I am sitting in a kitchen not my own…in a city not my own…in a state not my own… and yet, as I head out into the coming Adventure, I am feeling quite at home.
These last days have been days filled with walking for miles each afternoon, long morning thinks accompanied by a strong mug of coffee, plenty of time to write, and lots of time to pray. It actually hasn’t felt so much that prayer has been a separate time, to tell the truth. It has been a week of presence, of conversation with Jesus whether in Mass or stopping to notice a bee stuffing his sacs with sweetness, conversation while walking, conversation while listening, and the silent exchanges of love between those known to one another who can share quiet with joy and ease.
I include here some lines from my notebook…
If I think truthfully about my life…about the desire I have to serve the international Society, I realize that this desire to live “in geographic breadth” is a way to live aligned with the call of God in my life and how I most readily experience God. It is like I have sought a coherent way to respond in living to the way I experience God…the way God has revealed God’s self to me…the way I experience who God IS.
It feels organic, this desire…and something that is also part of the joy of being known by name by people who speak other languages and being able to respond… So often it is by circumstance and not intention that this happens…I am at a meeting here or there, someone is here or there visiting and I happen to be there too…I find something organic in this. The spread of people I have known and that I know… I talk with everyone at school…moving between circles…knowing what is happening in Primary as well as in Eighth grade… I don’t know, but thinking on it now, I am caught by the relationship between this gift you have given me and one of the facets I find most attractive about you.
I see you as a depth and a breadth…an Infinite in human form…and I am so attracted to this. You are more than I can imagine and at the same time you are real, a human who walked and walks the earth and who has said to me “Nothing can separate you from my love.” Part of the importance of this, the strength of this reality is that I hear–and more than hear, I feel, that you are telling me that I too can live with a breadth and a depth of love…and that precisely That is your desire for me too–that at the same time I want to draw near to you, you are drawing near to me. And when I don’t remember, or don’t believe it, or don’t feel it, or when I fail or make mistakes–in those times, too, you persue me, you draw near.
Several days later, while praying and thinking about this image of Jesus as a breadth and a depth, a vulnerable Infinite in human form, a poem that touched me deeply returned to my heart. In a biography of Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ, her biographer quotes GK Chesterton–
There are more ways than the wind knows,
or eyes that see the sun,
In the light of the lost window
and the wind of the doors undone.
For out of the third lattice
under low eaves like wings,
is a new corner of the sky
and the other side of things.
I think somehow that Breadth and Depth that I experience as Jesus, IS the other side of things….is what can be seen from out of the third lattice and under the low eaves… and seeking that new corner of the sky is entering the pierced heart, receiving fullness and eternity of life from the fountain of love that is there, alive, waiting, breathing, refreshing, cooling, offering respite… that the journey home might continue.
Adventure untold awaits me this month as I head to Indonesia in a few hours to work on organizing a library that is there… a library that is quite literally, if only geographically, on the other side of things…on the other side of things I know…
What a thrill that there is always more to discover…more to reveal and have revealed…