It's dark and cold and things and people are beeping, honking, shouting and glowing. My mom lay there in here 4 star hotel room bewtween a drizzled on window and beautifully crafted door of which behind was a hall of other restless strangers, and maybe some sleeping in the wee hours of this weeknight in new york city.
Mom wasn't still. She wasn't at rest or at peace. Neither was Dad for that matter... thousands of miles away he may have been snoring, but still not at ease. Me, it was afternoon where I was. Early afternoon the following day in Moshi Town and I was most likely sitting on my porch staring at Kilimanjro laughing at my sad attempts to communicate with new friends and family in Swahili. Brother was out and about... some sort of social gathering where he was probably inhaling all sorts of vile fumes of smoke, cologne and sex drives... But Mom wasn't still.
She was crying... she was sad. She was angry. She was not at peace with her heart or her God or her failed marriage. She's an achiever. She was that achiever. The one who allegedly failed at her greatest investment for the past 23 years. Maintaining a healthy family. She was basically the only one in her bloodline that had accomplished the task thusfar. And yet she had failed? She had a broken heart and blamed herself and Dad... and so in that extremely comfortable bed with those pure white sheets and the warm colors on the wall paper in the expensive hotel that her fabulous job had accomodated her with, she didn't feel like a success. She had been in this hotel a hundred times. She had seen this city a thousand times. She had cried probably a million tears in her lifetime... but only had a heart this broken once. It sucked. She prayed. I sat. Dad sleeped. Nick danced. And all was not at ease in the Maples family.
The only other sign of God's love and peace in mom's life could have been an angel tapping on her window floating glowingly on the outside of the 17th floor brick monument... but a song I suppose will do. Her radio turned on. She didn't touch it. She hadn't set it. She wasn't even staring at it in hopes of a telepathic break through on the dial. Her back was to it, and it turned on. It sang to her... or more accurately Sarah did:
"In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there"
And that was it. That was it for my mom. She found peace. She heard God... she experienced love. In the middle of the night, some radio in some room shared with her a beautiful melody, an extraordinary truth.
Her marriage didn't solve itself... her kids didn't come back home... her husband did not stop snoring. Her heart was not healed... but peace isn't the resolution for all those things. From what I understand, an active experience of peace is the capacity to bear these things and know that God is much bigger than we may or may not ever feel; bigger than our tears and the things we are afraid of; bigger than our struggling relationships and beautiful hotel rooms... our doubts our fears and our distance. Our misunderstanding of our past, present and future.
God is bigger than us. He or she loves us enough to sometimes shine glimpses of her glorious light through our dark, drizzled on windows.
So really, peace be with you.