There it sits, a book that was delivered to my door on October 21st. I’m not sure exactly why I ordered this book, except I love all of Buechner’s books and this one is not on my shelf.
His words stop me. They captivate me. They draw me in. They remind me to pause, to think, to be present and listen, to listen to all that surrounds.
Returning home from the recent evacuations, I unstacked the hastily thrown items from my sacred reading space hidden in my closet. Under it all, resting neatly on my desk, sat Buechner’s book, A Crazy Holy Grace, The Healing Power of Pain and Memory. I thought to myself, “God, how beautifully you prepare us for the coming days.”
When I opened the delivered package in mid-October, I remember thinking to myself, “this is not for now.” Although I have been, we all have been, this time was not my season of pain. I flipped the pages smelling the fresh print, and sighed, knowing my time for this book would come, or the time to share this with a dear friend. What I didn’t realize was this book would be opened in just two weeks, not waiting long to be read.
When pain does come, Buechner is one of my healers, reminding me of this faith I have carefully protected, nurtured, and let guide me through each day. I agree with Anne Lamont as she says, “Frederick Buechner is a beacon. When we can’t remember what is true and what it all means, he is the person we turn to.”
As the helicopters continue to fly overhead in Newbury Park, all is calm around in our neighborhood, our home. I light a candle, and open to his words, “When I woke up this morning……”
As I make my way through this book, I realize, like so many times before, this book is not just for me. This book is for both friends and maybe others I have not met in our community who face these coming days. Buechner shares what it means to be good stewards of our pain, “Miracles happen because of the willingness to open the door into your pain. Open your ears and your eyes to the elusive, invisible, silent presence of healing, of the power of God to heal, which moves as quietly, as undramatically, as the wind moves”.
May we lean into Him, letting loose our struggle to stay strong and upright. May His gentle love seep through our outer parts, deep into our tender inner spaces.