I am hidden in the corner of a nostalgic coffee house in Marshall, North Carolina. As the steam rises from my cup, the flurries outside hint of a coming storm. And I am perhaps, the only local resident not rushing off to stock up on canned goods and bottled water.
Instead, I am contemplating the words of Richard Rohr, and deliberately pondering his suggestion that everything belongs.
“One always learns one’s mystery
at the price of one’s innocence.”
In a recent conversation with my sister, she asked me how I have changed from recent years. I have been thinking much about that question, and wondering if I have become unrecognizable from the charismatic dragon-slayer I once presented. I confess that somewhere between Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After, the bridge collapsed. In the gravity of my fall, the crash landing has produced a few open wounds, and my passion has leaked.
My passion has leaked. There is no eloquent way to speak of it. If I have assumed a new identity, it is a surrender of yes and all and whatever. I am not yearning for a retreat to Egypt, nor have I the stamina to stumble forward to Elim. Instead, I have collapsed here beside the bitter waters of Marah.
If I ever make it to the Oasis of Elim, it will have been for the gracious transport of pneumatic strength. Here, by the rivers of Babylon, I am resigning my harp on the barren tree branches. You go ahead and sing; I will listen.