Thus says the LORD:
I will allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak to her heart. ~ Hosea 2:16
These were the lines from today’s 1st Reading. The answer to my lament of yesterday – Why won’t You speak? But what wilderness will I be led to? Of deeper peace or of worse sorrow?
Every year, sometimes twice, I read L.M. Montgomery’s Anne series. Every one of the 8 books. They have an effect on me that no other book ever has or will. They remind me of all that is pure and unsullied. Each time, I am strengthened and freshened.
Each time, I leave wistful and longing for an old life gone by that was not even mine to begin with.
Last year, though, the longing stirred by the stories in those books pierced deeper than ever, and for the first time, it hurt deeply. For a time, I struggled with stranger~emotions. Then, I learned the reason for that new yearning:
I had touched heaven.
Again. And returning to this life I now lead, filled me with a terrible heartache for what I grieved I would never have.
I revisited this yearning again in the past weeks. It’s not something I conjure out of my head. It’s not something I can summarily summon from the folds of leaves and vines. I cannot even anticipate which of the 8 books, which of its chronicles, would reach out and grab my heart as my eyes pass by.
I do not choose this pain. It chooses me. And it chose me yet again this time. Caught my heart and wouldn’t let go. Its grip tighter than before, it wrung from me a grief that was deepened by old sorrow that always visits in July.
Last year, when it came, it evoked a subdued, What do you ask of me? This year, nothing could restrain me. I wanted to know why this torment was before me again. I wanted answers but only from my Lord.
Why show me heaven, only to take it away? I asked in many different ways.
He answered with silence. Over and over, I asked Him. He painted pictures before me, spilled pink over orange-stained skies and ribbon-ed drowsy clouds with purple and amethyst. He wove breezes in a hundred different ways through the embrace of leaf, grass and bloom, and sweetened the winds with birdnotes that laced the air unhindered.
I wanted words but no words did my Lord give me. Every asking led me back to the gifts of land, sea and sky fashioned in silence.
But today, as if speaking to a messenger, He says,
I will lead her to the wilderness,
I will speak to her heart.