An attempt to explain:

I am nobody. Just a woman who has lived through much of my time here on earth as a rather blind and selfish creature. One who was raised in a church but thought they were all such fools most of the time. To tell me God is infinite, loving, merciful and always with me……Yeah Right!!! Then why don’t I know it? All powerful and omnipotent ought to show up once in a while! I couldn’t see anything and was sometimes told, “It is a mystery.” Well, they can keep their “mystery”!

Problem was that my mom wasn’t letting anyone out of going to church. Every Sunday of my whole childhood, I was there in the pew. Now the rest of the week, we didn’t have to ever recognize that Jesus or God or anything spiritual existed. No grace at meals or prayers before bed. Just that one hour a week. So, I learned to go along. It did get me a new dress at Easter.

I kind of liked the regular people. The ones who like me were in the lukewarm category. They all had their faults mind you. Tempers and bad words and it even seemed to me that angels wouldn’t have tolerated body odor. All of us just regular people struggling along trying to be someone Jesus might speak to if he did happen by.

I kept going to church because there was something I wanted more than anything. I wanted to live in the world that was described in the Bible. The world Jesus talked about. The valley of Psalm 23 or where the asp would lay down with the lamb. (I know it is a lion but let’s don’t give me more credit than I deserve. I really thought it was an asp. Didn’t have a fear of lions because they don’t roam around my part of the world, but those rattlesnakes aren’t too hard to find!) I just wished that we all might live where we really cared for each other. That is what church gave me, the dream of a better world with everyone walking around acting and talking like Jesus and Mary. Like the Beatles would sing about. Or even the Coke commercials back in the day. Gentle loving voices that were never raised in anger. Smiles with words of joyful greetings and hugs. I wouldn’t even have asked for love, just kindness.

But I didn’t live up to my own dream. I didn’t and still don’t speak with a gentle loving voice. (Maybe you have already noticed.) What I do is speak honest and true. Rather blunt and as I see it. And that is what I write. My stories from the past and the present. I am gathering up my pearls all in one jewelry box and leaving it open for anyone. My pearls thrown before all. I have decided that someone has to be willing to throw their pearls. Because God does catch up with everyone eventually. Even the swine. Perhaps this is the week you are launched into the real game of life and don’t know how to stay afloat. You will want to know someone else’s stories. Something, anything to hold on to. And if you need someone to talk with, to tell what happened because you can’t believe it, please tell me. I will not call you crazy. ✨Marka


Something Greater

What if we had been born and lived and died in a tomb?
What if we had never seen the day begin and grow and fade,
never seen a sunrise or a sunset or a rainbow,
never seen the snow fall,
or heard the rain beating on the roof?

And then one day,
out of a thousand days that one could not recognize as days,
a voice called out of the darkness, promising,
“There is more.
There is a greater thing beyond this unrelenting,
small, constricting world into which you have been born,
and in whose darkness you curl upon yourself
moment after unseeing moment,
as if there were nothing else.”

What if, indeed.

And then, what if you felt your hand being taken,
yourself being led,
led somewhere you knew not of,
your eyes growing accustomed to a growing light,
your feet set on a path—
a path, when you had never before felt the ground beneath them?

There is something greater here.

So much greater that your imagination could never have
brought it up out of the dark,
out of the stillness,
out of the nothingness of what had been.

Our lives are so small.
Our lives,
the lives to which we cling,
and the successes and satisfactions that flicker in the dark,
are rooms so small,
so inconsequential and unreal
that they disappear entirely in the light of what awaits beyond.

The trick is to believe.
To believe that it is there.

To live as if one’s longings were not bounded by the dark,
and one’s life a steady Paschal Candle,
burning up the darkness,
pushing out the walls.

To live in faith is to agree that our infinitesimal regrets and longings
are tombs and mines and endless nights in comparison with the life that beckons
from the stricken heart of him who waits for us
and takes our hands,

Him who lights the road,
who makes the road,
who is the road.

Sr. Miriam Pollard, OCSO

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