Beautiful, Heartache World


It was just a tiny fleck of a thing, burrowed into the middle of my back.  A tiny pinch and it was out.  Something so small, but it slowly and steadily altered a healthy body.


I speak to a colleague while we punch buttons on the copy machine. A month later she is gone from this earth in a thunderous whisper, ushered to a collection of saints as her children mourn her absence with their father, and my eldest daughter weeps beside me in the pew, tears dripping uncontrollably as I hold her.


A homeless man on the corner, holding a sign that pulls me to the floor.  Seeing tears and defeat in another that slashes me to pieces.


An old friend whose spouse has left, and the loneliness is deep.


Someone tells me of a middle aged woman who was handicapped, in a wheelchair with spinabifida and the mind of a child, who passed away and was no longer suffering in a crippled body, and all I could think of, washing over me like a wave, was my sister.


But my heart has an ache when I witness beauty and truth, too.  Those good, good moments of rest and laughter–the good life-– that burn a physical ache into the breast, never wanting them to end.

I sit in a service of liturgy, slumping in weak and weary, feeling lifted and speaking with ten thousand voices, head low in humility, taking bread from the priest and drinking in mystery.  I walk out the doors with breath radiating through me.


Exhaustion and release in birthing a child causes tears to purge as I witness my husband holding a bundle of cotton swaddle and vulnerable, fragile, beautiful life.


A thunderous roar of humanity as a leather stitched ball is gripped tightly, thrown in precision, and played.  Masses of people who do not know each other sitting side by side, celebrating together for those fleeting moments of unity.


Those waters that extend to the horizon and ripple at dusky twilight, the moment I fell in love with my husband on a bike ride around the peninsula island, the faces of friends surrounded by firelight and warm drink in merriment, words read on a page that cut and charge, a violin string and piano that sing and moan in austere harmony.


I believe that all are the finger of loving God, gently pressing until the pressure is so deep and profound all I can do is exhale, “God”, and know He is there.  I know that He has spoken in language and Word, and yet I cannot find utterances for the depth of the grace and the magnitude of mercy that is in this beautiful, beautiful, heartbreak world.



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