Through the Basement Window
Do you ever notice those squiggly lines in front of your eyes? Of course you do. We all have them. Their technical name abbreviates to DVS, but most of us just call them floaters. You get more floaters as you age. Have you noticed you cannot focus on a floater? As soon as you try to focus on a floater, it disappears.
Cleopas and his companion had traveled to Jerusalem from Emmaus, hearing there was hope in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. But when they arrived all they found was pain and turmoil and a bloodied cross. So they waited until morning and began walking the seven dusty miles back home.
We have all been on the road to Emmaus. It’s the heavy-hearted walk down the courthouse steps after your divorce has been finalized. It is the drive home from the cemetery. It is the pillow soaked with tears because you just can’t pull yourself out of bed. We have all been on the road to Emmaus.
A stranger began walking with them. He appeared unaware of the awful spectacle they had witnessed, but the longer he spoke the more they listened, and when they got home they invited him to dinner.
The stranger gave the blessing and when Cleopas and his friend opened their eyes, they saw the Lord of the universe. But as soon as they realized the truth, like a floater, Jesus was gone.
For me, God rarely arrives through the front door. I hear the doorbell, but when I pull the door open all I see is empty space. I do not have eyes to see. God has to come in more subtle ways, often through the basement window. She comes into the dark places first and works her way up through the house.
When I first wake up I am usually humming a tune. Most of the time it is a hymn, (though this morning it was a Christmas song, the only phrase of which I ever remember is, “like Currier and Ives.” Go figure.) But like I said, my waking song is usually a hymn, rich in imagery and redolent with emotion, something like, “When peace like a river attendeth my way, and sorrows like sea billows roll.”
Sometimes the hymn will bring to mind a pleasant dream, sometimes a nightmare. Occasionally a message will accompany the dream, though most of the time not. Still, the waking hymn feels like a message of sorts, preparing the way for more.
God tiptoes up from the basement and onto the main floor in the form of rebel pilgrims with warm smiles and welcoming hearts. Yesterday I met for lunch with one of my dearest friends. Within a minute or two we were both in tears and the sweetest waitress asked, “Aw, everything okay?” My friend answered, “Yeah, you know, this is a safe space.” I felt God’s presence at that moment, the Supreme Wise Relationship. She had arrived at our table in Proto’s, with our medium pizza with capers and kalamata olives and mozzarella. She spoke with wisdom beyond anything either one of us holds on her own. She smiled a lot, this Mother God who made her way up from the basement.
Later in the day, after riding Picture Rock Trail and stopping at the stone table on the way down, my eyes were drawn to the northwest, where God had painted the sky in hues of pink, orange and blue. She had climbed on up to the heavens, this God of wonder, always on the move. She will come back in the morning, between the notes of another hymn, and on the road to Emmaus all manner of things shall be well.
And so it goes.