Funny how we start out all arms and legs and wild ideas and the years round us down till we are nothing but limbless hearts.
You can’t grab God. You just have to become empty.
Then God will have space to enter.
I Will Not Die an Unlived Life
A thousand hard days; if I added them up, would that be my number? Before, I would have told you how strong I was, how fierce and determined. Now I know better. I know I’m too easily broken, too fragile for this world. Before I would have said, I make my own fate; stand on my own two feet. Now I know better. I lean on God and the people who love me in order to persevere.
About 4 years ago, my illness took a sudden and very nasty turn. I spent months in a kind of hell I didn’t know was even possible to survive. Any kind of stimulation – light or sound was unbearable. I was unable to speak, and often too weak to even feed myself. My whole body would shake with the simple effort of chewing my food. It went on like this hour after hour and day after day for months.
What stands out the most from that time, aside from the physical suffering, was the silence. It was so profound, overwhelming really, and that’s saying a lot braced up against how terrible my physical reality had become. There was no relief, no escape, so I spent hours every day in meditation and prayer, alternately trying to accept my situation and begging for mercy, for an end. When those prayers went unanswered and my illness spiraled ever downward, I began asking God instead to simply be with me, and help me to be brave….. ‘Sit with me and be my love. Let me know the fullness of my heart and find you therein.’ was a daily, sometimes hourly prayer. And then I would sit for hours waiting on God, listening, paying attention, and looking inward, until at last I began to feel God’s presence: at first, light and fragile, and all too easily overlooked or perhaps drowned out in the noise of life and my own suffering, but it was so beautiful. Breathtaking. It was a feeling of such tenderness and love that I would weep as I felt it rise up within me, growing more vibrant as it enveloped me. In those moments I was transformed, feeling only the warmth of that embrace. The silence had at last become an oasis, deep and vast as an ocean, no longer something outside of me. I had become the silence. I had become the sea. And God had become the sky. And there was nothing that stood between us, nothing that separated us, no place where sea and sky did not meet. And we went on that way for days and days – endlessly touching.