The spring winds are fierce this morning, so I am opting to hike metaphorically. With closed eyes, I grab the stick that reminds me to look, listen and allow what I conceive to develop together. It is my imagination stick.
I have been told that Northern New Mexico was once under water and the wind this morning sounds a little like ocean waves. There it is, the key thought, being without limits of time or distance.
Pretending, of course, I dive in. The waves part and thud, I am sprawled out on the ground with walls of water towering on either side.
I have always been drawn to the stories of Moses and his struggling dialog with the Holy. But I have never been a slave, or have I? And I have never confronted a pharaoh, or have I?
I look around and see bodies in the walled water beside me, angrily fighting, flailing or maybe gasping for a breath of life. I look closer and they are not whole persons, but the hateful, controlling, smallest and meanest parts of people.
I catch glimpses of some of my own ugly fragments in the water, too. I pat myself down, but do not notice any missing parts. Inside the walls of water, though, I see and remember callous judgments of my own.
I stand to my feet and begin stumbling forward between the tall walls of water on either side of me. Far at the end of the long hall-like path in between, there is a cross. In the background, I hear whales singing their haunting songs.
Their cries feel like an appropriate backdrop to the constant taunting and ugly hisses coming from the water, angry words toward people who are different. Perhaps they are different in gender, color, faith tradition or sexual orientation. Angry jeers from one side and then the other.
I look up and see different friends, one by one, on the cross. I feel the hate directed toward these loved ones and see their wounded bodies. I blink. Did I see myself there, too? I turn and nervously reach into the walled water urgently trying to find and save the foul parts of me. I want to find my parts and enlighten them.
Jolted, as if wakened from a nightmare, I open my eyes and come back to life on the desert mesa. *Sharing in the suffering of Christ, words once so hard for me to read. Comparing any pain that I carried with the suffering of Jesus was too much to hold.
But Sacred within, kept inviting me into scripture until I began seeing a part of myself in every character of every story. I am the one who wounds and I am a part of the healing body of Christ.
Henri Nouwen penned it well, wounded healers. Those who love well truly are.
Addendum: Given the same weather conditions tomorrow, I think that I will just opt to follow the raven into the bold, gusty winds.
*See Romans 8