Listening to the blues...

Yesterday, Di had hand surgery to correct "trigger finger" on her thumb and index finger on her right hand.  Later she had a very painful reaction to both the anesthesia and pain meds that almost took us to the emergency room at 2:30 am. Thankfully, she was able to find sleep and has been resting most of this day.  As I watched her being pushed into the surgical room I prayed, "God be with you" quietly to myself - and then cursed because I didn't say it out loud. 

In two hours, if all continues to go well with her healing today, I will head out to play a jazz gig - without her - and that makes me sad.  Our long time pianist will be MIA, too as he just took a job at a local college leading their gospel choir - a gig with bennies - so who knows what's in store for us now?  I feel almost fragile thinking about playing tonight - tears are just below the surface - and the blues seem to be giving shape to this season in my life. 

Over the years I have realized that it is essential to pay attention to the blues - and my tears - and the songs my soul evokes.  And just to make sure I don't skip over this truth, when I opened my Frederick Buechner devotional to the reading for today, I found these words:

You never know what may cause them. The sight of the Atlantic Ocean can do it, or a piece of music or a face you've never seen before.  A pair of some body's old shoes can do it. Almost any movie made before the great sadness that came over the world after the Second World War, a horse cantering across a meadow, the high school basketball team running out onto the gym floor at the start of a game. You can never be sure. But of this you can be sure. Whenever you find tears in your eyes, especially unexpected tears, it is well to pay the closest attention.

They are not only telling you something about the secret of who you are, but more often than not God is speaking to you through them of the mystery of where you have come from and is summoning you to where, if your soul is to be saved, you should go next.

Over the summer I've been listening for the wisdom of my tears a lot.  And while I don't know where they are summoning me, I have a few clues.  All I can say for now is that like St. Paul today I see as through a glass darkly... but I know that paying attention - nourishing the habits of reverent action as Ralph Heintzman writes - is the best way to embrace God's grace within.

Comments

Elmer E. Ewing said…
Wise words quoted, wise words written by you--all very moving
Elmer E. Ewing said…
Wise words quoted, wise words also from you--very moving. Thank you.
RJ said…
Thank you my friend... blessings to you.

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