They’re playing Mumford & Sons anthems from Sigh No More over the speakers.  I’ve come to this sequestered cafe from across town.  A friend and I talked last night about her decision to break off a relationship, talked late and our conversation was riddled with silences … of thought, of the consideration of the fragile heart.

I consider the fragile heart.  It has been my greatest study and I seem tied to it by my very being.  I hear the sound of weeping and I follow it.  Who was it that said that this world is radically unsuited to the heart of the human person?  Willard I believe.  But even the heart of the human person is radically unsuited to the heart of the human person.  Somehow there are cracks in the foundation of the universe, miles below our feet there are spatterings of water nicking away at a fault, there are pressures building and roots grasping at hairline fractures.  Hard for me to be zen about this.

But Mumford & Sons seem to believe that hearts can be soldered back together, or sewn — they’re singing with a conviction that is impossible to reject without consideration.  So I consider it.  Because I want so much to believe in this, that light breaks shadows and the wound can heal.  That the spirit of God has an interest in the details of my childhood, in the details of your watershed moment last year, in the details of the heart that has broken again for the fiftieth time at the old scar.

I’m reading the poems of David the shepherd-king this morning, especially the lines, “I would have lost heart unless I had believed / That I would see the goodness of the Lord / In the land of the living.”  Yeah, I know.  We don’t understand promises, here, we have the memories of Danes, terriers, retrievers.  If there is comfort, it has to be now.  If there is peace, it has to cohabit the world with us.  If God is love, the anthems are true; and this place where we are (varying degrees of) alive is also the living place of astonishing hope.  I’m all in, already, I’ve made the call — I will keep living and keep asking for the goodness of God in this place.  In the hearts of my friends.

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