to fill the soul to over-brimming
if levels be near the top; if the depths have risen.
But to that one
with empty cavern yawning
all good things fall soundlessly
to an imperceptible bottom.
Swallowed without digestion.
Oh, dear one
here I glory in my bread
and baby’s sounds
while your tears fall on a sunny day right steady.
I would tilt my overflowing heart
and spill it into your famished one
but it doesn’t work that way, does it?
Knees hit the floor and the ache in them is a holy pain.
“Fill, Father, where emptiness
and darkness reign.”
When He fills, dear one
you’ll know it
the startling green of an everyday leaf
the song that water sings meandering into the gutter
how the wind glides over your bare arms
as a caress
the shock of joy over simple bread and coffee
Almost like an assault upon your senses
the world in all it’s common beauty
smells, scenes, faces, all
is lit within, see it?
We were meant for such living, even
East of Eden
Even through a glass darkly.
Such is His signature, see it?
Help us to not ask for tomorrow’s bread, or next year’s bread, or a promissory note for a lifetime’s worth of bread. For bread security.
Just, let us awake each morning, finding that your care has not slacked. Finding ourselves unforgotten.
Food for the stomach and words for the soul. In this time of rupture and grief, how very many biscuits and loaves and baguettes of sustaining words have been given to us. How many arms linked together and hands reaching to catch us when the floor gave way.
Invitations to churches, to dinners, to communities. It is overwhelming in the best sort of way. It is like setting out on a journey, armed with a bit of bread and a bit of cheese, and being called in to a neighbor’s backyard barbecue feast. And then another neighbor’s. And then another’s.
Daily bread and surprising bread. We are being sustained and cared for. I gave birth to one of our sons in Chile, far from the supportive care of family. I remember how vulnerable I felt. And then the midwife drew near. She kissed my cheeks when the pain came hard. “Esta bien, mamita, esta bien”, she’d murmur. I melted into that comfort. I didn’t feel vulnerable; I felt mothered.
I feel the same now. It doesn’t take away the pain, but frames it within bounds; it tells the pain that it is not the end of the story, nor the narrative of my life. It is a passing thing, scream though it may. It will be endured alongside the love and care of others; it will be borne in empathy. It will accomplish its work within me and through me, and good will come of it, because God is not in the habit of wasting anything.
And again that verse from Isaiah….
Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”