Welcome home.

Peace is lopsided at my house.

Peace is actually red polka-dotted bunting across my front porch, leftover from Peace + Pie, a pie contest for peace and justice. I took off the Pie but Peace is always needed upon entering my home and the ampersand looks like a Jesus cross.

The wind blows the banner north so Peace is never symmetrical under my porch light, never centered over my front door. It’s always to the left of the house, hunched up, tilted.

I sit on my front porch swing and I just be.

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am.

Be still and know.

Be still.

Be.

That be. I just be.

Red wine in hand, barefoot, stretched on the porch swing. The rain falls tonight. The thunder strikes. The street wet with shards of lamppost light.

I think about the being. My spiritual director always invites me to be. And inevitably, no matter what we’re reflecting on, she invites me to welcome the pain.

Make space for the burden.

Welcome the heaviness.

Sit with it.

I hate this.

I do not want to welcome the pain. I do not want the pain, let alone create a hospitable space for it to feel at home. But I’m resigned.

Hello, Sorrow and Suffering. Please sit here on the porch with me.

As the rain falls I think about the burdens I have. I name them. There are four that are heavier tonight. I glance across the porch to see the new iron table I have placed there, four chairs surrounding it. Deep purple spray paint still strong and shiny. I envision the four burdens sitting in the chairs. Sinking deep. Taking a breather.

And then I realize it.

The Peace is lopsided. Over them.

I raise my glass and tip my head.

To Peace.

To being.

To heartache.

Welcome home.
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