Entering vacation. My first night of vacation-sleep lasted ten unblinking hours somehow. As my grandmother would have said had she been puttering around the kitchen here this morning, “You must have needed it!” I woke with a backache and a languid canine awaiting attention patiently.
I awoke as well with a strong sense that, despite the tragic truth that this human world has worked overtime this past week to reveal the depth of its wounds and the pain of its brokenness, there is a deeper-down wellness indeed, as Gerard Manley Hopkins might in some moments confirm.
Where is the evidence? In simple, small, nearby truths:
The air this morning is cool and light and eager to support life.
The little lady across the street who never burns a light in her house by night and is almost invisible day-by-day, is working her way along the sidewalk with patience and love trimming the hedge that frames her property.
The big rabbit who lives somewhere in the backyard is snooping around with perfect equanimity like she owns the place, much to the chagrin of the formerly languid canine. And who knows? In some profound sense the rabbit may hold the original title to the property.
There is loving family to the south I’ll turn to visit today, and loving family and friends to the north as well. To look in their eyes this week and just to hear their voices; to converse with them on matters timely and out-of-time as well: this is enough. More than enough blessing.
This morning a man of joy who came to this country from Korea will be ordained to the priesthood in Christ. He receives a blessing surely in that, and he is a blessing as well. Rich, mutual blessing among ordinands, community, and Lord.
Hope remains that damnably thank-God stubborn thing. It starts small where it stands a chance: I hope I can vacuum this rug this morning. I hope the traffic is bearable through Jersey. Then hope dares to throw its lovely nature further afield where the dice may be stacked. Hope that the airline downing tragedy might break the Ukraine unrest, that Palestinians and Israelis might look across the wreckage between the rockets and marching boots and catch sight on either side of a living human eye and the heart that lies behind it. Hope that one of the children flowing alone to the US southern border might find their way into the embrace and into the heart of one who never expected it. Crazy hopes, as I say, but damnably stubborn.
That’s this Saturday morning in this embattled world. The trick seems to hug to ourselves these little blessings on the micro level and bring them together into something much bigger. Who in this human world believes such a move might be possible?
Ah but friends, tomorrow is the Lord’s Day. If your heart can squint a glance ahead you might at least surmise what God might purpose.