Why am I here?
This tantalizing question arose yet again yesterday. Things felt murky, though it was clear ‘something needs to be done.’ But what’s my role? Why am I here? What am I supposed to do now? Or not do? I’m not saying I had all the answers. I didn’t.
This sonnet from George MacDonald helps me visualize myself in relation to any person whose path crosses mine. Especially when they’re facing challenges. The poem doesn’t contain an easy answer. It has, however, more than enough clarity to make me uncomfortable. My comments follow MacDonald’s poem.
From thine, as then, the healing virtue goes
Into our hearts—that is the Father’s plan.
From heart to heart it sinks, it steals, it flows.
From these that know thee still infecting those.
Here is my heart—from thine, Lord, fill it up.
That I may offer it as the holy cup
Of thy communion to my every man.
George MacDonald, Diary of an Old Soul,
© 1994 Augsburg Fortress Press
MacDonald’s image is simple. God pours ‘healing virtue’ into my cup. Straight from God’s infinite heart into the finite cup of my heart. This isn’t a happy accident. It’s “the Father’s plan.”
The drops poured into my heart-cup move. They don’t sit and stagnate. They “steal” their way along. They flow silently, without fanfare. No sound of rushing water or breaking waves. They make their way in tiny drops. Like moisture seeping and sinking into thirsty ground, cracks and crevices. Silently invading a heart in need of deep healing. MacDonald describes it as a healing infection. Invisible, alive and growing.
MacDonald doesn’t say this, but I need this myself, all the time. Though not always in the same way. Hence a great multitude of heart-cups that accompany me, bringing with them the healing virtue I need. Silently. As needed.
I don’t own this ‘cure.’ I can only receive it for myself, and both pass it along and receive it again as often as needed. It isn’t a possession. Nor is it a secret formula. It’s a cup of remembrance. A forever reminder of what I’ve received from others and the kind of person I’m now called to be as one of God’s beloved children.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 June 2015