It’s been over twenty-four hours since my last confession.
I mostly read yesterday. I had no desire to write, as other days of our road trip. And while I read the words of another, I let my subconscious work out my own nagging thoughts.
I am drawn to write a primer on Christian spirituality. And I realize, now more than ever, I am not equipped to do it. How can I point the way to God when I cannot even put into words my own experiences of recent sightseeing in the Painted Desert or the Grand Canyon? I am bereft of words in all directions.
Maybe this is why we pick up souvenirs from our travels. Or even why we send postcards back home or take photos of where we’ve been and what we’ve seen. We need props to help us show and tell the story of our journey. I feel a little like I’m back in kindergarten.
But, no. I’m home sorting laundry and picking up the pieces of my life. And in the back of my mind, I’m sorting out puzzle pieces. Maybe I should have picked up one of those giant puzzles of the Painted Desert at the park gift shop. It would have been good busy work, a whole lot easier than working out my own, while my hands keep busy with the comforting rhythms of daily chores. Busy work keeps me sane, while my mind is off somewhere on the brink of eternity.
On our return trip, I hoped to shoot a photo of those Albuquerque rock formations I’d been so taken with on our way out to Las Vegas–that in a fit of fancy, I imagined were a directional road sign pointing to eternity–but, by the time we crossed paths again, it was too dark for photos. A metaphor if I can puzzle it out.
Photos and words on a postcard are poor souvenirs. I wonder if God doesn’t feel the same about the Painted Desert and Grand Canyon – perhaps these natural wonders (to us) are but a poor souvenir of eternity (to God). And all the souvenirs in the world – those made by man and those made by God—are just signposts, pointing to something more.
I am but a poor signpost of God. I cannot tell anyone what God is like, just as I can’t describe what the Grand Canyon is like. But, maybe if I give away a few souvenirs from my travels, or send a few postcards, it will be enough to inspire others to seek God on their own. God knows I have no roadmaps to give out. I get lost easily.
But, maybe that’s the whole point – to get lost in something bigger than ourselves–to feel poor and bereft against the backdrop of the Sacred–and then to stumble our way out with souvenirs of the Sacred to share with others. And pray it will be enough.