A friend asked what it is like being in a place that’s unfamiliar, where I’m a stranger. I responded that it’s a privilege, but that sometimes I’m so focused on taking in the details of things around me, I’m not able to just relax into what it’s like to be there. I’m on hyper-alert.
Two years of this effort to take in the details–am I doing this right, is this a safe place, the place I’m supposed to be, what’s that over there–have made me much more observant of tangible, physical details around me. I now notice more colors, more textures, more shapes, scents, and movements, even when I’m in familiar places, and that is a huge blessing. I get to experience more of God’s world, in ways new to me.
Sometimes it’s exhilarating and sometimes it’s exhausting.
Am I in the right place? What will happen if I stumble into the wrong place?
A friend, Marjie Johnston Mack, knowing of my efforts at arachnid agape, posted this poem by Rudy Francisco on my FaceBook page. It makes me smile.
She asks me to kill the spider.
Instead, I get the most
peaceful weapons I can find.
I take a cup and a napkin.
I catch the spider, put it outside
and allow it to walk away.
If I am ever caught in the wrong place
at the wrong time, just being alive
and not bothering anyone,
I hope I am greeted
with the same kind
Thank you, Marjie.
In the same collection of poems, Rudy Francisco wrote:
The human heart beats
approximately 4,000 times per hour
and each pulse,
each palpitation is a trophy,
engraved with the words
“You are still alive.”
You are still alive.
So act like it.
Another testament to Mercy.