Live Color Fully

today i am excited about everything.

Ganesha, A Clock, The Cross

I sank into the worn leather chair, noticing the streaks of dirt sliding down faded walls. My head swiveled back and forth, looking for… a dog? rat?… something that had left angry looking teeth marks on the edge of the small table holding an assortment of old magazines. In the corner, a statue of the god Ganesha, an orange blinking clock, and a small wooden cross.

“Your car will be ready soon.” His voice cut through the sounds of the cartoon coming out of a small TV.

“Okay- thanks so much!”

A pause. My words weren’t true, as it wasn’t okay to be giving up time or resources- neither of which I have to spare- to something that wasn’t living, breathing.

“You’re a Pastor.” A statement, made in thickly accented English.

“Me? Sort of, yes.”

Another pause. A character on tv shouted out a catch phrase, and a hollow, robotic laugh echoed it.

“You know things about the Bible.” This one, not a question either.

“Umm, I know things. Some things. Do you have a question?” I bit my lip, and my inadequacy stretched out almost visibly between us.

“Is there a word in the Bible for… uh… dark night of the soul? A word that means… a dark place you are in? Not dark like…” he mimed turning off the light… “but dark like…” he dropped off here, furrowing his brow as he searched for the right words.

“Dark like- heavy? Hard? Broken? Alone?” My words tumbled out, lips moving on their own accord.

Our eyes met.

His, dark and deep, speaking strong words of pain, somehow screaming. Silently.

My own, filled with tears.

“Yes. Like that.”

I stood from the chair, and made my way to the counter. My brain twisted and twirled, trying to compute a google-esque answer. My hand covered his.

“I don’t know. Honestly. I don’t know if there’s a word. But… I think, there’s a poem. Written by Saint Thomas, or someone. Can I look it up and bring it to you?” inwardly, I cringed at the emptiness of my words. He looked away, somewhere above my head.

“But- it does mean something. I mean, it exists. The idea of it. A… spiritual crisis. Unanswered longing. Or- journey towards God, becoming more like Christ. The pain of that. The pain when… there aren’t easy answers.” My words come faster now, the pitch of my voice raised. I strain, trying to remember a lecture from a college class, 9 years ago now.

He closed his other hand over mine, silencing my stumbling speech. “Does it end?”

There’s nothing to say in return. I changed the question.

“It’s not pleasant. But it’s not hopeless, either.” Inside, I turn a corner, and see the door I should have stepped through first.

“Could I…? I mean, would you mind if… Can I pray for you?”

He nodded slightly, meeting my eye. He offered no new information, but it doesn’t matter. My brokenness meets his, and surrounded by fluorescent lights and the smell of gasoline, we stand before a Creator. My mind finally stands still, my spirit racing ahead to lay prostrate.

There is a Holiness breathed into this moment.

We break, feeling the awkwardness of intimacy, and the bells dings as I step outside. The sunshine makes my eyes squint, adding to the wrinkles that are stubbornly forming.

I reach my hand into the earth, pulling up a small rock to slip into my purse pocket. Something to hold this moment, to build my growing altar of thanks, to release my inadequacies to a fully adequate Father. A Father who (maybe) (sometimes) resides here.

Just outside the walls of The Church, inside a small business off of Metcalf.

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