Stained with Light

~I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light…~ 

—Mary Oliver from her book Upstream 

I have wrestled…
It speaks of a vulnerable opening up and engaging rather than a protective crouching; honesty; courage and the acknowledgment of fear; a staying-put and a willingness to ache. And it calls for a “why.”  Otherwise, what’s the point of staying when one could easily turn, run, and hide? There are plenty of options for that and plenty who choose them.
With the angel… 
To wrestle with the presence of God…to hear the whisper and want for a windstorm, perhaps; to fear the honesty of that encounter; to waver in the strength of conviction that we are assured, “Nothing can separate you from my love…” or to grow hard of hearing…
And yet, to choose to engage with the angel.  To choose to wrestle…because in spite of whatever trepidation, there is an attraction that won’t go away…an attraction that will not leave behind a sense of peace if avoided or ignored.  
Stained with light…
To be marked by struggle and have that mark be a stain of light…I find that entirely beautiful:  To become more transparent through struggle…to become more whole, more human, in that revelation…and to have that look like light…feel like light…Be light.
This is all certainly something to consider in a unique way as the liturgical season of Lent deepens…
Though, it is something I consider each time I find myself engaging the angel in a match and over the course of our time together answering her question— What is my ‘why?’  

And I come back over and again to Love. 

Love in its fullness and complexity.  Love in its freedom and welcome and beckon and home and sending… Love in its relationship, its forgiveness and mercy…

Love in its light, in its light, in its light…

And then, for now, the tussle is eased and the stain spreads just that much more.

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