Tuesday, April 10, 2018

dancing in the dark...

This will be hard to leave...



No doubt about it: this view has grounded my wandering mind and nourished my anxious heart in season and out. So, too, this room. It is the repository of 40+ years of ministry, music, and memory - longer still when a few foundational record albums make the cut. 


Yesterday, after two plus years of talking - and a three year transition from full time ministry into a part-time gig and then retirement - we met with a realtor. I needed a catalyst to clarify our next steps. And make no mistake about it, discussing selling our home of 11 years in the Berkshires unlocked a ton of catalytic energy. Fear. Joy. Anxiety. Nostalgia. Excitement. Doubt. And memories. 

Today I am feeling fragile and curious.  Part of me is asking: what are we doing and where will we live next? "Only Thou knowest, Lord" said the prophet Ezekiel and I hear both trust and timidity in those words as they take up residence within. Simultaneously I hear the Boss whispering, "Can't start a fire, can't start a fire without a spark, this gun's for hire even if we're just dancing in the dark." 



We know we are being called to spend more time in Canada: I have a deepening commitment to L'Arche Ottawa, and, Di yearns to grow her on-line teaching work. I will be playing more music with our new ensemble, and, we want to find a smaller, more rural home base for our time in the US. After all, there are grand babies to cherish here and daughters and sons-in-law to love. Some of the most sacred times we have ever experienced have taken place around our respective tables. And let's not forget that time has come today to de-clutter our lives and take another plunge into simplicity. In so many ways, now is the time to act - and there's even a fighting chance we might do better than breaking even!

A beautiful passage of Scripture penned by St. Paul resonates with me today: we see by faith and not by sight. (II Corinthians 5: 7) It is a corollary to another Pauline poem: now we see as through a glass darkly, then we shall see face to face. (I Corinthians 13: 12) I have wrestled imperfectly with this truth for my adult life: anxiety and trust are always embracing and dancing in the darkness of my soul. Sometimes one leads, then the other. Like the apostle wrote in Romans: I know what I want to honor, what I want to do, what I want to celebrate; but so often do the exact opposite at first. At the same time, I know through experience - and by faith - that when I trust the deeper call of love, then peace comes with the morning. The trials remain. The ups and downs continue. There will always be Good Friday as well as Holy Saturday before Easter Sunday. Both the dance and the darkness will continue in new forms until at last the dance is done. Until then, my prayer is to remember and trust that "we see by faith and not by sight."

We're off to MontrĂ©al soon to mark the one year anniversary of Di's credentialing as an ESL instructor. It has been almost a year since our last visit and we miss it. So there will be a lot of discussion, silence, and prayer about how to take this next step by faith. Here's an old Bruce Cockburn song that I just learned. It feels right...

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