Monday, August 18, 2014

Of Snow Globes and Trust

For the last several weeks, words and ideas have been clamoring for my attention, jostling my mind and heart about. Palestine, Israel, my friends in both places, fear, danger, children, borders, innocence, death, risk, ebola, destruction, Ferguson, outrage, protests, violence, interconnectedness, responsibility, voice, silence...

These are a few of the words that have been tossing themselves about, struggling to find a place within my being so that they may someday come to a sort of order. It hasn't happened yet. A few weeks ago, a teacher friend likened her class to being in a snow globe - her job is to shake up the ideas in her students' minds knowing that eventually the upheaval would settle into a new sense of calm, albeit rearranged.

Like her students must feel at times, I am waiting for the thoughts to settle themselves into something that makes sense. In the meantime, I must share this poem, for it seems apropos:

Patient Trust
by Teilhard de Chardin

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We would like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability -
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually - let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don't try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming in you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

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