Dominion’s Parentheses   Leave a comment

(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.)  Numbers 12:3

Today, I took a much needed hike/walk in Great Falls National Park (VA), which abuts the Potomac River on the eastern edge of the Old Dominion’s commonwealth.  The scenery alone made the walk worthwhile.  The trees, brown and secretly expectant, overlooked muddied and raging waters angered by recent rains.  I saw deer cautiously scamper and heard frogs chirp, as though seeking the flight of hawks soaring above.

Sometimes, I take these kinds of walks to find the answer to some kind of question.  Today, as on most days, I didn’t even know the question I was asking, though my spirit seemed coiled and dotted like a question mark.

But I held with me the parenthetical aside that Numbers makes today about Moses, that he was very humble, more than any man who lived.   The original Hebrew language of the Old Testament lacked the modern-day parenthesis, so the English translators must have needed some way to contain the irony of a statement that speaks of humility, and yet boasts and brags.

There was something about the river and trees, the muddied ground and boulder-strewn paths of my walk that served as  parentheses for me, framing me in humility, while the creation all around me boasted of its Creator.   By my walk’s end, my questioning and unsettled spirit found, at least temporarily, the expectant assurance I didn’t even know to seek.

I know that soon and very soon, it will be as though I had never gone on that walk, that my ego and fear-driven cares and concerns will once again rage within me like the river’s waters.  But I pray I won’t forget the peace to be found in the holy and parenthetical embrace of humility that holds me on the left and the right as I walk along the way.


Posted March 2, 2012 by seawalking in Uncategorized

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