|[Photo Credit: Ashley Beaudin]|
I’ve been reading Marilynne Robinson, author of Gilead, a book about a Congregationalist minister and a series of advice he passes along to his children. Besides being impressed that she can write from an elderly man’s perspective, I’m impressed that she can point out the mysterious things of life–the things that surround us but hide behind their elusiveness. What we cannot articulate we often cannot see. But Mariliynne sees, speaks, and in doing so, illuminates life’s secrets.
In one scene, the narrator baptizes a woman who, from his perspective, sees the mysterious things of life even better than he does. He is the minister, the spiritual authority, and yet as he holds her arms in his and lowers her into the blessed water, he looks to her for answers. He wants to know what is taking place in her spirit and his, what divine presence is there, and how the world has just become a little bit different because of the sacred submersion.
“I felt like asking her, ‘What have I done? What does it mean?'”
Do you ever wonder what it is you’ve done?
When you knock on the door of a dear friend who desperately needs your company, or wash all of the dishes in the sink even though none of them are yours … When you stop to feel the grooves in a rusty brick wall or admire the way a breeze dances with a little girl’s hair …Do you wonder what has happened?
I do, more and more these days. I can’t get over how much the air is altered with the little things we do. It’s not just that an object has moved or time has passed … it’s that we’ve interacted with something divine, and been changed ourselves.