Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tunnel of Faith

There are analogies that pursue me. They slide through mundane situations with a determination to make me open my eyes to the deeper meaning of life.

There are stories that weave themselves out of the plain cotton fabric of normalcy. I discover an elaborate garment of rich color and texture where I expected to see a coarse cut cotton covering.

I discover this, because I pick the thing up and examine it. I see the analogy, because I look for it, note it's shadow on the wall.

Life is lived on these varying levels of comprehension. There are days when I simply forget to put on my glasses and I am near-sighted and the shadows and fabrics are lost on me.

Then there are days when my perceptions are sharpened to a degree of intensity that is almost painful. That is painful.

Tonight my eyes were dim with tears. Sorrow dripping slowly. As I traced the circuit in my mind of this sorrow, I could only see it's beginning and middle, the end was shrouded and undefinable. But I saw the shadow lope beside it. An impression of something I once knew. Lived.

A tunnel in Alaska. A long, dark, tunnel that ended above the ocean. This tunnel was my personal analogy of faith. I would stand alone at the front of it, doubtful, and leery of bats. And then I would run, and run, until it ended and I caught myself before I went headlong into the sea. I called it my "tunnel of faith" because I had to believe, even in the darkest, scariest middle, I had to believe it would end. I had to believe that the end would be worth it.

A few years ago when we went up to visit Page, I took Avonlea and Grant with me to the tunnel. They were scared as they looked into it's darkness. I started to run and they joined with shrieks. When we came to the end, into the eye-blinking blue of sky and sea, we saw a truly spectacular sight. A beluga whale breached right in front of us. Mere yards away. We stood breathless. That's faith.

So tonight, while I'm still somewhere in the middle of darkness, fearing bats, I remember that the tunnel will end. That the end will be worth the frustration, the doubt, even the tears. That the tunnel will end in awe and praise to God. That's faith, or what I can see of it tonight.

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