Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Where Have I Been, You May Well Ask?

This wallaby is the perfect metaphor for these past weeks. Stranded, confined, limited, solitary yet with land and freedom in view, just a bit out of reach!

As this part of the journey was traveled, as dreaded events were looming dark and large, there was once again, "room for fear to move".

Fear is such a crippling emotion. It has such octopusian tentacles that snatch and grab and squeeze the life out of the soul and spirit.

Fear, for one who knows her Guide, also spreads guilt. Isn't fear an indicator of distrust? Of unbelief? Or perhaps it is just a glaring symptom of blithering, unstable humanity.

Defined, fear is "a painful feeling of impending danger, of evil, of trouble". That pretty much sums it up what I was feeling.

The Parson, you see, was eagerly going forward to yet another major surgery. Not needful in the sense of overall health, rather for personal comfort. All that was in me cried 'STOP'. But we went forward through endless appointments and all that goes with it. Fear mounted and tongue biting became the rule of the day.

Then, Himself said one morning "I've not said anything, but I've real misgivings about all this". God be praised! And all the pent up thoughts came pouring past that bitten tongue.

Marvelous, this. The Hidden Hand working quietly in spite of my fear storm. The answer to all those panic prayers given in gentle surprise. And a dear daughter reminding me "Hmm. The I Peter 3 principle."

For This Day, this stranded wallaby is safely, happily - no joyously - on firm land once again. I'm not so naive to think that there will not be unsettling events and times of stranding ahead. But once again there is the reminder of a merciful Sovereign God at work in our lives.

Lo, we can tread rejoicing

The narrow pilgrim road;

We know the voice that calls us,

We know our faithful God.

~Gerhardt Ter Steegen