Oh restless heart, questioning heart, longing heart, how you have pushed me towards the edge........
I stand on the bridge looking upstream. There's a concrete pylon, shaped like an arrow, pointing ahead. The sun is behind me and my shadow appears on that piece of concrete, a sign of direction. Can I prevail against that current, make it upstream? Immediately movement catches my eye and I see it, the lone goose, paddling, smoothly, making its way. Exactly where I need to go. If she can do it, so can I.
We all have shadows, don't we? Why do we hide them? Peter Pan loses his, accidentally, at the Darling house. He misses it, knows it is an important part of who he is. He asks Wendy to put it back on, she uses needle and thread to attach it. Peter flies around with joy, happy to have his shadow back.
Shadows are produced by light. Marvelous light.
"Darkness is as light to him."
I have a special rock, a place I go to for solitude. It sits beside a stream. To get to it I have to climb down a steep hill, often times slipping and sliding as I descend. Once there I breathe slowly and deeply and I listen to the inner voice in my heart. I rest, completely. Here I am not performing, not pretending. No one sees me but God, and in that perfect moment of being truly myself I feel love, perfect love, liberating love.
Love's light casts long shadows. Until the direction of that light changes, and suddenly there is no hiding, for true love compels us to risk all, to sell all that we have in order to obtain it.
"Good teacher. what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
"Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor. Then follow me."
I, like the rich young ruler, have walked away, grieving, not wanting to let go of everything I have, everything I hide behind, everything I long to control, to find this life God wants for me.
But that restless, questioning, longing heart will not quit propelling me to the edge..... convincing me there is only one way to fly.
I must jump.
Little by little I have been approaching that edge. During a very dark emotional time back in April a story began emerging from a deep part of my soul. I call it my "Horse Story." As I write the words it brings me closer to believing, truly believing, in God's new direction for my life. His dream for the latter years of my life hide within me, shadows of the future.
Even so fear grips me. Change is hard. I find myself dragging my feet the closer I get to that edge. I'm safer where I'm at. I don't like heights.
One day, out of the blue, I decide to apply to Temple University. To major in Religion, minor in women's studies. The call of God is becoming stronger, dragging me closer.
A mother eagle will actually push her babies out of the nest to get them to fly. God as my mother is trying to prepare me for flight, getting me ready to stretch my wings to answer her call.
Today, October 25, 2012, I receive my acceptance letter to Temple. A door is opening, a pathway is being laid ahead. I can feel the movement of the wings on my back.
And the shadows of my past come along with me. They will no longer keep me from accepting God's grace. In fact, they are as much who I am as the light places I carry, and all the in-between places.
From "The Night" by Henry Vaughn:
There is in God, some say,
A deep but dazzling darkness, as men here
Say it is late and dusky, because they
see not clear
O for that night! where I in Him
Might live invisible and dim!
I've always believed that rich young ruler came back, one day in the future, with his pockets empty and only the clothes on his back, ready, just like me, to take that leap of faith, to find true love.