I am on a silent retreat for three days, on the holy ground of missionaries, the Sisters of Mercy. I sit criss-cross apple sauce at the feet of a Mary statute that stretches 50 inches towards the sky. I make a mental note that this will be the same height of the Angel of Hope statue that will be erected soon at Pinkerton park to honor babies. Our babies. Hannah. I notice on Mary’s right hand she is missing her thumb and index finger – and the others are glued back as best as it could be. But it’s broken, and pieces are missing – true to us all. She is standing forcefully on a snake, wrenching an apple out of his mouth. This is my courageous Mary – where evil can not be fruitful or have any fruit. Nor the last word or death. And when she said “YES” to the angel Gabriel, she lived yes through it all in full belief and obedience. Her face is now being warmed by the sun that tilts into its second day of Fall. It creates a shadow on the pavers and sets a scene in black with just Mary and I. I beg the scene to come alive….I then gaze up to see white feathers blow across her bare feet from the wild turkeys that are pruning the grass for next season. I believe in angels. And feathers. There’s something about Mary………
I fidget through my journal and look at years of doodles and notes. I read a string of words in capital letters from the Global summit meeting that was held at The People’s church a few years back…. unearthing great inspiration spoken by encouragers…these words lay dormant until this very moment….waiting for fertile soil. I read…THE WORLD NEEDS OUR CHILDREN TO MAKE THE WORLD BETTER. OUR LEGACY IS TO SELL HOPE. (I think of our dear Missy, who is the best sales person for HOPE, and God’s promise. Here’s her beautiful blog: http://coopertrooperandthecooks.blogspot.com). I read on…PLANT MORE SEEDS TO MAKE MORE TREES. I hope my words are seeds enough. SHAMELESS IDEALISM TRANSLATES TO ACTION… I pray that action is toward progression. Towards bringing a bit of heaven to earth.
Silence feels unnatural to me. I become distracted dear Lord with a curious, caring heart that allows nature to pull me. A honey giver hovers over each dandelion, waiting to fill up on its nectar and then busily moves to the next. A butterfly dances and flutters with the freedom to take breaks randomly when her wings get tired. Ants travel by touch and feel entrapment, making sudden moves so that freedom remains theirs. They carry the weight of food on their backs – and they search and always find Your providence. I’m approached by a wild dog, who is hungry and scared. I remain still. His nose covers every scare inch of me and my belongings – his muddy prints walk all over a paper that I’ve written the words “Isiah 49 13-16 – See upon your hands I’ve engraved you.” I think of how wonderfully made are we. My mind wonders off to think of my dang finger prints that lack ridge lines – making it difficult for it to be accepted into a FBI database for clearance to school trips. I look at the dog’s prints. Unique. Only one. Miracle.
I returned to the same sacred space after dinner, I then read Isiah 43.. 1-7 – “I’ve called you by name…you are mine…you are precious in my eyes and honored…created for my glory.” I pause…..and look up to the sherbet sunset, and see iridescent-black birds, Starlings, zig-zag across the delicious sky. Some birds came from the north and some from the south – similar to how the Donnie & Marie show opened, the pairs meet up in the middle to do a duet…..over 500 of these birds perched on a chest nut tree before me….each singing praise LOUDLY, so loud in fact that my silence is broken. I welcome joy with laughter. Amazing Grace.