Tuesday, April 3, 2012

...from this broken hill

Don't tell me the moon is shining
Show me the glint of light on broken glass

― Anton Chekhov


Lent with Leonard...the journey was not planned. His songs found me. Particularly this one, "If It Be Thy Will". Click the title to hear Leonard and the Webb sisters perform this beautiful song.


If it be your will that I speak no more 
And my voice be still as it was before 
I will speak no more 
I shall abide until I am spoken for 
If it be your will 
If it be your will that a voice be true 
From this broken hill I will sing to you 
From this broken hill all your praises they shall ring 
If it be your will to let me sing from this broken hill 
All your praises they shall ring 
If it be your will to let me sing 
If it be your will...if there is a choice 
Let the rivers fill, let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill on all these burning hearts in hell 
If it be your will to make us well 
And draw us near and bind us tight 
All your children here in their rags of light 
In our rags of light all dressed to kill 
And end this night if it be your will 
If it be your will.


He knelt alone in a garden and prayed. His friends, nearby, fell asleep as he agonized over his destiny. He asked that the cup be lifted - "if it be your will" - but ended with..."if not, then your will be done." In that moment, all that he sought was fulfilled. From his broken hill, mercy was spilled. From his agony, truth. Out of chaos, song.


"Please"...I have often asked to be delivered from the consequences of choices, mine and those of others. Agony is no stranger. And I am well acquainted with Anne Lamott's observation: “I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered...that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.” 


Each year the journey becomes more precious. I understand better what Thomas Merton meant when he wrote: "Be still: there is no longer any need of comment. It was a lucky wind that blew away his halo with his cares, a lucky sea that drowned his reputation." My illusions have been stripped and my pride flogged. I have fallen. Many times. And I have been lifted up. I have dragged crosses of my own construction over rocky paths I did not have to follow. 


This morning my Irish Jesuits posted this: "Everything has the potential to draw forth from me a fuller love and life. Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment. I ask that God, through my freedom, may orchestrate my desires in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony."


Here I abide until I am spoken for. If it be your will, may light shine on my shattered bits. From my broken hill, I pray that your mercy spill from me, that your grace pass through me, and that alleluias resound.

If it be your will that a voice be true 
From this broken hill I will sing to you 
From this broken hill all your praises they shall ring 
If it be your will to let me sing from this broken hill 
All your praises they shall ring 
If it be your will to let me sing 




2 comments:

BrightSoul said...

Thank you for posting this. I am currently re appreciating the days of Holy Week in a way not taught by most of Evangelical Christendom. It is both a profound journey and a building of faith. This post has added to the richness.

Celeste said...

I am grateful for this cyber community. Holy Week internalized...a powerful experience. Love to hear from you.