Looking for a neon answer, finding only gray.

I keep marking this post by Heather of the Extraordinary Ordinary (fantastic blog title) as unread in Google Reader. I keep rereading it, mulling over her words, turning over her images like a flat and sun-warmed beach stone in my hand.

Heather’s words have burrowed into my head with the same gentle, quiet insistence that she conjures when speaking of the answer that came to her. With the sustained, almost silent patter of snow falling onto snow. Her faith that the unknown towards which we venture is already filled with grace and her belief that it is okay to sometimes just let go and fall, even into the mystery of where we will land both fill me with an overwhelming peace.

I love the image of wanting an answer in neon and being forced to recognize that sometimes it is nowhere near that clear. It is so seductive, isn’t it, a world where Right and Wrong, Yes and No, Good and Bad are clearly demarked? I confess I haven’t very often found that world, and mostly have to make do with muddling through a murky landscape full of shades of gray. I am growing to recognize this terrain as home, though, and over time I’m feeling more comfortable there.

I keep trying to select a line or two to quote, but they are all too beautiful to make a short selection. So I’ll quote most of her post in full. Go read her blog: it is worth it.

The other day, I prayed. I wanted to know just the right answer, what is the very best thing to do that won’t mean we’re falling and landing in exactly the wrong place? I wanted an answer of the neon variety, a big bold thundering voice heavy-like-snow telling me what we should do.

But the voice was instead soft, like a covering, and the words there is no wrong answer here rushed their way through my suddenly still and quiet mind. That voice came with not my wisdom, but the gifted voice that is from someone else far greater. Like a gust of wind it came and went and then I smiled because of that reminder that sometimes there’s no black and white answer, no wrong or right or good or bad.

Sometimes either way, thing, or choice is good and right because we want so badly to do right and lovely things, so our steps are covered with a blanket of grace and we go.

No matter how right we’re trying to be, sometimes there’s no neon.

There is no wrong answer here.

The unknown place we will land is already occupied by that same merciful voice.

The only choice we have is to let go with a relieved sigh and fall, landing in a neon grace, despite the mystery of where we’ll come to a stop.

1 thought on “Looking for a neon answer, finding only gray.”

  1. Thank you so much.

    This falling thing sure is tricky, but I'm more and more certain it's how to live life. What's that quote? life is either a grand adventure…or nothing? I think that's it. I figure grand adventures are mostly about the gray areas and leaps of faith.

    Peace to you, lady.

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