Away from home
at the end of a full day,
I read an email and received
a big problem that I had to solve.
I noticed the absence of
butterflies in my stomach
and “Oh Nos” in my head.
I knew who to ask for help
and sent them an email
with “urgent” in the subject line.
There’s nothing more you can do, I told myself.
You just have to wait, I added
and went to bed.
But I didn’t sleep.
I tossed and turned and tried
to trust God.
Apparently trying to trust
is not the same as trusting.
was all I could do.
The next morning I woke early,
put on my biking clothes,
packed up my things,
and headed out before dawn–
without a phone
(It had an untimely death.)
or a map.
I did have
the directions from the ferry to the retreat centre
that I’d scrawled on paper two days before.
I just had to follow them in reverse,
But it wasn’t.
Nothing looked familiar in the dark.
I flagged down a pickup truck.
The driver told me to turn left at the light.
That road led me to the cyclist
who let me follow her until she had to head up to the hospital.
“Go this way,” she said and pointed.
That road led me through a tunnel and past a school I recognized in the growing light,
by one intersection, then another.
Was I supposed to turn there?
At that moment, I saw a woman walking her dog.
She told me to turn back and take the next road right
which led me to the ferry terminal,
and the ferry worker
led me to the ferry
and that led me
a little bit
The Eternal One will never leave you;
God will lead you in the way that you should go.
∗ ∗ ∗
This A Rocha Talk explores the lived experience of ecological grief and seeks to foster conversation on how we might engage in this grief in ways that promote sustainability and well-being as humans who care for Creation. The panelists include Anupama Ranawana, a theologian and writer based in Oxford whose work focuses on decolonial theology, feminist religious thought, faith and international development and ecological justice, Brent Unrau, a Registered Clinical Counselor, and spiritual director, who lives in an intentional community on Kingfisher Farm in Surrey, B.C. Canada, and Hannah Malcolm, who is training to be a priest in the Church of England and writing a PhD on climate and ecological grief. In her spare time, she writes and organizes around the theology of climate justice. The Panel Discussion is hosted by Matthew Humphrey, Director of Theological Education at A Rocha Canada.”(A Rocha website)
What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.
Thank you, Esther, for a great poem. One particular part struck me in particular today:
I tossed and turned and tried to trust God. Apparently trying to trust is not the same as trusting. But trying was all I could do.
The permission to simply try is so freeing. The first time it really hit me was in Julian of Norwich’s 2nd revelation when she says “And so I learnt that as long as God allows us to struggle on this earth, seeking is as good as seeing. God is very pleased when we continually search for him. We cannot do more than seek, suffer and trust and this itself is the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul.”
The trying to trust is as pleasing to God as the trusting. Thanks for the encouragement!
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Well, Ariel. That moved me to tears. Thanks for your encouragement.
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