Monday, September 24, 2012

two hands

Snuck off to mass again. I got excited when I saw "Be not afraid" in the hymn list for the morning. That was my favorite song when I was nine years old at Catholic elementary school. It's got a beautiful melody, and the words are great for anxious kids like myself.

"Be not afraid, I go before you always, come follow me, and I will give you rest... You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst. Know that I am with you through it all."

I started crying, because what a thought, God with you in the dark. Yes, the logical dilemma still exists that plenty of people die of thirst in barren deserts, feeling no sense of God's accompaniment. I felt very little during mine. But I like the thought, retroactively, of not having been alone.

"Resurrections are real, in this life, and in the life to come," the priest reiterated at least twice in his sermon. I feel that now. I agree again. I see that in my life, and my friends' lives, after waiting long-ass amounts of time for a number of things. I've been browsing engagement rings on Etsy, delighted and joyous to be doing so. My friend Ann is marrying one of the best men I've ever met, after waiting 30 years for him. My friend Megan is marrying another one, and my friend Sarah is in love with yet another one.

I don't know what resurrection looks like after this, it feels like too great of a mystery for us to try putting almost any words to. But if these resurrections happening here are real, why wouldn't there be more. (A quote comes to mind, "Love and the good life are needful for right belief." I hate the words "right" and "belief" next to each other, but I like it in the sense of, no one should be expected to believe anything during a time of suffering, and deeply true perspectives only flow from love and goodness.)

I was thinking all this while driving, right before the NPR announcer began telling the story of a famous pianist who lost movement in one hand because of nerve damage. "This is from the album he released after he underwent surgery, called Two Hands." The song was Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, which I walked up the aisle to at my first wedding.