Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Blusterous Hurricane of Life

Sometimes life gets the better of us…or so we think.  As the hurricane of change sweeps across our lives and brings the destruction across our glassy seas of perpetual peace, we find ourselves clinging to the reality that we all live in glass houses and in our obliteration comes a phoenix on the rise. 

Anyone who sees my calendar these days or knows about the perpetual state of change I have found myself in, knows that a hurricane is still blowing here in Southern California.  I have found myself sick in bed these past week as my body rebels against all I have put it through these past few weeks.  From changing roles in relationships as people move away (will miss my long lost brother and sister-in-law…be safe in the rampaged disaster that is the East Coast), friends get married, jobs change and friends battle health problems, we learn who we are and who our real friends are. 

In this tumultuous time I found myself reminded of a long lost friend, Miss Jane Eyre.  Anyone who has known me for any real length of times knows I met Miss Eyre at age ten.  A friend from high school inquired if I had had the privilege of reading this brilliant book, and I fondly remembered my long forgotten amiee. 

As I have been sick in bed, once the book I had been reading was completed I picked up my old friend and began rekindling the fire between us. Within the first few pages I came across a poem about a poor orphan girl and it spoke to me in a new way.  I felt I should share the brilliant words of Miss Bronte with you:

My feet they are sore, and my limbs they are weary;
Long is the way, and the mountains are wild;
Soon will the twilight close moonless and dreary
Over the path of the poor orphan child.

Why did they send me so far and so lonely,
Up where the moors spread and grey rocks are piled?
Men are hard-hearted, and kind angels only
Watch o’re the steps of a poor orphan child.

Yet distant and soft the night-breeze is blowing,
Clouds there are none, and clear stars beam mild,
God, in His mercy, protection is showing,
Comfort and hope to the poor orphan child.

Ev’n should I fall o’er the broken bridge passing,
Or stray in the marshes, by false lights beguiled,
Still will my Father, with promise and blessing,
Take to his bosom the poor orphan child.

There is a thought that for strength should avail me,
I hough both of shelter and kindred despoiled;
Heaven is home, and a rest will not fail me;
God is a friend to the poor orphan child.

Never have I felt so weary and sore (both figuratively and literally).  Sometimes we find weariness in change and continuity alike, and right now, I feel this weariness creep into the depths of my bones, giving a chill of exhaustion.  I see the journey to purpose and completion long and tiresome.  And yet, God has brought me comfort and protection through friends and family, through small poems, and grand tableau vivant. 

Looking at the obliteration of Irene and the paralleling swirling sea that has captured my life, I see how true this poem is to even those of us with parents.  For are we not all strangers in this land?  Are we not all in a land lonely and far from our true home?  I am reminded once again, as oft I am, that my Friend and Father will show protection to me in this frenzied and chaotic time, guiding me on the path to Home where rest will encircle and caress these weary eyes. 

I pray those caught in the damage of Irene see the beauty that is around them, the hand of God in the helpful neighbor who helps remove a tree from the road, in the city worker who is helping to clean the streets instead of his home so that the people can begin getting about, in the sheer beauty of the transition of change that may open doors to incredible opportunities never before seen. 

Hurricanes, proverbial or otherwise, teach us of the mighty power of Him who created us; but also of the gentle heart that leads us home.  I pray now that though we sometimes are ungrateful and angry, that our Father will still, with promise and blessing, take to his bosom his ungrateful child.

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