This morning my musical brain is full of the sounds of Charles Tindley’s hymn (recast in its popular gospel arrangement), “The Storm is Passing Over” and this is not a random soundtrack for this day. It is, in fact, a welcome, blessed message from my soul that I have been waiting a long time to hear, a message that as recently as yesterday seemed impossible.
You see, yesterday was the one year anniversary of my seizure while travelling in Israel, the first recognizable symptom of the congenital heart valve defect that I had been living with for all these years. It was the beginning of the long journey through doctors visits and fear and surgery and recovery and back to living and learning and life. Last year, May 19 was the day of Pentecost and we were in Tagbha. This year, I was rehearsing for graduation at the Virginia Theological Seminary.
And yesterday, this yesterday, may be the first moment that I actually, truly felt the sadness of this last year, the year since that seizure, the year since that last day of Pentecost. Yesterday, I was sad, I was unable to focus, I was in so many ways frightened all over again. I was completely unable to feel the joy of the events going on around me, events I was supposedly participating in with friends and colleagues walking the path of graduation together. But this morning, the music in my soul tells me that the famous prayer of Teresa of Avila is truth spoken simply: indeed, all will be well, all will be well, and all will be well. And today seems to be the beginning of that transformation.
I keep a picture of the famous mosaic from Tagbha on my wall, above my desk. That picture has been there all these many weeks and months as a reminder of the beginning (or at least, the
known beginning) of this unwanted journey. I haven’t always been able to look at its simple beauty, sometimes the pain of remembrance was too great to see the simple faith presented there, just like I have not always been able to see the hand of God in the events of this last year.
Today, though, surrounded by the kind of feelings of possibility that I have not experienced in a long, long time, I look at the basket and the fishes and I think that I will see Tagbha again…that place of remembrance, and so many more. And I am beginning to see just a little hint of the blessing on my life that has come from this journey — not just the healing itself (for which I am extremely grateful), but the chance to learn about myself and others, and the chance to understand so much about faith and live, things that I would never have known through any other path. And as the clouds clear and the sun begins to shine just a little bit brighter, I really can believe that the storm is passing over…at least for today.