The past few unpleasant days were lived through the prayer to Mother Mary that I had learned: I bind my heart to Yours. All through those tough hours, in my waking and in my sleep, I whispered, I bind my heart to Yours. Through the initial desolation, right up to later, when I learned that pain or no pain, being a Christian meant living God’s Commandments; that there was no dark corner to duck into to wallow, no time-out to not obey His decrees.
And to walk the path God had set out for me, I needed that little prayer to take me from one step to the next. A long day later, I finally came to the rain-soaked night hours, feeling sore from the endless bouts against the world and against my rebel self.
Tired, listless. Then, a tiny bud gently unbuttoned itself in my memory.
The day before I had more of my life torn down, a name had floated by: Julian of Norwich. I barely knew anything of her. In fact, I had initially assumed she was a man. I had a faint idea that she was some sort of a mystic.
Having no interest in her that day, earlier in the week, and I didn’t pursue her.
But in the ashes of the latest fire in my heart, she floated by again. Gently, lingering only till I looked up. Then, she was gone. I had been emptied enough through the wounding to realize Julian of Norwich wanted me to seek her.
So, I stumbled after her, and learned of a soul who so deeply yearned to love her God. The anchoress didn’t keep me waiting and wildly searching. She quickly made clear why she had come to me by giving me the Lord’s words to her:
All shall be well
It didn’t feel like the awaited dew on fire. It wasn’t the balm I was hoping for.
But I knew God would never send His messenger with something I didn’t need. So, I took the four little words, and tucked them into the folds of my spirit. All through my sleep that night, each time I awakened and prayed I bind my heart to Yours, I remembered All shall be well. Like two moons, they shed their soft luminescence over my ragged sleep, and brought me a healing I didn’t feel.
When I had risen to greet the somber morning skies wrapped in the blankets of heavy mists, I was determined to return to my calling of prayer. I didn’t feel refreshed. I didn’t feel healed. But there was work to be done, and I had stayed away long enough.
The memory of the dream of the white map came before me again. Wanting to make up for lost time, I sifted through my store of prayers to be said. I felt the lightest of whispers slip by:
Directing my prayers towards Africa, I prayed for spirits to be made ready for the illumination of conscience, the revelation of each one’s soul as God sees it. Through the gentle and busy weave of hours and work that followed, I tried to consecrate my efforts for the day as a prayer offering towards the intention.
Sinking into sleep in grateful relief at the end of the day, I reached for the prayer for Africa again, but my seeking came up empty. Instead, another prayer was rested on my searching spirit:
Blood of Christ,
Mark the doors
Of human hearts.
Everything went still.
Blood of Christ to mark. Blood of the Lamb on doors.
Prayer of the Passover.