“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.” Psalm 84:5-6
These verses may not mean much to us until we discover that Baka (or Baca) means weeping, or tears. On our pilgrimage, our journey through life with God, there will be many sorrows. But if we travel with him, relying on his strength and not our own, those times of tears can be transformed into wellsprings full of life.
Many are the times I have sat, feeling like Alice in Wonderland, having cried so much from the pain or the heartbreak, the tragedies or even the general disappointments I’ve encountered, that I wonder if I will, in fact, drown in my own tears. And yet I feel that if my tears are given to God, they may become like the pools in the Valley of Weeping, and like the rainy seasons that are desperately awaited in so many countries, the waters will come and bring new life and greening. There is no landscape so dead or desolate that God cannot redeem it, and no sadness so deep that he cannot change its salt water to freshness.
photo from morguefile.com
Not by the gentle hand or tears of Mary, but by hands bronzed and timeless, the rock is rolled. This new wheeled invention is hard to grasp, the movement of heaven’s cogs purposeful and interlinked with plans hardwired into the very fabric of time. God’s well-oiled machinery releases the new wine, and out it flows, music of the spheres, trumpets muted by the world’s deafness nevertheless heralding the rebirth of the divine, with ten fingers and ten toes and the gaping wounds of having already, at so tender an age, made all well.
Mistaking the greater miracle for the gardener, we miss it, and stare, open-mouthed at heaviness made light, a strange emptiness, and notice only the absence of moss.
© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016
Photo from morguefile.com
Stepping forth from the thawed crest of a frozen wave, I stand gazing, immobilized by the strangeness of the sand, and the space so alien before me. Born from the belly of the whale, my cell now turned and gone with a splash and a dive; I know myself, but not what to do or how to tread, nor even yet how to breathe this fresh air, free from the smell of stale shrimp.
And the grin that breaks forth, as I have, when I see your face, your smile, and how you throw your head back joyously and reach out for my hands! And so I am pulled into the dance and the spinning, whirling colours are intoxicating, I cannot breathe for the air rushing into my resurrected lungs. So we turn, pirouetting, and we catch each other’s laughter, like a bouquet constantly thrown back and forth. And the waiting welcome committee in their terribly straight line, stand and fume, as we play and delight in this New Thing.
©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015
NB Photo is a placeholder whilst my copyright free reference library seems to be down! Will amend asap.