Devotional piece for a Fall 2016 course. Formatted for this site. First time attempting such a composition.
The Lullaby of the Raven
Waterloo Lutheran Seminary
November 11th, 2016.
Why do we search for the extraordinary to light up the ordinary? We honour those who step into the limelight. We praise their humility, their acts of courage, searching for the bright day to escape the dark night. “The memories will sustain you as the starlight reminds people of the day until the Sun returns,” is what this world says to me (Tejai, 2016a). Look at the raven, perched there in the sunset (Thomas, 2016). The sky is red and it grows darker.
Another allegory of Lover and Beloved speaks of the Beloved as having finest gold as his head (Song. 5:10-12 Revised Standard Version), yet his hair is wavy and black as a raven. Gold needs not be bright and gleaming, fixed and orderly. Gold can be dark and flowing as the depths of water, as the depths of night. Noah sent a raven to test the water levels (Gen. 8:6-12 Revised Standard Version), the raven did his bidding with no clear indication of if it stayed with its human companion or left him as the dove did. The dove is remembered for her gift of the olive leaf, yet what of the raven that served the same master before her, and might have chosen to stay?
Moore (1994) stated, “It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed.”
The bride dresses in white, yet until a pivotal point in the Christian marriage ceremony, she wears a veil. Her father lifts the veil, but the veil is restored. Until the couple is declared, would the groom uncover her face once more, and there is no need to put the veil back down again.
The interplay of raven and dove is akin to the dance of dusk and dawn. The Sun sets and rises with the same colours, only in reverse gradients of each other.
Fear not the dark night described by St. John of the Cross (trans. 2009). The dark night offers an intimacy that the bright day cannot begin to express (Tejai, 2016b). There is treasure to be found in darkness if you search with a sense of courage and trust. There is no need to find the black in white, nor the white in black. They are various degrees of grey. They are expressions of the whole. Darkness is not the absence of light, nor is light the absence of darkness. They are one and the same, only a different form. They are facets of a cut diamond. They are each person you see and perceive, droplets in the sea of humanity. Ravens and doves, they are birds.
Most often, the ordinary encompasses more than the extraordinary (K. Tejai, personal communication, October 18, 2016).
REFERENCES + BIBLIOGRAPHY
- Derry, K. (2015). In W. G. Oxtoby, R. C. Amore, A. Hussain, & A. F. Segal (Eds.), A concise introduction to world religions (3rd ed.), (p. 72). Don Mills, Ontario, Canada: Oxford University Press Canada.
- Keller, C. (2012). “Be this fish”: A theology of creation out of chaos. Word & world, 32(1), 15-20.
- McKennitt, L. (1994). The dark night of the soul. On The mask and mirror [CD]. United States of America: Warner Bros. Records.
- Moore, T. (1994). Care of the soul: A guide for cultivating depth and sacredness in everyday life. New York, United States of America: HarperPerennial.
- St. John of the Cross. (n.d.). Dark night of the soul (A. Z. Foreman, Trans.). Retrieved from http://poemsintranslation.blogspot.ca/2009/09/saint-john-of-cross-dark-night-of-soul.html
- Tejai, K. (2016, August 6). Medley [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://merlight.wordpress.com/2016/08/06/medley
- Tejai, K. (2016, November 9). Safety in shadows [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://merlight.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/safety-in-shadows
- Thomas, R. (2016). Setting sun [Serigraph]. Retrieved from http://www.ahnisnabae-art.com/category/product/2078-setting-sun.html
- Widenhouse, K. (n.d.) What is a devotional? Word wise tips: Home of nonprofit copywriter. Retrieved from http://www.nonprofitcopywriter.com/devotional.html