I sit in a parking lot with my eyes closed against the morning sun.
I’m resisting his affection. Not ready, I’m not ready! my heart cries. For whatever it is you require of me to have more of you, Father, I’m not ready.
I know what it is he requires of me–all of me. All of me for all of him. Which does not come without death, and these painful steps to that end are all little deaths in themselves.
But it is the final death that I fear I will not be resurrected from. I’m just not ready yet.
All the while, sitting in the warmth of his sun; all the while, inseparable from his relentless love and patience. I know he will bring me to a place where I am ready.
Certain, he backlights my eyelids with an image: golden shores, molten water, liquid sun shimmering as one.
I will carry you there on eagle’s wings, when you are ready.
On the Mississippi riverbank. Overhanging branches and rocks and skittering field mice.
I am weeping. For all the ache of my orphan heart trying to find a Father, a home to belong. For a place–a breast, perhaps– to rest my weary head. The Spirit nudges me.
You have to give up your strength.
It feels so unrelated to everything, I wonder if I’m hearing correctly.
To have me, you must give up your strength.
But that would involve releasing my self-sufficiency. Which would disassemble my last line of defensive walls. Which would expose my heart to a continual vulnerability, risk of great pain, like one long, drawn-out death.
And in an instant, I know if I don’t lay down my strength, I will not have him in all the rest and affection and belonging that I weep for.
He is dwelling in the place of weakness.
I wrestle for awhile with the cost, and then I make the exchange. I will give up my strength. But you will have to teach me how to live in weakness.
My heart is cramped, like my limbs in the tiny backseat of a sport’s car not meant for road tripping forty-six hundred miles.
Hours upon hours with nothing to do. Just slightly, my heart is writhing in the unfamiliar stillness. Floundering to locate that place of weakness where he is waiting with rest.
Through the car window, I can see an eagle soaring above the treeline, wings thrown back in a full embrace of the wind.
I will fulfill all of my words to you.
I now sit facing the rear windshield, knees drawn to my chest.
The muscles in my lower back won’t release.
Trees flash past in reverse, like they’re running alongside the white dashes, cheering on miles of road.
The tension in my chest won’t release; thoughts stagger through my head like the centerline: dehydration… the draw pulling me back… the orphaned girl—she and I are finally joined…exhaustion…weakness and intimacy…I’m-not-hungry-I’m-dehydrated-and-there’s-not-enough-room-to-stretch-my-leg…
I’m reaching the point in the trip where, finally, what is swimming in my heart is beginning to surface. The undercurrent is that age-old fear that he is not enough.
Through the skylight, against the blue-white haze, an eagle silhouettes like the focal point of a photo. I am enough for you, he whispers.
Winding through littered streets in Buffalo, NY.
My itching eyes rove aimlessly over shabby storefronts and abandoned buildings. My over-extended brain is trying to keep up with all the question marks in my heart.
We pull up at a red light, where the curb is crumbling in front of a concrete building, vacant except for a wood carving of an eagle in the lower window.
I burst out laughing. Trinity, the relentless lover.
The day I have been waiting for. Prince Edward Island, Canada. Last night, by a lake in Maine he said, I will be waiting for you.
The anticipation, the promise of this orphan finding a home. Months of rock-laying for a new house, of heart-ache, -break, and -healing, of littledeathafterlittledeath, and of the stitching of words that are about to form a seam… Father, I am ready!
We are barely past the border, taking the roundabout for 2 North, when an eagle dives in front of us, prey in its talons, and lifts above the grass, lifts above the window, the treetops, the horizon, wings rippling in the misty morning.