Monday, September 07, 2015

A breath of mercy

I came back from California with a cold, that soon blossomed into an asthma exacerbation, and a vanished voice.  The wheezing would creep up slowly, until suddenly I would realize that I was just a bit anxious as I pushed the air out of my lungs, subconsciously wondering (worrying?) if could I make enough room for the air I really needed.  I woke every few hours at night to breathe in the drugs that opened my airways.  Each time it felt like a small miracle, and I would pray in gratitude for this new found freedom, for this ease of breathing, of being.  For this mercy.

Saturday I had enough of a voice to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation.  My sins creep up slowly, too, until I realize that my heart is narrowed and cramped with all that I cannot exorcise.  The celebration of the sacrament, my breath pushing hard, to get out what I've done or failed to do.  Absolution falls around my shoulders, I breathe in mercy.  It's a small miracle.

For years, I've thought about this wisdom story and wondered if I want God as much as I want air.  For the moment I can say this, I grasp a bit more deeply what mercy feels like, the easing of a soul constricted and miserly, sipping when it could drink deeply.  And I know that I long for mercy, as surely as I do for air.


No comments:

Post a Comment