I go out early to find my place on this earth.
The sky dances wild with radiant light, clouds all heavy and breathing.
I almost said "No." No to all this grandeur, this majesty - too cold, too wet, too much to do, and do I really want to trudge up that steep hill?
"Go." The stillness of the morning whispers.
I am called- called to something larger than myself. Called to grace- called to Him, clothed in beauty.
The morning array.
I said "Yes."
"Yes" to the wind and the wet and the cold. "Yes" to the call outside of myself.
And doesn't all life begin with "Yes?"
With all our "yeses", this fiat to God, to life, we become alive.
I am thinking, as I walk , about today's great mystery: The Feast of the Presentation. We remember today that Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple. Simeon was there, and he knew he had seen the Messiah, and that he could now die in peace, a prophecy foretold, come to pass.
But why? Why did Jesus, the Lord himself, have to be consecrated and presented? He IS Divinity, he had no need of man made temples and blessings. He did it all for US. For YOU:
"Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people." (Hebrews 2:17)
"Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:8)
"Christ identifies himself with the temple. He is God's dwelling -place among people. As today Mary carries her baby to the temple, she is leading Jesus to her own true self." (Magnificat, vol. 12, no. 12)
Mary carried Jesus to the temple. Mary carried Jesus in her womb for nine months. Mary watched as her son was crucified for a depraved humanity.
Every moment of Jesus' life is pulsed with Mary's yes; her fiat.
Every time we whisper "yes", speak "yes", shout "YES!", we echo that great "YES!" of Mary. The "yes" to God, to live with Him, to suffer with him, to abide with him.
Dear friend, you never suffer in vain. Every act of suffering you endure for the love of God is a beautiful
"Yes!" an everlasting "Amen!"
And as I stand on that knoll in the middle of nowhere, I find myself in the one who gives life. The Lifegiver.
I look down at that yellow house in the valley, brimming with children, with life, and I remember: That first morning I woke up in our new home- I saw the snow capped mountains and the knotty old locust tree leaning on the fence. I had to go out. I ran and leaped with joy- all this beauty, all this mirth.
For years we had lived in military housing. All the homes were clustered together, and I felt penned in. True, we have many happy wonderful memories of our time in those places, but my dream was always to move back to Virginia. Back to the country. Back to my home in the mountains.
Every day I appreciate and savor the beauty of this place. Appreciation is a form of thanks, and I THANK GOD for this.
I say "yes", and I walk, and I question the mystery, the gift.
How long will this drop of water perch on a thorn, cupped with the welling of life, before it can't hold it all and..
I look closely at all the gifts-picking up the pennies, and I discover new worlds, microcosms of mirth:
nests amongst thorns, tunnels under tree roots, lichens in the decay, an owl pellet, bleached bones, forgotten nuts, acorns, star studded moss, and pine cones.
I want it all...to take it all in, and I wonder if we can be too greedy for beauty. I collect a few specimens, reminders of today's found beauty, today's "Yes."
May all your moments today be "Yeses!" to the God who lives, the God who loves you, and the God who breathes life into your very soul. May you overflow with His life abundant as you echo the great Fiat, rejoicing always.