A Beautiful Reminder

I wrote this in my notebook yesterday afternoon…

…having spent four (when I wrote three on Facebook, the book wasn’t done yet and I just couldn’t stop…) hours reading this morning…four uninterrupted hours immersed in the world of Delicious…four hours of sensory bliss, four hours of the best sort of fading away–loosening the hold, letting go and rising, entering…four hours of being cared for by Story. Though I know how I feel when a friend reads to me, I had forgotten the feeling of intimacy that also comes with reading myself…the feeling of having the story told to me, as though the story found me, specifically and delightedly. It made me think of what it is like when you tell me stories, and how often you do just that…how you invite me to pay attention, to “see into the life of things” (thank you, Wordsworth)…That thought, that feeling, made me so happy…the simple ache of sensual joy that comes from Story. Thank you for the gift of knowing how this feels…for giving me the chance to feel it again…for reminding me that you are a God of Word and Imagination, sensuality and deep knowing…

On the one hand, it made me twinge inside to realize that I had forgotten the feeling I described, and yet on a wholly other plane, I was so humbly grateful for the gentle gift being given to me… Whether it was new, or a reminder of something forgotten, doesn’t really matter.

…four hours of being cared for by story… Being cared for by Story! Yes! In so many ways, that is what reading is for me! When I was a child, books took me elsewhere…transported me…showed me that there was more, there were places that made sense, places where I could fit, places of possibility, and those places welcomed me. As an adult, reading does something of the same thing…serves as a portal, a map, or an island, or a slide, or an interesting path leading down the road less traveled.

As an adult, though, reading has also taken on a deeper aspect of divinity that was certainly present when I was a child, but I was not as able to articulate it. When I read poetry, for example, the sounds made by the words sparking, bumping, nestling, on the page, are God-sounds…the rhythms, the spaces, pauses… And I recognize that as much as I love the hint and suggestion of poetry…just enough kindling language to begin the fire within my spirit, I also willfully revel in bathing my way through pages of sensory description…In the hours I read Delicious I spent months, years, walking beside the main character, tasting Sal’s spring Parmigiano, smelling the papery history of wartime correspondence Billie discovers, and steeping in the heady swirl that is walking down a NYC sidewalk. This level of sensory involvement is part of the story God tells, too, I believe.

Some would say “The Devil is in the details,” but I seriously wonder…

I think it might take all sorts of Story to reveal God…And that becomes all the clearer to me when I think of the whole variety of ways God tells stories already…aside from the way the people of God tell stories about God…

Flowers. Silent tears. The gift of listening to a friend. A shadow. A stone. A kiss. The inspiration behind a work of art. The crash of a wave, the hand of a loved one, a lifetime.

This diversity is reflected in the recorded collection of holy Story Iturn to time and again… I see it in the exquisite metaphors of Wisdom, the unspoken commentary of the woman caught in adultery, the conversation on the road to Emmaus, the poetry of Isaiah, the detail of the three young men dancing in the furnace, the anguish and ache of the Crucifixion…

And I am invited in…invited to loosen my hold and open the imagination given to me in abundance by a wondrous God who knows every curve and quirk of my mind, spirit, and being…my Story.

I am invited to encounter, to learn, to grow, to be cared for…And use my own life to open the cover for others.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Helen says:

    You have such a gift – you so often express what I feel and I am one who loves to read and loves being involved in the story. Thank you.


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