Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Super Glue............"

Somewhere within the volume of one of several books recently read, there was mention of Fray Luis Ponce de Leon, one of the maters of literature from Spain’s Golden Age. Barely surviving the Inquisition, having offended authorities by translating the Song of Songs into Spanish and criticizing the Vulgate, he was dragged from his classroom in the midst of one of his lectures, incarcerated and tortured for four years. Four years later, the old, stooped, nearly broken professor was allowed to return to the same university, indeed, the same classroom; and, opening his notes, he simply began by saying: “Como deciamos ayer”-(As we were saying yesterday), and then continued from exactly the same point in his teaching where he was when so rudely interrupted… The story returned to me about six yesterday afternoon, the first full week of school over and this old man’s brain, more so than anything else, in need of some quiet relaxation. The wife thought me a bit crazy when I abandoned my recliner, donned some sneakers, exchanged levis for cargo shorts, and wrapped a rolled-up bandana around my forehead; but that three mile stretch down and around the park gives me more than physical exercise. It’s a sanctuary, of sorts, a course usually travelled alone, but only so far as what others see of me. A few steps outside my front door, long before my feet turn north on the main road that runs beside the creek, my mind has already entered another world, examining life as it has come to me, the Gospel as I’ve heard it preached, as I’ve found it to be along the way. I’d describe that hour or so as “medicine for the soul”, as a “prayer closet” where my knees are not on the floor and my hands are not clasped together in “proper position”, yet, nonetheless, a time where “two become one” in an examination of the road thus far. There is no audible voice, neither His nor mine, unless, in the middle of it all, as it sometimes happens, tearful worship, often in tongues, begins to over-flow the well. Even then, though, it remains a private conversation, one not shared with others who are in the arena. Do distractions occur? Do my thoughts often fly like some bird, from branch to branch, my consciousness awakening to discover I’ve left Him “sitting in another tree”? So frequently as to embarrass me for my humanity, to make me thankful for both His patience and His fidelity. Always – He is right there where I left Him, waiting for the dove to return, still willing to fellowship, a little amused, perhaps, but just pleased with my hunger to know His presence in the journey……

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