By Alyssa Bormes
Every now and then, you stumble across something you wrote years ago. This is just such a piece, and it now seems like now is the time to share it with you. It’s about a call that did not come, but it could really be about any disappointment that becomes a gift through God’s grace.
There was only ever a very far off glimmer of hope, but safer, somehow, because it was in the distance. My desire was so strong, but the possibility was so weak. But then the two met, and, in order to sustain myself through the meeting, I came to a point of nothingness, not the nothingness of rejection, but the nothingness of expectation.
But there you stood, and I felt comfortable in your gaze.
Throughout the evening, my heart pounded, butterflies inhabited my stomach, and what remained the same was that I felt comfortable in your gaze.
But a week has passed, and you have not called. My heart aches; tears have come.
And so, I am in the familiar position of taking away a lesson and seeking a way to thank God – even for this ache.
But, beautifully, there is one thing; through the wound is the certain knowledge that for an evening – I felt comfortable in your gaze.
How odd to honestly be able to say there has never been anything quite like it, and for that singular opportunity, for that moment of rare air, to have felt comfortable in your gaze was a gift so exquisite that I do not hesitate in thanking my Maker for just such a moment.
But now I am acutely aware of the pain. It may only be later that I will bask in the warmth of such a memory, but, in this moment, the wound is fresh, and my tears splash, and joy seems a bit distant, and aloneness seems oppressive, and perhaps my reaction is too much, but your gaze was rather extraordinary.
But now I speak in self-pity. I know there will be an endpoint. And I will take stock in the rather amazing life I have led; the wounds allow for love. And I will attempt to put a bit of your gaze into my gaze. Thank you so very kindly for such a gift. May I be a humble and gracious recipient, and may I share your gift until my eyes close for the last time.
About the Author:
Alyssa Bormes is an educator, author, speaker, and retreat leader. She currently teaches at the Chesterton Academy in Edina, Minnesota, writes for the Catholic Spirit, and the W.I.N.E blog, is the host of a weekly show, “Christian Witnesses in the Church,” on Radio Maria US, and is the author of The Catechism of Hockey. You can find her at alyssabormes.com.