Saturday, March 25, 2017

Lent: Journey

There's a lot to learn about a person if you know how to look, the little mementos that life leaves about our person: the scars we carry, both visible and not; the mannerisms we wear like armor, like a sword or like a rifle; even our habits of speech.

Look at my face and you'll see scars from the time my brother chased me into a wall, and from the time I wiped out on Murrysville Road while bicyling with my brother. (Same brother. Hmmm.)

That's just the obvious stuff. My speech reveals where I've lived in the Caribbean and the South Pacific, its accents. cadences and irregulaties showcase where I've lived and the company I've kept. Even the way I use humor suggests something. Is it a weapon I use to disarm people, an open door to invite people to come up further up and further in, or is it a barrier to keep people from getting too close?

We begin our journeys as tabulae rosae, but every way-station where we lodge leaves its impression. Every fall into the Slough of Despond, every visit to Vanity Fair, every passage through the Valley of the Shadows, and every stay in Doubting Castle leaves a mark. Every encounter with other pilgrims changes us. The one who passes through the waters is not the same as the one who entered through the wicket gate, nor should she be.

If you know where someone is on her journey, you can tell where she's been so far; and, what's more, you can tell where she probably is headed.

I don't always relish what my journey reveals about me. What does yours say about you?

Copyright © 2017 by David Learn. Used with permission.

No comments: