Wednesday, 18 July 2012

from dust to the Divine

I don't remember much about that night, but I'm pretty sure that was the day I died.
Between all my shades and shadows, all the cloudy skies and silent cries, all the metal shacks and the marginalized living within, I know that I lost every breath inside.

Their stories are always knitted with mine. I'm reminded of everyone I've met who live from the corners of the earth, now to the chambers of my heart. From every narrow road I've walked through in far and forgotten places, I'm holding onto to every man, woman, and child that I've shared with in life and death. That in the blue-print of my existence, my journey is not without the other but that we've lived and died together. Every scarred smile, every innocent hand, every young wrinkle, and every redemption story brings me closer to seeing my reflection in their eyes. For me to continue wearing this cross like a crown and live like a servant king to the least and lost. That the more I live, the more I die; and in laying down my life, I see my demise in their eyes and a mirror to the Maker's cry.

The Scriptures come alive in their stories. But I remember the pain in his side and the tears in his eyes, for his family that was taken away. And his words about the hardship of life and all that it's ever been, felt like the weight of an ocean pressing down on my chest. But only his tears were enough to fill a few oceans. And I  remember realizing the more I understand, the less I know. It's one thing to comfort the fatherless, but seeing a grown man cry opened my eyes to the son in the father. Like the lines of the song "how many sons have cried for their fathers, and how many fathers have cried like a son". Yet, the bitter taste of life touches the tongues of the mothers and the elders alike, with hardship that is seen through each tear, each smile and each wrinkle. I remember walking inside her mud-hut with her young girl who smiled like the moon, sitting under a corrugated roof and crushing poverty. But I'm reminded that the Scriptures comes alive with their stories, how they're "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing yet possessing everything." I'm reminded of them and everyone else I've met from the corners of the earth, whose stories ring true with this Truth. Their hardship teaches me to hope, because until the edge of the very end where all has been lost, and every drop has been shed that all is undone, hope is just an another word. And lately, in my own life I've come to know for the first time what it means to believe in hope against all hope, when the night can't get any darker and the heart can't break any further. Yet, I call this to mind and therefore I have hope that from Eden to eternity, we are not all alone and we are all bound home. 

And I'm reminded if I'm living from heaven to earth or earth to heaven. Because wherever I am from my own backyard to beyond the borders and the ocean in between, I want to live for another world break into ours. For the kingdom coming, till kingdom come. I can hear its echoes resounding. I can see it like coming like the dawning of a new day, with light bleeding through the darkness, shining on the oppressed and the oppressor. I can feel it rushing like whispers through my veins and advancing like tears washing through my fears. There's something new springing up from the ground, and although I don't have wisdom to perceive it or words to process it - from the dust and my demise, there is something that happens in the Divine. And for the sake of love, I'm taken lower still as a life laid down to be raised in the dirt. I'm face to face with grace and the grave praying to do something beautiful for love, becoming beautiful doing it. Not in my ecumenical efforts, but in a world that screams and sells to find yourself, find success, find what's next best - my prayer is to lose myself. And everyday I'm alive starts with rebirth, so that I would lose my life to find myself and find God in the brokenness of (my) humanity. That I would find heaven dwelling among the orphan and the widow, that I would find absolution fighting for the sick and the poor, and that I would find hope befriending the hurting and hopeless. In the dust, there is something happening of The Divine.

And that is the power of love from life's first cry to final breath. From all that is dying to all that is growing, from all of the questions to all of the reasons, from winter's rain to redemption's refrain. Even though there may be days when the horizon seems heavy and hazy, faith gives me eyes to see what can't be seen. That the kingdom is near, and the kingdom is here. And along with the dear one I have to share this cross and this call, I'm praying to always live for this narrow road and that our hearts would be forever hidden into the Kingdom of the Heavens. For more stories to be knitted together into ours, in life and death.