on  choppy unkind seas and empty nets to boot in the tossing dark. And no stars.
     We descend from the dazzling morning of the mountaintop into the drizzling grey of the wilderness. We break bread together and eat, body once brilliantly glorified, talking with Moses and Elijah, broken for us. We drink, juice splashed together, blood spilled for us, crushed and pressed down, running over, spilling out. Our Lord given to us, in the plainest of the ordinary, the grain fallen to earth and killed with frost, brought to life with damp warmth and harvest one-hundred fold; ground, mixed, baked, continents over the common fare of man, Eucharist.
     Can I accept this common fare; the empty-handed darkness? Can I give thanks in this shaking boat which is the plainest of nights and say, "Thy will be done"?
     "Die to self" he says, and oh, I try, but the going is hard.
     So I pray for grace to give thanks, to press on, lean in, sit out the greyness. I ask for grace to accept the common fare our Lord gives as miracle, manna in the wandering. We are the marked people, the wanderers, seeking water from rocks and grace from deserts, full nets as the morning breaks.

O, give us grace to see the light.


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