07 August 2014

Befriending Uncertainty

Lord, thank you
that I don’t have to have it all figured out.

In the daytime, Uncertainty waits
up the road on the corner.
He waits for night to come.

A few hours after I go to bed, he strolls to my house.
He knows this place well.
He’s been here before.

Neither smiling nor frowning,
with a wad of detached facts in his pockets,
he knocks on my door.

When I first hear the sound,
I know it isn’t you, Lord—
because your knock is whimsical, friendly,
warm and neighborly.
When you knock that time of night
I know you’re standing at the door
with drinks, a good story, a genesis idea or
a reminder you’re thinking of me.

This knock is not that knock,
so I try to ignore it, turn over
and go back to sleep.

Uncertainty won’t stop, though.
He’s figured out a way
to reposition some light—
so I open my eyes.
The knock on the door  
sounds louder.
There’s nothing for it but to answer the door.

Uncertainty’s morbidly happy to step in,
shuffling in the entryway.
He tends to whisper and mumble.
He doesn’t want to be too specific.
He’s talking in general terms
about people I know by heart.
He manages to sit down.
Now he has many questions
accompanied by proposed solutions.
He changes his mind and proposes alternatives.
“There must be a way,” he says. “Let’s keep
talking and thinking till we figure this out.”

I can’t summon my voice to say,
“No. Stop talking and get out.”

Thankfully, you come to my rescue, Lord.
It’s that rhythmical sound again on my door.
I know it’s you.

You have a box of donut holes.
You smile and say, “I brought something
to fill up the hole in your life.”
I can’t help but laugh, relieved.

“Scram,” you say to my visitor.

Without a word, Mumbles leaves.
And I find my breath again.

You sit down and remind me of some simple things:
you’re my shepherd;
you won’t humiliate me;
I won’t be disgraced;
you anoint my head with oil;
I’ll go out with joy and be led forth with peace;
surely goodness and love will follow me;
I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever;
I don’t have to have it all figured out.
You’re God and I’m not.
I don’t have to have it all figured out.

“Amen, so be it,” I pray—
as I lay down to rest again
and you turn out the lights,
a friend in darkness,
the best certain uncertainty I know,
always true and good.

Befriending Uncertainty
a poem by Troy Cady

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