Monday, 8 February 2016

many waters

A mad weir of tigerish waters
Prism of delight and pain

There are times when I wish I could bump into a middle aged Louis MacNeice (whose words those are, the full poem can be found here), find some slightly run down tea room, stain a cup with lipstick, hang on his every word, smoke seductively in stockings and tweed and observe the ordinariness and complexity of complete strangers that pass by......  I've been reading his poetry again, those waters I inhabit seem particularly tigerish at the moment.

The pews at church even joined in, they too looked tigerish this Sunday.  Wood grain is funny stuff, it is almost impossible to recall a pattern once you've seen it.  It seems so fluid. The delight and pain dance round each other: complementary not adversarial.

And I'm tired of the pain.  Very tired.  And this makes me weary of the delights.  I could shake my fist at God and tell Him to stop.  The delights all seems like a cruel joke: holy things and the comfort of scripture, feeling consolation in prayers, the peace in my soul, birds singing at Lauds.... when all the while, the burden of plodding on, the weariness of bearing up, being ill, being there for others, being unable to communicate to another that which is in my heart..... and add to this the cruelty of the enemy and God's steadying hand to "be patient", "bear with"....... and I'm just screaming out "how long Lord?  How long?"

But this is our path.  The path is never right entirely because even if it were, we are too broken to walk it as we should.  Indeed it is the mistakes, the crazy mixed up, unknown, mathematically unpredictable, shambolic mess of our faults and failings that is our very path to heaven (or to hell). Indeed the path becomes our hell if we at any stage think we are making progress and we start to rely on our own strength and forget the God who loves us.

Solomon is right: (Song of Solomon 8:7)

Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing.

We are just asked to love and know that God loves us and has given ALL for us, even as flooding looms and the waters are baring their teeth and snarling pitilessly.

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