Monday, May 19, 2008

Testing 1, 2, 3

These past days and months have seemed like times of constant testing. My mother promises that when a faithful person feels most tested -when everything seems a challenge and people who should be friends act like enemies -God is drawing very close to a person and the devil is working over time. I don't know for sure but I do know the past year has felt like a constant test of my faith, my patience, my body and my resilience. I had read the psalms for strength and prayed with an open heart.

Today I have to have a CT scan for a mystery illness that has plagued me for months. I have been coughing and have lost my voice repeatedly. All of the medications they have tried had done little or nothing. And so today, what I can write is not a story but a poem, a psalm, a song of praying to the Lord to be rescued and delivered.

A Psalm of Testing

I am reaching up in darkening skies
reaching to you with bent limbs reaching
to you with my rough voice and my twisted trunk reaching
to you who brings light to the world.

I am carved with the initials of the world, I reach
down to wipe away scars but dust blows in every crevice reaching
inside bringing muddy stains of fear and failure reaching
my limit, my capacity to bend with the gales and reach again.

I am fruitless and without leaves reaching
beyond this season to your summer, your warmth reaching
to my roots and soul, warm water nourishing and providing leaves
and branches, blossoms and fruit, shade for all who reach
this place of cover and embrace.

I am one in a forest and you, are designer and refiner reaching
around us to reshape us like wet clay on a wheel spinning
and grounded, healing the cracks and bubbles that hasty movement
and anxious rattled hands have scarred reaching
a place where I need to be remade completely, centered again,
pressed down again, until I am able to reach up again cradled in your hands.

I am your child, your creation, O God and reaching
to you like David and others before me I ask to be guarded as the apple
of your eye and hidden in the shadow of your wings until I reach
that moment, that time when my testing is done and my flourishing
begins again in you.

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