Elsewhere

There are so many demands on our lives to be
elsewhere.

On Wednesday I was at a Lenten Quiet Day.
I nearly bowed out.
I had been debating whether or not to go, other places, people, situations pulled at me.
I struggled I still felt I should be elsewhere, but I went.

I felt like I was in a wilderness place not of my choosing, so I hid with paper and glue and coloured pencils.
I played with them partly for distraction, as I thought of other places, other people and guilt tried to take hold.
I prayed and tore paper;
I read, prayed some more and shuffled and glued paper;
I prayed as I ate in silence, the hum of those chatting in the noisy room accompanying the crunches of my listening.
I stuck paper on paper and prayed.
I copied words, wrote my own words, and prayed and listened into the silence.
I took the pencils and made marks,
hundreds of marks,
as I prayed and listened yet more.
For a day I wrestled with why I was there, there in the wilderness rather than elsewhere.

Then I took the once bread, now Body, in my hands and joined with God and in that moment heard,
Jesus too was broken.
I took the cup and felt the liquid warm my soul,
Jesus came to heal.
Jesus couldn’t be in all places.
Even Jesus when he walked this earth had to make decisions as to where to go, when.
Although part of me stilled wished I could have been elsewhere,
a bigger part,
the part God inhabited knew I was in the place God wanted me to be.

Nothing changed or fell apart or failed to happen because I spent Wednesday wrestling with God rather than being elsewhere.
I am but dust and to dust I will return,
but dust or flesh I am Beloved of God,
nothing can change that.

I could have been elsewhere on Wednesday, …

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