>Because hurting sinful people are hurting sinful people, Lord Jesus
Let me be your living word without footnotes
Let me be your healing prayer without rubrics
Let me be your incomprehensible peace without time limits
Through persistence in prayer, diligence in fasting, prodigality in almsgiving –
Transfigure me into your cup, running over with Your precious Blood getting everyone around me wet.
Remember me with favor my God.
It all begins with this question I must ask myself. I feel a deep stirring in my heart to change. But change is change into something. While an acorn feels a stirring to change into an oak tree, and animals feel a stirring to grow, I too feel these stirrings – but a person can accompany them, observe them, and participate intelligently in the irrevocable process of change. Over and over, wave upon wave of irresistible urge-to-change crashes upon me. Again and again I am required to change – life shifts beneath my very feet. This is not will-to-change. I do not will change, nor do I desire it. My will, if I have one, is to fix things into orbits. It may seem like change – this will-to-power which adapts the environment to my needs is progressive and forceful, and quite impressive. But, if I look closely, I see that all this energy is being spent to stop or control any change which offends my solid ego. I will twist and bend my environment to maximize the pleasurable things and minimize the unpleasantness. Pleasure, and its pursuit, is the main sign of ego, of personhood. Once ego exists it craves more and more resources. It is quite the little tyrant. All of this when properly directed becomes spiritual work.
But life is not so easily thwarted. It may be temporarily kept at bay, like the desert is kept at bay by constant irrigation of my nice green grass. But as soon as I stop spending energy and resources to keep it at bay it will reclaim what is rightfully hers. What I thought was a done deal just a minute ago (eternal love, great career, health) is gone in the blink of an eye, a slip of foot or tongue and it all goes away.
Then I stop and look: what have I become? To really see that, I must see what I was, and line it up with the sextant of my heart of hearts with what I should be. All of this then becomes soulful work.
Who is that that salutes me cheerfully from the other side, the other bank of the river? Friend or foe? Does he know my shibboleth? Turns out he not only knows it, but was the one who whispered it to me long ago.
The one whom I seek to become, who is pulling me into the shores of the present, like the fishermen singing their songs as they heave the fish catch in, is the one who has understood that I am here because there is work to be done – so let it be done. But the work is not at all what I thought it would be. As I feel the present moment becoming ever more solid, as I am pulled from the dream waters into the hard wet sand of now, what I thought back in the depths is the opposite of what is here. In the depths I did the work for myself through my own understanding. Here in the sand I do no work at all. Work is done because people are hurting and being hurt. Here in the sand the work need to be done.
But I do not do it. I am incapable of doing it, deep water fish that I am. But through me…ah, and that is the trick of it.
When I am dry – there is only Jesus. When I am dry – there is only God loving. When I am dry I can watch the Father doing work in the present moment, the eight day of Creation, hidden in plain sight, and I can copy him. I will copy him since I know nothing of sand-life. I am fish, and I have been caught by the fisherman. I am fast in the water, in the sand I am dead.
Dead and here. Dead and now. Dead but he lives in me, for me, through me. Dead, unable to breathe this plain air – but he is wind and fills my lungs. Dead, unable to move – but he is hands and he can skin me, cook me, and multiply me.
I am fish. I am dead. But I am in Him – and lives and breathes and is me doing the work of the eight day.