Have you ever had a deeply profound experience that no words capture? You try to share it and can’t. Even if you had a list of 30 feeling words it would do no good. All you can do is have the experience.
Lately, I’ve been sitting pen in hand unable to express what’s going on in my head and heart. I think it’s because tragedy brings you to new ways of experiencing life, self, and faith. The upending process of re-defining and transforming go on long after the event and there is nothing you can do to hurry it along or complete the process. It has a life of its own.
The story of Emmaus is one of my favorites, especially this year. Tragedy strikes. The two followers are shocked, puzzled, and distraught. Into that mess, Jesus comes– disguised. In the end, it is not intellectual understanding that provides all the answers. It’s Christ’s wordless presence when He broke the bread at the meal.
Only presence, whether it is Christ’s in bread or Christ within us or in others, satisfies the deepest part of us in the aftermath of tragedy or in our struggles with illness or a situational difficulty. Remember that when you have no words for others or the ability to explain your own interior process. It’s OK. Words are rarely necessary.
Franz Joachim Beich, Christ on the Road to Emmaus, public domain, retrieved on Wikimedia Commons.