The hour turns, and my friend waves me over, patting the chair beside.
All evening, we have all only wanted to surround her, this iron-strong friend strong enough yet to admit that she needs us to lift her. It takes a brave woman to allow the veil to fall—whisper-light—from her face, to sit uncovered and honest, to let us wrap around her—a shield, a sheer robe of sisters loving. We need not hide our tender places when we can cover over each other. Individually we bend like reeds; we flicker, but together we find a way to stand; to burn. We were drawn toward her tears, a shelter of elegantly-woven friends embracing in prayer. And so we began, and continued, knit-close and soul-near even after our voices stilled and we drifted apart. The ability to intertwine in prayer is a rich shade of grace.
All evening, I have given thanks that she believed us capable of such gathered power, that she had the courage to allow us to encircle her, that she ripped away all the rough patchwork to give us a clear, bright view of her cracks.
And now she pats the chair, beckoning with her hand, calling out to me. So I sit, smiling at this shining woman who hardly even imagines her own radiance. Sometimes it’s hard to see past our own crumbling clay to the stunning, ever more brilliant light within. Her light flashes, unhindered by pretense. I know that Light, and it’s not her glory—or mine—but His unconquerable, eternal glimmer.
I just want to encourage you, she says, leaking drops of silvery Love—Love that gilds syllables, shimmering like star-shine. And then this friend who hurts hard tonight, who sits unveiled in front of us, spills light all over me. The right word at the right time. Strength for me from the only wealth available to us both. The ability to enfold each other in fortifying truth—to speak loud He’s using you; I see Him—-is such a deep shade of grace. And suddenly I only see His glittering Presence and not our crumbling clay, not the light and momentary trouble, not the outward wasting. She refuses to wall up the Light of Him, but chooses the risk instead, the vulnerable risk that uncovers eternal beauty.
And I sit stunned, listening to the whisper-light fall of my own well-worn veil, as my friend who needs healing spreads healing hands right over my thin spaces; as she who needs lifting uses His Love to lift me.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s Glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. ~2 Corinthians 3:18