What does one do when they move to a house near the subway line and find themselves constantly waiting on transit? They get obsessed with podcasts of course.
I've been listening to the podcast On Being a lot lately, which has incredible insights and interviews with lion-hearted people who are excavating right down to the core of what it is to be human, and a few days ago listened to Krista Tippett's interview with Pádraig Ó Tuama, a theologian, poet, author, and leader of the Corrymeela community in Northern Ireland. Near the end of his interview, he shared an excerpt from his book In The Shelter: Finding A Home In The World. I re-played it about five times on the subway, and I recommend listening to the podcast to hear Ó Tuama's beautiful Irish ballad voice, but his words are so gentle and were such a gift to me in the middle of feeling overwhelmed and muddy, so I wanted to share them with you:
“Neither I nor the poets I love found the keys to the kingdom of prayer and we cannot force God to stumble over us where we sit. But I know that it’s a good idea to sit anyway. So every morning I sit, I kneel, waiting, making friends with the habit of listening, hoping that I’m being listened to. There, I greet God in my own disorder.
"I say hello to my chaos, my unmade decisions, my unmade bed, my desire and my trouble. I say hello to distraction and privilege, I greet the day and I greet my beloved and bewildering Jesus.
"I recognize and greet my burdens, my luck, my controlled and uncontrollable story. I greet my untold stories, my unfolding story, my unloved body, my own love, my own body. I greet the things I think will happen and I say hello to everything I do not know about the day. I greet my own small world and I hope that I can meet the bigger world that day.
"I greet my story and hope that I can forget my story during the day, and hope that I can hear some stories, and greet some surprising stories during the long day ahead. I greet God, and I greet the God who is more God than the God I greet. Hello to you all, I say, as the sun rises above the chimneys of North Belfast. Hello."