Cycles of Mercy

the fabulous photographer michael costa
the fabulous photographer michael costa

Every morning, the sun rises without our help. Each evening, it returns to its bed of rest. We do not contribute to the sun’s labor, and our expertise or cleverness do absolutely nothing to keep this cycle in motion. What we do, our unique role in this grand life, is to prepare space to receive the sun’s heat and energy. We bless the light when it comes to us, and we bless the light as it departs. In the same way, we receive the gift of night, the rest and the leisure and the warmth of hearth and the warmth of family around the table. We welcome these moments, sometimes we contend with them, but we do not rule over them. We are at their mercy.

The Scriptures speak of the farmer who works the soil and then simply waits on the sun and the rain and the earth to do their work (or to not do their work as is sometimes the case). Few of us know this agrarian reality first-hand. But we do know what it is to have done our very best, to have prayed our hardest or exerted our last ounce of energy, only to be left with the bare fact that the only thing left to us is to wait. We wait for a child to come home. We wait for pain to release. We wait for just the smallest glimmer of light to break through.

Miska has created something of a homeopathic apothecary. On the window sill, in front of where I write, sits jars of hibiscus, calendula and chamomile, vanilla jojoba oil, comfrey and calendula. Miska has poured her oils and herbs into the Mason jars. Miska has done her work, and now they sit and soak up the sun which arrives over the Blue Ridge each morning. They sit here and keep me quiet company. Miska does nothing for them in these days. I certainly do nothing. It is no longer up to Miska what they become. This line of jars tells me the truth about my life. Everything is a grace. All is mercy.

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