Notes from the Waxhaws

Let the mystery be

with 2 comments

It’s been 4 months and 5 days. I think I’ve been in somewhat of a state of shock these last few months…and coming out of it ever so slightly this week.

It’s another stormy evening here in the Carolinas…rain…thunder and lightning…general gloominess. Lately, there’s been a lot of suffering in this nation…hard to even comprehend what people must be going through. Sharon was well aware of all the troubles going on in the world. There was a phrase from the movie ‘Cold Mountain’ that she often invoked…”The Lord won’t let this stand much longer”. I hope that’s true…I’m praying that it’s true.

Over the last few years, my favorite passage from the Bible has been Proverbs 3:5-6…

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, leaning not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”

Lord knows that I’ve lost all hope of even having a glimmer of understanding of what’s going on in this life. The closest thing to a ‘transcendental’ experience in my life occurred when I spent a year, a little over twenty years ago, driving a school bus in Prairie Grove, Illinois. My mother had recently been diagnosed as having terminal cancer, and I took some time off to help my dad care for her. The early morning and afternoon schedule of a bus driver helped me to take her in for her chemotherapy and radiation treatments during the middle of the day. Mom died in November, but I continued driving for the rest of the school year. On a fine Spring morning…with the dark Winter just a fading memory…after having picked up all 40 or so of my kids (including little George the troublemaker), I pulled up to the last stop sign before arriving at Prairie Grove Elementary School. Ahead of me was another yellow bus…driven by Laurie. We were both stopped beneath a huge oak tree…directionals flashing for a left turn…Laurie’s bus in front of me…covered with sun-dappled early morning shadows…the most peaceful scene one could imagine. Suddenly…there was an unearthly silence…usually, the kids were extremely noisy. I looked in the rear view mirror to see what was going on…all the kids looked forward in collective astonishment…and met my gaze…and then started laughing. What just happened here? I still don’t have a good explanation. The only thing that comes to mind is…the presence of God?

As Annie Dillard says so eloquently in her book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek…

“Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle, curved tunnels of leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here. Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness, or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.”

I’m not sure that we’re even asking the right questions. Sometimes…I agree with Iris DeMent…that we should just…’Let the mystery be’…and maybe…put our entire trust in God…and let the chips fall where they may.

Written by Jim

May 27, 2011 at 8:35 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Yep….the shock and awe of it all. Hang in there Jim. Wish I could say something cheerful, but ….well I’m not there at the moment…
    :( pg


    June 2, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    • I know. You hang in there too Patti.


      June 5, 2011 at 3:04 pm

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