A Year of Seeing: April 20: “Forty”



Moses entered into the cloud

on the top of the mountain

and stayed there, in God’s presence,

to see what he needed to see–

to learn how to see–

for forty days. 

The wisdom forged in that space

guided his people through their

wilderness journey, struggling and hoping,

for forty years, or, as a dear professor once said,

as long as it took. 

Before their stories sat Noah with his family,

sheltering in place in their floating home

while all around them storms blew.

They waited and prayed for forty days–

as long as it took.

After them Our Lord Himself was

shoved out of his routine–what one there was–

and thrust into the wilderness

to encounter the shadow shared by all

as he prayed in silence and solitude

for forty days–

as long as it took. 

Each encountered the

deeper questions within themselves

and the impulse to deflect and deny

the call for a transformation of heart.

This morning I sat at my desk

with birds singing while also aware

that so many are crying in the world,

brothers and sisters with deep grief

and fear and loneliness.

In my own praying and waiting,

I am aware that today marks

forty days for me in my crucible space,

with the potential for transformation.

Yes, potential, even as I wonder

“How long, O Lord?”

And in that place in my heart

where God sets up a home and waits

and prays, yes prays, for us all,

while the storms of my inner life blows,

I hear a whisper:

“As long as it takes.”


SH 4/20/2020

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