I draw a pot of tea in the buttery light of my kitchen, pour milk into a jug, lay a tray, climb back into my warm bed.
As I lift the cup to my mouth, God arrives, with his dusty sandals, sits down on the bentwood chair that stands in front of my desk, laughs at me, ‘Don’t stop, it’s only me! The world is a bit upside down out there, and I am here for your company.’ And me? Well, of course, I start to cry because that is how I am wired, how my heart lives on the outside of my skin. I have been given, ‘too sensitive’ and ‘too focused on the details’ and for a long while it hurt, this constantly being too much, although now that my life weighs less, I am able to leave it behind far easier—a dropped pebble, or a note with the same sentence written all over it, ripped up and thrown into the wind, or perhaps it is leaving traces of myself on someone’s life, a heart, maybe two small red ones, perhaps my own and the waiting, just to have it overlooked.
I have been known to give my heart away too quickly and not always to the right things, although I have a covenant with moss, and the black ear of pelt lichen living off the death of things.
And all the ways that I have failed someone, and how there is still so much love, and so much grace, and how he has shown me the word ‘unconditional’, more than any church.
I try and tell him this—God, who knows all about love, and people, and waiting, and again, with a soft laugh, as if nothing is really that urgent, ‘Use your words, the words I gave you, use them, tell me!’
I use my hands to pray, and my whole body, my mouth speaks what I am given. I pray with my feet bare, shoes kicked off, even long ago inside the four walls of whichever holy place I belonged to, I would take off my shoes and stand, arches firm on the floor, always knowing that where I am, God is. And all the holiness sticking to me like honey, and a long time ago someone gave me the word, intercessor, and I held it like a small bird cupped in my hands, and I knew this was it, this was what I had been given, but today I stay in my bed, I do not stand up, and there is no music, no sermon, nobody stands as bridge, or sentinel. It is just God, and me, my morning tea, and holiness so wide, so warm, so full of things that I cannot even put my mouth to, and before I know it, the people come. All the ones that I love, all the ones who love me. They arrive behind my closed eyes, and my hands start to shape my words, and my words are water, are blessing, and blessing, and blessing, and God says, ‘Use them! Use them! Use them! Change names, change what you see right here on this weeping planet, change it into what you want to see. Use your words to undo, to unbreak. You are part of me, and I am part of you. You are love, you are love, you are love, now use all your words and bless the cracks in the foundations, the crumbling walls, the pancreas, the divide.
Everything you see, has been shown to you. Everything you see has been thrown wide open. Use your words. What will you do with this?’
God leaves me sitting there, leaves to show someone else something that needs seeing, something that needs blessing, something that needs words—needs love.
—leaves me with everything thrown into my lap, all the dry bones, smiles at me one more time as he climbs out my bedroom window to greet the last of the coppery foxes and the lonely gull screaming on the wire, reminds me to drink water, reminds that I am salt, whispers, ‘Go on, what will you do with all of this?’
© Liezel Graham 2021