Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Better than a hallelujah sometimes

It is a  perfectly still Advent morning at Llangollen, our wee cottage on Rehoboth Bay.

It is very quiet. A lovely, beautifully deep, full silence surrounds me.

Out on my deck, I am suddenly wrapped in a new but hauntingly familiar autumn sweater.

No gulls crying. No ducks squabbling. No rustle of leaves. No sound of cars on the nearby road.

It is simply, amazingly, exquisitely silent.

How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given.

As if the world is, perhaps, in Advent morning meditation, in the midst of that brief, holy moment between a deep inhale and exhale.

Waiting - pausing, expectantly - before turning on its axis again.

It's that mystical moment of which T.S. Eliot wrote in Four Quartets (Burnt Norton (1935))
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.   ...............

Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence. (V)
So, on this fourth morning in Advent, I reflect in my meditative prayers what I see and hear in the world before me. As the water reflects the sky to itself, I reflect God's presence in my soul to God.

I whisper into my heart the words of Mary: My soul doth magnify the Lord.

And then, I keep silent. Deep breath in. Pause. Deep breath out. Pause.

And, in that pause, I practice the still point and the dance.

I practice expectancy.

I practice spiritual pregnancy.

I practice hope.

It is a labor of love to practice just shutting my mouth and opening my heart to feel exactly what I'm feeling.  To remember, unexpectedly, what surfaces in my mind.

The brokenness. The betrayal. The pain. The grief.

The celebration. The happiness. The laughter. The joy.

And then, I offer it all - ragged, unfinished, nonsensical, illogical - as a prayer to God who comes in very unexpected ways at most unexpected times.

As Amy Grant sings, those kinds of prayers are "better than a hallelujah sometimes."
God loves a lullaby in a mother's tears in the dead of night
Better than a hallelujah sometimes.
God loves a drunkard's cry, the soldier's plea not to let him die
Better than a hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody.
Beautiful, the mess we are.
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a hallelujah.

The woman holding on for life, a dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a hallelujah sometimes.
The tears of shame for what's been done, the silence when the words won't come
Are better than a hallelujah sometimes.
And so, it is Advent, when the earth seems to know what we humans can only surmise.

Advent, the season of beginnings in the midst of endings.

The season of labor and birth in the midst of dying and death.

The season of preparation and expectancy at the still point and the dance.


It's better than a hallelujah sometimes.


Muthah+ said...

Thanks, I needed this one. I don't have a piece of water to sit in front of but the day is beautiful and I am having lunch with a friend. Good hopeful day--better than a halleluiah.

whiteycat said...

WOW! Did I ever need this today! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Muthah+ Hope you enjoyed your day.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Whiteycat - That's why I'm here.