You see It* in naked mouths, in burdened markets, in death cells & cathedrals; we all await the same thing.
I saw It last week in a wee apartment & momma with sick child,
saw It crying in the Street yesterday outside a Cafe: a man sat in Crossword puzzles; his face sunk. A couple in phones, not touching shoulders like Love sits; she refused cake, he shrugged, got a green mango ice cream, the silence only stopped now and then when the happy eyed waiter grinned. He grinned as he walked between polka-dotted giant cups perched in high wooden open cabinets and acrylic fern;
we diced snakes & ladders at this Cafe called Narcos. Hmm. No drugs, just us in chilled sweaters and hungry for chat as mothers and daughters can be when needing to know we are loved – no conditions, no time to comb hair. There was that need, to taste a satisfaction…..
a diamond waiting to be sharved (just made that word) ;
It….is like Water waiting to Fall, like a Niagara e’en. We say, What. That….! But we turn into terrorists at Traffic messes, we become brooding hens over interruptions, we snarl at headlines, and run like headless chicken when ignored. Oh and this – we absolutely evangelize on the meanness of God when there’s an earth disaster, then we build Cathedrals of mistrust….
It was there yesterday at Happa Stationers‘- guy in dull red cap o’er few flat locks, he strung them over his shoulder, his face dead-fire, as we traded notes for exam accessories for my Kitsy,
she with eyes like stars over an unknown future. Some people are Bearers of Good. They go like a Lighthouse searching the dark:
we retrace steps back home, the sun is warm in our cold toes. Yea an Indian cold. Cold enough to shiver my pigeon;
am scared to read the papers – they lie face down in a jute bag under chair turned to the trees outside, as if asking these skies for Noah’s rainbow;
today’s unopened Times sun bathes next to Rosie, with her 50+ tiny spiky leaves and rose pouting…..
like us Humans rearing for relief.
We’ve schooled our Self to hiss like serpents in gardens of Grace. We rap our own knuckles if we fall prey to God’s Love. We skid, stop stare like rabbits caught in headlights, stammering- afraid to give in to Humanity’s best-masked need:
(Terrified of what we do not know, what we do know holds us safe among ‘relatables‘; eaters of edible bad news);
I saw It Staring at me via a Cartwoman selling tomatoes. No Cross tattoo in her throat like some of us Church goers host, no prayer beads except rich busy fingers at brinjal and coriander leaf, like she were a branch off Him who made her veggies! As if there was nothing to fear. Yeah her purpose to be the Bearer of Grace.
Yeah I can talk of Love and Valentine trophies all day but if I didn’t receive this Thing, I wouldn’t know how to give it. ‘IT’ …a 5 lettered word one sees best on a Hill far away.
Soon we’ll be doing Lenten fasts and Anthems to woo It back in our lanes, aye Grace– lurking in corners like a lost Lover, a jealous one, aching to forgive, bless, heal, restore, love:
aching that we believe *Its reach, Its depth, Its width, Its unfathomable Power to raise the Human Spirit from the Store Rooms of hell.
Yea, yes- the most under-rated, least accessed, the Greatest Human need there is- Grace:
Love always follows. No matter the odds.
Grace : unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification. b : a virtue coming from God. c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.http://www.merriam-webster.com › grace
I cannot describe the stink of the room with not one normal smelling thing in it. We had just walked through slush to get here. Marin, the lady with ash blonde fringe and eyes like green stars, she ploughs on as if it were a normal day. In the room, the child* sits with amputated leg; my thoughts are a hung merry-go-round. The child will die soon, her grandmother tells us. The old lady sits spreadeagled in the floor with the abandon of hopelessness and dare. Like- dare you tell me any thing about hygiene– poverty did that to her. To us all. As we leave, the child’s eyes are wide saucers above her smile. She wants to say much but is afraid of Grandma. She loved drawing class with me, and times we did little stories from the Bible. I say ‘did’ because we’d act them out, act out those scenes where we were actors, we were boat and waves, we were the storm, we were scared in the storm till we saw Jesus walking on the water to us, and then we’d scream for sheer happy riotous fear/ joy.
All this I felt as we left the child and grandmother; the child died a few months later. I never forget how beautiful her face was in that little room strung with gunny sack and tarpaulin. The child knew she was loved by Christ, the pain did nothing to stop her joy: like a garden in bloom, in the breeze that took its fragrance into other places.
It was the first church I’d remember, breaking tiles and a rectangular room with mats. They sat in raggedy rows, some with tobacco stained teeth and rings in their ears. The men too. If they smoked, it was within their teeth: tiny rolled tobacco leaf that glowed and let out its acrid fumes. When the singing began, it was a shout, a wail, or spoken words via a hangover. This was a fishing colony; they had no notion of reading anything, they were here for peace. For shelter.
One monsoon after a storm had washed away half the village, they came in very quiet, sleepless. Even the babies. When the Padre spoke there was silence. The singing was quiet, ears alert. Was there a message from God? What did He say?
Ever since then, I’ve always felt that storms had their bitter and sweet edge. It took us to a hard place: here we listened, here we knew there was more than the mortal-visible. Ach. Not sweet enough. But when stashed among the bitter, we as a Human Race drop our smoke, we look for fire, for cause. For reasons.
Here we die, and stand again. We try. We falter but go on. And when we walk out that door back into the factual world, there’s Knowledge of a deep inner space where Humans face the reality that we are Spirit too. We need more than food and water and survival. No drug can doctor us there.
When I think of the word ‘Church’ I think of broken places where the Light shines thru. Or darkness shows thru our broken edge: and how we are temples of either. Not both. Of how the Light and the Dark, are constantly neighbours but One dispels the other.
I remember the Fisher colony we used to know; its faces like children’s eyes, wide with honesty. When their questions were satiated, they’d dance, as if drunk now but with the Light. And how that Light of God would spill out their ringed ears and sunburnt lips, yelling the Joy of knowing God in the Now. Storm or no, He was here.
I learnt about ‘Churches’ from these darlings of the sea, their skins burning with ozone, their eyes on fire with true love for the One who could calm any storm within, no matter the ones outside, and that’s the greatest miracle I’ve ever witnessed: the One who could calm any storm within, no matter the ones outside,
when you get that, you get Church in all Its trillion dimensions. And here we begin to heal via the Wounds of the Cross.
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