Pearl of Great Price

De noche iremo, de noche que para encontrar la fuente,

solo la sed nos alumbra, solo la sed nos alumbra

Taize

Thirsty, so, so thirsty. I have tried for weeks to find liminality in church services, in Taize services, in the swimming pool; on the bus, online, in the Bible, in cafes. In silence, and solitude, and in both together. But I did not. Emotion that has me quaking, rocking, driving my fingernails into my skin, so as not to errupt, gets in the way. Or tiredness overwhelms me, and I simply sleep. The pain of a quasi-continuous headache distracts me. I am afraid of myself, my emotion. Even destroying myself doesn’t quell it anymore. My mind unbidden, insists that I am loathed universally, and would be better, dead. There has been no healing. Things are worse now than they ever were. To die is gain.

These thoughts in mind, an old friend and I went to evensong at Christchurch Cathedral. Advent service. We are given candles to hold, like in The Service of Light at Taize. The light is honeycomb – amber. Taize light. The music is latinate – the words, if not the tunes, are familiar. The male choir, robed in white, are leading worship from the centre, like the brothers of Taize. The candles are lit. I sit and watch, as mine flickers and dances, defiant to the gloom.

As it dances, I lose myself in its flame, in the choral music. I rock. I am present, in that church, but not present. I am in the flame, as it burns bright blue at its centre. And God is with me. The tension in my shoulders abates, as I stare into the light. I feel the warmth of the candle suffuse through my body. I can say nothing. But I know that I am being held by God. Here is Peace.

pearl

I can do this. I can face those who refuse to love me, despite preaching the opposite. I can work the long, long hours in spite of the fatigue and physical pain.  I can cope with my parents’ continued animosity. I can look forward. I can, because God is. As we leave the service, a child, of around three years, is carried out ahead of us, asleep in his father’s arms. I am in His Arms, too.

Being held by Him. That is The Pearl of Great Price.

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