NOT ALONE

I drove my youngest to her dual-enrollment classes at the university yesterday morning. The van died on the way.  Revived, then died again. Then, finally, coughed its last and refused resurrection in the campus parking lot.

The van died yesterday morning, and that was but one frustration in a long litany of bumps and scrapes and disappointments that piled up over the week.

Sigh.

I had another sleepless night last night, partly due to hormone changes that attend this lovely season of life called menopause, and partly due, no doubt, to stress and concerns that dogged my restless mind.

It is SO DAMN HARD to maintain a cheerful attitude when I am mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.

But this morning…

When I stumbled bleary-eyed into the kitchen to begin cooking breakfast, I found…

Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Justus quidem tu es, Domine, si disputem tecum; verumtamen justa loquar ad te; quare via impiorum prosperatur? (Jeremiah 12:1)

Thou are indeed just, Lord, if I contend

With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.

Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must

Disappointment all I endeavour end?

Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,

How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost

Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust

Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,

 

Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes

Now, leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again

With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes

Them; birds build – but not I build; no, but strain,

Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.

Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.

 

The poem was lying on my kitchen counter this morning, left there by a messy student who was up late last night working on a paper for her English class, a girl who little knew how disheartened her mother felt.

I love that the God who “dost defeat and thwart me” writes love letters to remind me that I am not alone (others greater than myself have struggled before me) and to assure me that I am not forsaken.

Encouraged anew, I pray with Hopkins, “O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.”

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