I sit at the kitchen window and stare outside at the visible square of yard and watch the rain fall. It is slanted, pushing toward the east. I can’t hear it—though I did this morning. In the early hours of darkness I heard it beating on our roof and it lulled me into sleeping too long. I know the rain is permeating the ground—saturating it. Chill and cold have arrived and with it scents have sharpened and the air has tightened.
I just moved from the kitchen to my room. The rain is still dancing on the roof, the air is chilled (only in relevancy—the temperature would be too warm for summer), and my dogs are all piled around my feet. Their snuffling, shifting, and snoring do not annoy me, but comforts me instead.
There’s a muted hammering in my breast today. I woke with urgency, a welling-up of phrases and snippets of language—of unfettered prayers beating their subtle rhythm in my spirit.
I hear Him whispering—faint and muted—like listening to the leaves fall. You expect to hear the sound as they collide with the grass and the earth, but our hearing is not quite refined enough to detect it.
I know he is speaking to me. Beckoning me closer and nearer and deeper. He isn’t playing games. He isn’t whispering so I might miss something. If he shouted his voice would just become a part of the noise in my life.
He has laid his hand on me.
I breathe deeply, trying to fill my lungs to the very bottom. I hope this physical action will open me—increase my spiritual lung capacity. I encountered the spiritual concept of ripening in a book I am reading.
Most likely I wouldn’t have considered this word or process, but we grew tomatoes this summer. Four varieties at the end of our front porch. One vine grew to be ten feet tall. I was delighted because I could pick the tomatoes straight from the vine and eat them like apples. I had a favorite—this variety looked like a mutant with bubbles and bulges. And when they grew too large their skins would split and the red flesh would be exposed. They tasted like summer.
My spirit has been ripening all through this summer season. My thin red skin is stretching and I am about to burst—and my red flesh will be revealed.
I am an old wineskin.
My God has new wine for me.
He will cause me to be a new wineskin. Soft and supple. Elasticity will provide a give in the seams.
I am fermenting.
The urgency I woke with this morning is the swelling and frothing of this new wine stretching my seams.
Come quickly, oh my God!
Come and make me new so that not one drop of wine will be spilled and wasted.
Come and hold me so that when my skin splits not one seed will be lost.
He has laid his hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, to lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139:5b-6