D.L. Mayfield

living in the upside-down kingdom

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?

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