Friday, August 06, 2004

On the road

I am up early because of a disturbing dream. Have you noticed that if you cry very hard in a dream that you wake up with a certain inner disquietude? Perhaps it has been the busyness of the week, the return to the nonsimple life of town that started the current that began the dream. But in it, I was crying and walking down the road due to a misunderstanding with my husband. I kept watching for him to drive by and retrieve me, but he never came. I encountered teenagers at a juvenile delinquency center (usually I'd want to stop and talk to teenagers since I've worked with and enjoy them), but I kept going, waiting for him. I met my cousin and her mother, and a guy who wanted to hold me (until he saw my cousin), but my husband didn't come. Finally, I called him on someone's cell phone (maybe I'll change my reluctance now to own one; I know I'm backwards!), and he said that he had driven by already but never saw me. He would hop in the car and return for me. A relief. He never intended to cause me pain, we were just both somewhat careless. A bit sobering, because it was wrenching. We all need someone to look for us when we're on the road amongst strangers. But, the lesson of being alone, the willingness of dependency is valuable, compelling. Leaves a lurch in the stomach.
The word compelling is compelling, isn't it? I heard a phrase recently that I like. It's called "the compelling idea of God." I like that Chambers called it an idea ... like a baby in a parents' eye, like a possibility for an inventor, like a danger on the road. I want to always be compelled towards further movement. Age can help us do that, naturally. We learn, we adjust ...
Yet an image of a couple of old, despaired by life, faded women (one was a stranger who sat on my couch recently; the other one stared at her drink at her kitchen table, barely able to say goodbye to guests) has made me sad for the possibilities of people not allowing movement or change within themselves. I could be vulnerable to that as well. May the compelling God move us forward from all ends and despairs and certain knocks in life that we can't overcome as we answer them. May we trust in love on the road.

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