Your encouraging words of description feel just right as I struggle to be heard, and work to remember and depict this long summer month, which approached like a soot-stained messenger fueling his miner’s light with pain and grief and fear. And yet what dynamite remains here for me, defiant in a laughing gas chamber, determined to retain a personal trainer, a shortened-life coach.
I’m not sure why I found it so endearing, the surgeon’s always saying, upon hearing his patient’s slightly hopeful rephrasing or reply just after he’s been told the how and the why of the surgery or recovery, a fine-mineral fear inset in optimism, “From your mouth to God’s ear.” The surgeon said it encouragingly, with a smile. Considering it, it took me only a little while to realize what it signified: “We can’t really know, but it’s good to hope so. Who knows? Let’s hope so. But also don’t mistake my taking of a measure, my neutral explanation. Elsewhere is your treasure or rescue, if any exists. Nothing is promised, either.” By then, I was content to drift in uncertainty’s ether.
At the ninth hour of prayer Peter and John, or “Jhon” as he renders it, ascended the stairs of the temple called Beautiful, encountered there a man halt from the womb.
The man, laid in the porch of the temple called Beautiful, desired alms of them about to enter, alms to anoint the unlevel walls and floors of the room that was his body, wasting away.
The entering pair “fastened” (he says) their eyes on him, the one asking, and said “Look on us.” And he did, he gave heed unto them, trusting to be their recipient
of something or other. “Silver and gold have I none, such as I have give I thee,” spoke Peter, giving his right hand. In the name of Jesu he lifted the lame one onto his ruined feet.
The offered hand retracted, bearing a weight unused to being lifted, even as their fastened look urged the man’s glance forward, as if tethered or, better, a bungee cord springing upward in lively retreat.
Immediately his anklebones received strength. The recipient was rising up, was soon risen. He “sprang, stode, and also walked,” or so it goes in William Tyndale’s good glad version, robust
words like a jubilant tiding, fresh-faced for this story. Walking and leaping and lauding god, he accompanied the two in the temple, and held them, healed. We astonished crowded the gate,
passed through the elaborate entrance to the temple called Beautiful. We knew him, and therefore were all the more sorely amazed. We followed the praising trio deep into Solomon’s hall.