Saturday, September 29, 2018

your confusion will give way to wonder

Pretty soon after Zeke was born, he was looking at some acoustic ceiling tiles and fluorescent lights.  I told him, "Zeke, those are somewhat dirty acoustic ceiling tiles.  If you like looking at those, just wait til you see LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD."

Maybe you are unfortunate enough to be reading this underneath some ugly acoustic ceiling tiles, or some soul-crushing fluorescent lights.  Maybe it will help you to take heart, a bit, to know that when Zeke was first born, he seemed really delighted and entranced to just stare at the mediocre hospital ceiling, while he digested his first meal.  

There's a line from the gospel of thomas that's been with us these days, that was with us during the last few months of Rachael's pregnancy: 

Something like:

"If you are searching, you must not stop until you find.
But when you find, you will become confused.
Your confusion will give way to wonder.
In wonder you will reign over all things.
Your sovereignty will be your rest."

Especially that third line- Rachael put it to music: Your confusion will give way to wonder.  It is quite the promise.

I kept thinking about it during labor and right after Zeke was born.  It was true: my confusion was giving way to wonder.  But it turns out that both of those things are pretty overwhelming. 

Your confusion will give way to wonder- maybe the kind of wonder that makes us stare, entranced, at acoustic ceiling tiles.  Maybe the kind of wonder that Zeke invites whenever I go out walking with him, that took the barista at this coffee shop up short when she saw him, that makes me stay up later even than I need to so I can cuddle his warm body against my tired heart. 

These days, I am trying to breathe in the kind of wonder that makes two women in an elevator confront a republican senator to change his heart about an fbi investigation into an assault.  Your confusion will give way to wonder- in wonder you will reign over all things.  Whatever kind of sovereignty those two women in the elevator had, that's what I want.  The strength in my heart and in the midst of my fears to tell the powers to look me in the eyes when I have something true to say.

I honestly started this post trying to talk about how it was funny that Zeke was entranced by ceiling tiles and I was so eager to show him literally any other thing, because to me they are all more interesting to look at than acoustic ceiling tiles.  But I am now asking myself: is there something about wonder that is an invitation for me these days?  It's kinda dumb that everybody I know is out in the streets and preaching and proclaiming and organizing and working these days, and I'm at home doing dishes and endlessly bouncing this kiddo.  And I'm super aware of the privilege that allows me to take all this time away from this sacred work, to attend to this differently sacred, differently intimate work.  And I'm praying, with Zeke on my heart, for all the survivors these days, for all the truth tellers and all the quietly-wounded and all those who are in the midst of trauma and in the midst of trauma re-inscribed.  And I'm tempted to make some high-handed point about how we could all do better with some more wonder in our lives, and let's all take a minute to walk in the woods or snuggle a baby or stare, astonished, at some acoustic ceiling tiles.  But today, after this week, I'd rather just share this:

Maybe it's not so much a promise as a hope:
your confusion will give way to wonder.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Happy Michaelmas to one of my favorite dragon-slayers!