A fierce mouse with a tiny, but sharp sword came home with me last night (from MSK*). His name is anger though he’s not full of rage. He’s just an irritant, that won’t let my soul settle. Poke—uncertainly about treatment. Poke—don’t know what to eat. Poke—damn, cancer continues on; how long? Poke, poke, poke.
I woke this morning with my head on sorrow’s shoulder. She was a green, alien creature, with duck-like webbed feet and hands. I lay quietly in her surrounding arms. It felt comforting. I could relax.
Falling asleep again, I dreamt of a foster boy, returned to my care after his rejecting forever parents didn’t want him. It broke me. Ripped from my heart was the hope that good will reign, my body fell to a heap as I wept tears of anguish.
And now, the Psalmist asks, “Why must I walk around mournfully because of the oppression of my enemies?” —Psalm 43
These mournful feelings are why—the anger, the sorrow, the brokenheartedness. They accompany me as I sit in prayer. I picture them. The comforting alien carrying the heap of a broken heart on a litter in her arms with the fierce mouse, teeth bared, placing his paw on the alien’s back offering solidarity and strength.
Together, we ask for your light and truth to lead us to your holy hill, your dwelling place. (v3)
I raise my head and see, the brilliance of your light shining through the truth of your cross. Your light welcomes my united, mournful, and desperate self.
To enter your dwelling place, my companions and I shape ourselves into the form of a cross. Like a square peg in a square hole, the whole of myself must conform and fit into truth—Yes, Injustices exist, tears flow, hearts shatter. But, the cross changes their shape.
My mournful selves transmogrify into trinkets on a charm bracelet. Your light shimmers off of anger’s sword, like gleaming gold, it glistens in sorrow’s moist tears like little diamonds, and broken heart’s litter becomes a square of woven cashmere.
I approach your altar, place the bracelet upon it, bow, and wait.
God’s voice: “Do not be cast down, my precious one. I hold your life within my home. Remember to hope in me. I promise praise shall rule and you shall rise with joy.” (v5)
With you on the journey,
*MSK is Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Treatment Center.