Hints, Guesses, and Peace that passes all understanding

There are only hints and guesses,
Hints followed by guesses;
And the rest is prayer, observance, discipline,
Thought and action.
The hint half guessed, the gift half understood,
Is Incarnation.
–“The Dry Savages,” T.S. Eliot

I was mulling over a lot of things last night, marveling at God and what he was trying to show me this time. Namely a day in which I felt quite sluggish and was lacking inspiration sort of hit its rhythm when I opened up an issue of Newsweek to an article about sex and the Bible (which I have yet to finish), began discussing the movie, Doubt (which oddly enough we didn’t finish either), and some of its theological implications with our houseguests, and then moved onto discussing my particular peeves with my language-learning plateau.

In the midst of irresolution (our friend was telling us that a friend of hers had to wait through four viewings to actually finish Doubt due to notoriously poor quality Chinese copies!), God brought a bit of respite in a particularly illuminating part of our conversation about how emotional and spiritual needs often belie the most persistent intellectual questions, and how I need to get my head out of the books and out “into the field” when it comes to the language-learning anxieties (and here I owe a big thank you to both my houseguests and my husband for putting up with my veritable broken record on this topic).

It is refreshing, in other words, that through multiple undoings of my own, God is meeting me with little nudges back toward contemplation, goodness, simplicity, communion with God and neighbors, balance, and peace. God is emphatically attentive to our prayers even when we are not.

And to think that was just one day, who knows what tomorrow will bring??


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