Isles of orange and black everywhere, black cats crossing my field of vision and plastic caldrons brewing imagined worlds of fear. Surely ghoulish creatures prowl the moonlit streets of our neighborhoods this week, so beware.
Except that I’m haunted by holiness more often than not (and more than anything else). A plunge in the pit of my stomach, chills racing up my spine, a subtle shudder alert me to a Presence unseen but sensed. I catch myself craning over my shoulder – looking for something nearby, someone stalking me as walk to the mailbox or pile groceries into the trunk or submerge cereal bowls into soapy suds at the end of the day. Holiness is on the loose – again.
A strain of chords, a clarion voice can raise hairs ever so slightly, pointing to a moment worthy of my attention. Listen to the song because holiness lurks, waiting in the wings to be noticed. Our love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah or Every breath you take, every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take I’ll be watching you… or please read the letter that I wrote… I hear holy whispers between strums and betwixt words.
The glossy magazine’s covered with the celebrity family – perfect teeth, perfectly tussled hair, children of various colors and cultures in arms. I stand spellbound – not by the flawless ideal – but the haunting again. Adoption always nudges me to recognize redemption, to catch the hint of holiness beneath the airbrushed images.
My husband tells me a truth about myself I’ve never known before. I’m seen. Goosebumps. Dry mouth. Whet eyes pregnant with tears. Once more holiness hovers above my own chaos, brooding then speaking then naming me into life. A minute more of his love-drenched gaze and I will have to toss off my shoes, barefoot before a holy telling.
You see, I’m learning my paranoia about demons and devils must be tempered because it’s Holiness that stalks me every day of the calendar year. It’s God’s holy stealth that unnerves me to remake me. The ever-hovering holiness points to presence as close as a song, goodness embedded even in the infamous, truth that sets me free to love. Everywhere I turn these days I catch a glimpse of God on move, always His holy backside because He is as quick as I am slow.
Why concede this season to darkness seeing demons behind every tree, evil etched in a moonscape or hearing harbingers of doom in a wolf’s howl? More pervasive and present is holiness, sometimes hidden and sometimes haunting, but heavy with goodness, grace and hope. Maybe we ought to be unhinged by holiness this season… opening ourselves to more love, not fear.
I claim wildly waving trees, dancing moonbeams, wolf song and silken ebony cats. I claim harvest bounty including orange gourds, ruby-red glazed apples and candy corn. I claim a world haunted with holiness each day.