Friday, April 22, 2005

Calling the Physician

Come, my Light...illumine my darkness -
Come, my Life...revive me from death
Come my Physician, and heal,
Heal my wounds

Come Flame, Flame of Divine Love
Burn up the cords of my sins
Kindling my heart with the flame of
Your love...your love...

Come my King, sit upon the throne of my heart
Come my Lord, come and reign
For you alone are my King
And my Lord

("Come My Light [Prayer of St. Dimitrii]", by Edye Jackson (2000),
recorded by Corey Hastings on Faith Lutheran Church's 50th
anniversary CD, Journey of Faith)
Well, it has not been the week I would have chosen for Lake Wobegon, let alone the north side of the south side of Chicago, my hometown. But I'm coming to see that it's been exactly as it's supposed to be.

I am grateful to folks - from near and far - who've emailed and written and called to encourage, or to say, "Hey, I identify..." with my post earlier this week. I can't say I'm "leaping up the charts," spiritually - but I am finding places in the mountain's face to drive a piton or two, thus to start the climb upwards. As folks in recovery are fond of telling me, the longest part of the journey is from the sofa (or the PC!...) to the front door. So, I can say there is progress.

But tonight, for some reason, I was drawn to this recording from my first Lutheran church home, and to the haunting sounds of the "Prayer of St. Dimitrii." It fits my mind and heart so much tonight - praying for light, for life, for healing...for "the Flame of Divine Love" to "burn away the cords of my sin." I can even trust that those cords will burn...even if I'm only hearing a little sizzling of the composite threads right now...

Sadly, my apartment-mate, Tim, seems to be in a bind in his academic career similar to my own. His first several choices for a doctoral program have not worked out - and he is faced with "what do I do now?" - a question that I'm still trying to answer for myself a year later.

I don't know where he got it - but shortly after he got the news, a new magnet appeared on our refrigerator door. The text, though simple, is exactly what I've needed to hear each night this week:
courage does not always roar.
sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
"i will try again tomorrow."
- Mary Anne Radmacher
So here at twenty-minutes-to-"oh-my-God" in the morning, it would be easy to beat up on myself for what I haven't done or haven't been, this week. But on this particular morning, the answer is clearly, "Nope - not gonna go there, today." I need to remember that if God's name truly is "I AM," then God is not present in the regrets of the past. It's a hard place for me to stay out of, though. My mom always used to say, "Go with what you know..."

Come heal me, Lord and King. Come and revive; come and restore; come and love. Amen.


Michael said...

Don't They (whoever!) say, "Courage is fear that has said it's prayers?"

I used to have a poster over my desk in the monastery in Boston that said, "The race is not always to the swift, but to the one who keeps running."

I found this web site of fear-related "words of encouragement." Don't know if all will be helpful, or even if they all make sense to me, but I thought another view at what the Word has to say might assist:
Oh, and Fear not. It's is always I AM.
Damien (fearfully, but having prayed)

Poor Mad Peter said...

Every step you make toward the door from the PC (in your case {grin}) is an achievement in the eyes of God, Steve. Just keeping going, as you have done, is a virtue--one of the "tough" virtues.

Monk-in-Training said...

I am so impressed at your willingness to open yourself to divine love and faith.

And so may Almighty God, who bids us have no fear but the loss of Him, preserve us in His care, that no darkness of this mortal life may hide from us the light which is immortal, and which He has shown to us in Jesus Christ our Lord, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, One God, now and for ever. Amen.