This Sunday morning has found me beneath my covers instead of in a pew. I’m reading poetry and bits of my favorite books, and barking out orders to kids who are flying haphazardly around the house and into each other. Brandon has joined me between our sheets with his own novel in tow, and we’re neither of us real interested in cleaning the weekend-destroyed house. It’s a twisted sort of Sabbath and it’s both all I can muster right now, and everything I need.
Easter happened, a week ago, and my Lenten practice of quieting my world came to a close with it. As is so often the case, I didn’t miss the mass of voices and words as much as I thought I would. I admit, I cheated a few times. I found myself typing in the url of voices I love, friends whose words inspire me. But, it wasn’t until today when I finally opened my blogreader for the first time in more than 40 days, that I realized how many words have filled the internet that time. There is simply no way I can go back and ingest all I missed. I don’t even want to , to be honest. I scrolled down and down and down, and didn’t open a single blog. Not a one. Maybe tomorrow, I thought.
I kept up with the Psalms, with the prayers made easier by my beautiful Anglican prayer beads. I filled in the gaps with the Book of Common Prayer.
Church is still hard. Life is still hard. My health continues to struggle along. I haven’t ventured outside of the Psalms. The Bible is still a bit much.
And yet, I can’t say change didn’t come. I can’t deny that healing has filled in a few cracks.
As seems to be a common theme in my life these days, the change is small, the healing even smaller.
But I can feel it there, deep inside. I felt it when I got some bad news and after several minutes of tears and choking and eyes burning, I settled. I’ve heard of the peace that passes understanding. The truth is, until that moment, I’d never felt it pump through my body, nestle into my bones. The air around me felt warm, like I’d just had one glass too many of chilled champagne. My breathing came out measured and soft, my body as calm as if I’d just received a full body massage, and my heart beat slowed to the slow rhythm of a ramble through the sand and sea.
I had clear thoughts like, “All will be well.”
I felt it again when a long overdue conversation rose from the ashes of hurt feelings and years of staying silent. Of building temples to my rights and expectations and bowing down before my razor edged broken heart. I felt it when I spoke what was true, what was hard, and what was kind even still. I felt it as I accepted explanations that didn’t fully explain, and felt the creeping sensation of love and forgiveness, and the temple returned to dust.
I felt it when I felt as fragile and sharp as an icicle hanging from the rooftop gutter. And I just let it be. I didn’t get pissed off and ragey to prove I wasn’t dangling from the edge. I let myself feel helpless, and I found strength in acceptance in melting in the scorching sun.
The Psalms reminded me that to be human is to be healed and broken, rescued and abandoned. I’m still scared and disillusioned and a bit angry. But I’m not scared of being scared and disillusioned and a bit angry anymore.
And to me, that feels like the road of a brave and beautiful life.
Where the cracks are both healed and replaced by new places of brokenness. Where poetry replaces a sermon every now and then, and the Psalms are my traveling companion, murmuring in my ears that to be angry is to feel, to feel is to be stripped down to honesty, to the truth of myself before God and all these witnesses.
Where we keep going, even if continuing on means simply sitting still for awhile, loving and being loved. Letting peace roll in, when it will. Knowing that it’s possible.