Words tumble unbidden as I share
this gray Novembery sliver of sadness
rooted in my absence from the Church.
He knows me so well; kind eyes gaze kindly into my pain.
“You are a prophet,” he says with rare firmness.
“Prophets can’t live inside the arena; they can only speak from the outside.”
I stare at him. What is he saying?
Me? A prophet?
Isaiah, Elijah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea,
John the Baptist,
These are prophets!
Thoughts spring up from a deep place:
My perceptions that are often not understood or welcomed,
My deep fears and forebodings that others choose to shield themselves from,
My vision of the present and coming evil in the world,
Sometimes ignored, sometimes even welcomed, by others.
Autumn has dawned.
Stunning leaves, slowly synching with the trees’ master plan, droop and drop.
But I am wrenched into a devastating symbolism very unlike
the return of a welcome cycle of nature.
It seems to me that the world’s peoples
are losing the character and integrity genes built in by their Creator.
I imagine the buds will return in the spring as they have for millennia.
Tiny sprouts of leaves will bravely spread their shy greenness.
But will the world remember how to love, to hope, to share, to grieve together?
I don’t want to be a prophet.
It’s too painful!