“Grace and Peace
Grace and Peace
Grace and Peace to you
From God our Father”
These beautiful melodic words sung by Fernando Ortega accompanied with each comforting stroke of the piano keys play over and over in my head as I drown out the obstructive noises of my second run through the MRI machine.
For some reason, each time I near going into that tube of ear piercing clamors, I become strangely overcome with emotion. I cry, I pace, I fidget, I cry some more, and then show a smile to the check in lady. I arrive promptly, and expect to be in and out in a matter of no time, just as before. I expected wrong. Waiting, and then more waiting, and more than an hour behind schedule I’m finally called back. Again, I’m reminded that things don’t always go according to my own way or plan.
Rewind again and I’m slowly waking up to a morning meditation in James 1, specifically ruminating on this translation from the Message:
“So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
It’s not what I want to hear from God, but when I hear it I know it’s direct from Him for this particular situation and season.
Just a day after receiving confirmation from my counseling session of this revelation on patience, I am already eager to jump at the first opportunity to cut its full course short. Though plans are loosely made for today, they crumble away, and a phone call jolts me to action and instead of the agenda roughly formed in my mind, I’m now reassembling to make my way South toward possible answers that would lay at the completion of yet another test. It’s no secret; I want answers. It’s one thing to deal with pain and an entirely different thing to deal with the unknown and yet undiscovered. To live in a body you have always been in tune with, in control of in a way, and to have that deep sense of knowing that something is irrevocably, unequivocally wrong.
The one side of me wants the answer so I can begin my plan of attack and then launch headlong into chasing out this unwelcome foreigner that has resided in my body far past its due. And then there is the quieter, gentle side of my spirit which cries out to deep and cries out to me to let patience and peace rule. But oh, how my soul wants refreshment and my body relief! The force-field between spirit and soul is even still warring inside of me as the vibrational energy of the machine rattles every inch of my frame.
Fast forward and it’s over. My day is spent and I am too. One last stop at my favorite salad bar, one more divine appointment for the day as I chat with a Chilean co-op volunteer, one last soak in the sun as I chow down on some delectable eats.
Driving back North toward the bed that calls for me though it’s barely half past 7, I reflect on the beginnings of my day, the walk I take despite agonizing pain. There as I pass the same houses along the same route I daily take, I see a little girl crouching and slow my stride to catch this rare moment of childlike innocence. As she crept, I narrowed my gaze in the direction of the object that had caught her attention and then widened again to see the full picture of a sundress clad babe barely five years old tiptoeing her way toward robin red breast hopping forward for each step she took closer. She wore an expression of pure glee and hopeful expectation with not the slightest hint of doubt that her plan would fail and that the little bird would evade her. And in this simple scene of childlike fancy, it occurred to me the innate attribute of man to reach for that which he cannot have, to continue in pursuit of something which he cannot catch.
I wonder. I wonder if I am that girl, and if my final verdict is like that bird, ready just at the moment when I think it is within reach, to fly away.
And if so, can I patiently, faithfully, wait still? Wait while I continue to try and live, even if the answers I seek never come. That even in the unknown, in the indeterminate time I remain in ambiguity, I can still seek after and find grace and peace. Grace and peace. Grace and peace, and hope in the faith that sparks little girls to chase birds. I may not be able to catch them, but I must believe that He can.