After the worst had happened I couldn’t speak to you. No words. I thought I might be finished. Faith was leaking out of me every day. Morning, noon and night passed. I couldn’t see you anywhere. Sometimes I was awake the whole night, looking at the moon and the stars until the sun showed its first colour of dawn. I would try and do one thing in the morning that might call you back to me, but as the sun reached midday, I was still alone. It was long afternoons that followed until the sun disappeared and night came back. I stopped asking where you were and just waited for everything to be over. Such silence.
Such silence. And no sleep. I became an expert that the phases of the moon, the brightest stars, where and when the sun would begin to rise, when it would be directly overhead and finally drop past the horizon with or without a stunning farewell. It became enough to let these forces move me into the future I could not see myself. Even the next day is part of the future, right? This was all I had. But it kept me going while my faith leaked out of me (there was a lot of it) and soaked the earth and misted the air with tears and cries you did not answer. Just night and moon and stars, then dawn and rising sun to midday fullness and sunset turning me toward night again. It was evening. And morning. Another day.
And suddenly, there you were. Creating my future. You never stopped. Thank you.
Diane Strickland, ordained for 33 years, is a Community & Workplace Traumatologist, Compassion Fatigue Specialist–Therapist and Critical Incident Responder. She is retired in The United Church of Canada, serving special emergent needs–like supporting ministers and ministries during a pandemic.
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