Saturday, June 5, 2004

Trish #4

At one point today, Trish gripped my hand and patted it. Then, she tried to type on top of my hand. Her fingers typed away at some invisible typewriter, trying desperately to communicate with me. I seriously tried to make out the words for awhile but could not. Finally I said, "I can't understand, honey. But we'll tap three times, like this, to mean I love you." So she stopped typing and then tapped distinctly three times. Then my daughter, Tiffany held her hand and told her that she loved her.

"TAP, TAP, TAP," Trish signaled. Then a space. Then "TAP,TAP, TAP" again. Then again.

No love letter was ever more eloquent, no poem ever more sublime. A message from the deepest inner space where a loved one is trapped for the moment comes flying through all the fog and darkness.
TAP! TAP! TAP! "I am here and I have not forgotten all those I love in the outside world.

TAP! TAP! TAP! Please hear me, I am not gone. I am here!"

Nothing else needed to be said. The taps were more than enough for today.

I wonder if our prayers are like that to God? A sign and a cry, uplifted hands, folded hands, signing the cross, words in ecstatic language and stammering lips, silly words, foolish words, faltering words, one word spoken over and over -- all of them are ways to say, "God, my love, my eternal home, I am here trying to be present to you. I have no words. I do not understand spiritual things -- TAP!TAP! TAP! Hear me, my Lord, my Savior."

Somewhere outside time and space, in regions unknown and unimaginable, the High and Holy God hears every sigh and collects every tear. The foolishness and stammering, the grunts and moans are music to his ears. He speaks but we can't always hear. We get frustrated and shout or decide not to speak. But he hears anyway. We are in a dark place but He is not. We are limited and confused but HE is not. He is in the light and waits for our deliverance and healing, when that which is corruptible shall put on incorruptibility.

"Keep tapping," he says gently. "Don't wait until you have the words and wherewithal to speak to me, Speak to me with whatever you have. I am listening and your efforts speak all that I need to have right now.

Lord, if I could descend into that dark space where Trish is, I would. I would go there and hold her hand. I would descend into the void to meet with her.

"I have already done that," he says.

Tomorrow before I receive communion, I will declare "he descended into Hell." Believers can't go anywhere in the universe where God cannot reach us.

God is down there in that canyon with my wife. "TAP! TAP! TAP!" she shouts. And her Lord stands beside her and says, "tap three times for me too."

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