murals in the desert
"You may stand the strain of the most intense labour, coupled with severe suffering, and yet break down utterly when laid aside from all religious activities; when forced into close confinement in some prison house."--Streams in the Desert
As I walked past the countless murals on the street, I recognized myself: a colorful, hollow attempt at redemption. Paint splashed on bricks to make it all seem new; wide-eyed, good hearted people bounding in to help. But murals don’t change neighborhoods; neither does my showing up.
I am reminded by Psalm 103 to remember the miracles that the Lord has done. In this lonely, awake place I remember what has pointed to the divine in my life. It is my family: my precious, baby-that-almost-wasn’t, my husband, so young and brave and handsome. It is my friendships, so surprising and challenging, with people so unlike me, my Somali and Bhutanese friends. It is the way I continue to plod along after this great love I have heard about and experienced in so many tiny ways; it is the way I feel relentlessly pursued by this love, how it has pushed and pulled me outside of myself. It is the way I have been brought to this place, outside of all of my religious activities, my labours and sufferings, and am finally alone enough where I can recognize how I am a colorful, painted tomb.
I don't want this to sound depressing; I debated all day on what I should or shouldn't share, on how honest I can be. I find this odd space, this time of complete newness and being emptied out, to be exhilarating in every sense. I am alive, I have eyes to see, and ears to hear. How often have I been able to say that? Recognizing my own flaws, be they a propensity for pride, self-righteousness, acedia, or melancholy, is a true and vital step in becoming whole. In living life awake, asleep neither to the realities of the world or the realities of my heart. This is where I am supposed to be, and in this moment I am holding it close.
Linking up with SheLoves Magazine today, for their synchroblog on the word "awake". Come join us?