Friday, September 17, 2010

Just a Bad Dream...

The cars had teeth – real teeth. It was pouring rain and I needed to go to the monastery. There were many cars to choose from, but they all had teeth. What made it worse was that they were alive. They weren’t just lined up in the driveway waiting the turn of a key. These cars were actually writhing and snapping like alligators. I had to wrestle them apart – watching for the jaws and the swinging back end. I heard a door close and I was awake – at least I thought I was. I was so deep in sleep when I went downstairs for coffee that I woke up on the stairs with my hairbrush in my hand. Karen turned the corner to ascend, coffee mug in hand. I broke morning silence – not good – to tell her I didn’t know what I was doing on the stairs with my hairbrush. All three of us – Sister Mary in the community room trying to pray – tried not to laugh. It was a very strange beginning to the day.

Today is the feast of Saint Hildegard of Bingen – an 12th century abbess, artist, musician, poet, liturgist, mystic and all-around friend of God. A woman of great courage in the face of a Church constricted by rules, Hildegard stood her ground to safeguard love. She and her whole community paid a price for that faithfulness, but in the end, the God who called her to lead gave her justice. Mystics, in general, have a hard road. I doubt that the visions she was given compare to any bad dream, but she must have been frightened at times as she struggled to make sense of them. Her art can appear a bit frightening without explanation. I find her choice of colors earthy and beautiful. The truths contained are often less accessible to me – not unlike my own bad dreams.

It’s been six weeks since the accident. Both of my sisters are still struggling with the aftermath - physically and emotionally. When they collide, cars do have teeth. In my waking life there is greater peace and sense that "all shall be well." But in my sleep I guess I am still working out the events of August 1st and the suffering of my sisters. Although we have no control of what happens in life, I feel very responsible for the safety of the sisters I’m living with now. We are funny creatures – fearfully, wonderfully made (Psalm 139). Fortunately, God gives us the grace to live our days in faith and a place to work out our fears during the night. May Saint Hildegard intercede for us all today and guard our hearts from every fear. Please keep our sisters in your prayers.

Blessings and love to you all...

- Sister Vicki