Saturday, July 7, 2012

"hope that is seen is not hope"

The birds are so tiny they can sit inside the mesh of the chain link fence and have more than enough room to stretch their wings and take off again... it is a wonder to behold. They fly like leaves caught up in a wind storm --never in a straight line, but rather in circular eddies and then swoop like they are following strings of dangling pearls mid air --or perhaps swags of tinsel on Christmas trees, uneven and almost flashy.

I saw a huge grass-hopper type creature --it was at least four inches long--end to end, including the antennae, perhaps five. It had red/pink, yellow and green designs down its back and barbs on its legs. It looked both hard and slimy. It's back and belly --probably feels very much like snake skin. Powerful and fragile....

Something like that... in any case, it was bigger than the birds... way bigger. The front of my car is plastered with a smaller and similar variety creature. I was driving down one of the back roads and thought the gravel was moving... but it wasn't the gravel.

And the thunder and lightening is as odd a creature as any other, skulking about the outside of the house, casting its shadow and fierce gaze, grappling with the window screens and frames.

The buffalo (bison, actually) are losing their thick winter coat in chunks and wads....

The robin, which was nesting in the tree by the garage, has quit screaming and swooping at Mr. Witty (who is oblivious to these endeavors, intent only in getting back in the house before a firecrackers explodes some where in the neighborhood). I wonder if this means that the fledglings have flown away, or if the small egg shell I found means the nest was discovered or blown out of the tree by a storm... on second thought, the egg was not that beautiful hint of blue... I wonder if robin's eggs are blue here? I would think so....

--and, yesterday, the burial.... the children and grandchildren no longer from these parts, stumbling unsuccessfully through the local expectations, torn at the seams, taking the star quilt and flowers off the coffin to keep for themselves. Dislocated. Neither here nor there.

I have another wake Sunday and funeral Monday --of a lady who lived on the streets here. Some of the cedar-tree guys tried to come to the funeral yesterday --which caused great conflict, the grieving family standing at the door of the church saying 'no you can't come in here, she hated drunk Indians' and the cedar-tree guys saying 'she was our friend' --neither group realizing they were talking about different persons. I finally took one of them in to view the body in the casket, and they realized it was not their friend. 'Sunday night' I said. 'Come sober' I said. As if that were possible.

I remember watching birds get falling down drunk on too-ripe holly berries once... the local cat having a great day with the plastered birds at the foot of the tree....

At prayer this morning (Romans 8:18-25)
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 
 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 
For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Hope --as elusive as the lines of the invisible tinsel streamers the tiny birds follow... hope as fragile as the grass eaters that fling themselves every which way... hope as powerful as any storm that batters the house... hope that accompanies the frenzy of twigs and blades of grass of every nest... hope that we will know and be known, even in death... hope in the fresh mound of earth that smells of life and potential...

And what of those graves, unkempt, collapsed in on themselves, the litter of plastic flowers, toys, small statues and beer bottles gone --gifts of the living, missing. Halfway to being unmarked and forgotten.

Yes. That too is hope. A hope we cannot see.