when I crawl back into the word
“What do I possibly have to say about that.” – my response to a thoughtful prompt by my ever-thoughtful fiance when I complained I had nothing to write about.
He is too patient with me to say anything to my complaining, to the whine he must hear in my voice through the typed messages. He reminds me that I could write nothing. But how do I explain that I want to be writing, that my heart is restless and I must do something, put something on paper to feel again the way that I feel most alive, that after being quiet here I want to be loud, even if just for a moment? That I want to have something to say.
Maybe that’s what we all want, scattered in our various lives. We want to have something to say – to the post office lady or the checker in the long grocery store line, to the question over coffee and the quizzical look in passing the peace in church. If I say nothing, how do I know I still have a voice? If I say nothing, am I still here?
So I open this blank screen and I start to type and it sounds furious because a part of me is furious, furious that words are what the are, furious that you cannot control them and sometimes you have nothing to say and furious even more because the voice that I haven’t been listening to is telling me, “You haven’t been listening.”
I already know it. I haven’t been. I haven’t found God in prayer and I haven’t sought God in church and I haven’t gone into God’s word like the woman I am, the one who was at the well, her thirst wrapping around her like a veil.
Because wasn’t it the Word that was water to her soul? And didn’t he say to us, meditate on this day and night?
So when she prays in her email that the word would be bound to my forehead and around my wrists,
when he is patient with my raging about how little I have to say,
when the only thing I hear in church is that I have not been in Word, and Hilary? That’s why you feel apart from me,
then, I crawl back into it.
I open Isaiah and read, slow, deliberate, and the words are loud with God’s wild anger and desolation over the beloved chosen people, who have all gone astray, and how there is nothing anymore that gives honor and glory, and Isaiah asks, at the very end, “How long, O Lord?”
I crawl closer.
I want to hear God’s answer.