God lies in wait for us with nothing so much as love, and love is like a fisherman’s hook . . .” Meister Eckhart
Recently, a friend I respect deeply talked with me about a
job opening. He told me he knew I could
do the job and that he would support me 100%, but that it would be costly in
terms of energy, hard on me and my family.
Then he added, “Unless you feel like God’s calling you to it.”
“He’s not,” I said, smiling and shaking my head. “I feel like I’m doing exactly what I’m
supposed to be doing right now.”
He smiled. “Well,
that makes me happy,” he said, “I know that’s not always been the case.”
“I know!” I replied. “I
used to think I wanted that job, but I finally realized I felt like I should want that job. There’s a big difference between the two and
I’m so thankful for that clarity.”
Later I told a friend about the exchange. “I’ve been hooked by that job in so many ways
over the past few years,” I said. “I can’t
hardly explain how good it feels to know I could have it now and I don’t want
it. It’s like . . . ,” I closed my eyes,
my hands paused mid-sentence and waited for the image to come. “It’s like being a fish that’s been hooked on
a line for years and suddenly you find yourself free, you can swim wherever you
want! It doesn’t feel like something of
my own doing, it feels like more of a surprise, like someone reached down and
cut the line.”
I was thinking of all this today, about the hook and the line and the marvelous freedom. Freedom from one thing only ever really comes when we shift our devotion to something or someone else. And I know, in this season, that devotion to writing and caring for my children is helping me find freedom from the things I once thought I should be doing, but I also know I’ve been hooked by something deeper.
Pulling the roaster chicken, crisp and golden from the oven this afternoon and putting rice on to boil, I remembered a passage from The River Why, by David James Duncan. It’s a quirky and profound book about a man obsessed with fly fishing who has an encounter with God while walking home after a long night of fishing.
And then I felt it – a sharp pain in the heart, like a hook being set. I whirled around: sunlight struck me full in the face. My eyes closed.
And then I saw it – the vertical bar – a line so subtle it must be made of nothing nameable. And it ran from my heart of earth and blood, through my head, to the sky; ran like a beam of watery light; ran from the changing, flowing forms of the world to a realm that light alone could enter. I sank to my knees on the white road and I felt the hand, resting like sunlight on my head. And I knew that the line of light led not to a realm, but to a Being, and that the light and the hook were his, and that they were made of love alone. My heart was pierced, I began to weep. I felt the Ancient One drawing me toward him, coaxing me . . . beckoning me on toward undying joy.
When I think about Duncan’s story, I see how I’ve been hooked and unhooked all at once, how being captivated by Love can and does set us free. Not an easy freedom, but one hard won that, after all of our fear, fighting and struggle, comes as a surprise, like a hand reaching down to cut the line when we’d almost forgotten what freedom felt like.
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We finally have a #SmallWonder button! If you want to use it, simply copy the image, then add it to your post or sidebar with a link to www.afieldofwildflowers.blogspot.com.
Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.
What if we chose to deliberately look for small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God?
That’s my proposal – that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days. You’re invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder. Don’t worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right – you’re welcome to come as you are.