Happy is a word that rarely belongs here in the roar of the storm, in the eye of the hurricane. Can we, then, be content? With all that racket and all that spume? The salt water constantly crashing up into our eyes and ears? Perhaps not. But neither can we sit here on this surface and be bobbed about so furiously and hold onto anything, not faith, and certainly not our breakfast. So what may be done, and what peace may be found? The temptation is surely to dive into the water and drown our sorrows, falling into the deep sleep of silent waters. And yet you say, we may sleep here in the stern, curled up in cushions and coats, oblivious, and let you take the rudder. The answer then, is not peace, but trust.
Art and text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2018 (“Wake,” in pastels, using a reference photo by Cindy Frendt with kind permission)
I’m a passionate soul. If I feel strongly about something I’ll most likely throw myself into it wholeheartedly. This sometimes means I don’t think things through and I run the risk of looking an idiot or getting hurt. The biggest passion in my life is for God. I love him with everything I’ve got. When I was a young Christian I looked an idiot quite a lot. I thought I needed to evangelise everywhere I went and probably bored or just plain embarrassed people. I let God down horribly and had trouble forgiving myself (even though he forgave me in less than a heartbeat). I spouted stupid things I’d been taught as truth for a long time, I was easily led and thought my elders in the church knew what they were doing, and followed their, sometimes equally misplaced, passions.
After decades of sickness, my passion for God is deeper and stronger than it has ever been, and I still say and do stupid things. But the heart of my passion has become wider, more rooted in beauty, creation and prayer. Silence and solitude are the mainstays of my prayer life. Adoring and gratitude are my worship, living a life of prayerful weakness is my evangelism. My earlier exuberance I can have compassion upon. I know that it hasn’t disappeared, just been transformed, much as a thoughtless teenager has become a contemplative middle aged woman. Passion can take many forms, as can the other sort of passion, sharing in the sufferings of Christ. And maybe the more we focus on the cross, as we do today, the more we can be compassionate on our own intense emotions.
text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017 Photo from Pixabay
At last I find some calm. A strange peace moves between the trees, like the rustling of being which does not need to announce itself. An undercurrent of claiming rises beside the prostrate trunk. This place, it says, is mine, has always been mine, will always be mine. And the running roots of it take hold of my feet, gently, with blessing, so that I am connected, stilled, known. The acorns patter down from above and the blackberries swell in their ripeness. Here I may breathe.
Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015