Godric tells of the blessing he received from Tom Ball when he was about to leave home. Would that we all had received such a blessing as we ventured forth into the wide world.
“Tom Ball came by to bless me. Ball was a heavy, slow-paced man who had one eye that veered off on a starboard tack so you never knew for sure which way he looked. He entered our house splashed high with mud, for our yard was always a bog through spring. He sweated like a horse.
He laid his hands on me and blessed my eyes to see God’s image deep in every man. He blessed my ears to hear the cry especially of the poor. He blessed my lips to speak no word but Gospel truth. He warned against the Devil and his snares with always that one eye of his skewed off as if to watch for snares himself.”
“Godric”, pp. 23-4.
Some may think of this as merely superstition from “the dark ages” – but what is wrong with seeing the dignity of every person, hearing the cry of all and especially the poor, and speaking only truth and no falsehood? I think the Devil very much enjoys our “enlightened” age.
Likes, questions, comments, critiques are always welcome – thank you.
I have started reading the unusual and wonderful book “Godric” by Frederick Buechner, and plan to post some of the colorful passages therein as I discover them. I am grateful to have recently discovered the books of Frederick Buechner.
In chapter one, Godric tells of his five friends:
“That’s five friends, one for each of Jehu’s wounds, and Godric bears their mark still on what’s left of him as in their time they all bore his on them. What’s friendship, when all’s done, but the giving and taking of wounds?”
When Godric banished Fairweather and Tune, they all three bled for it, and part of Godric snaked of too nevermore to come again. And it’s Godric’s flesh that Ailred’s cough cleaves like an axe. And when brave Mouse went down off Wales, he bore to the bottom the cut of Godric’s sharp farewell. And when Gillian vanished in a Dover wood, she took with her all but the husk of Godric’s joy.”
Gentle Jehu, Mary’s son, be thine the wounds that heal our wounding. Press thy bloody scars to ours that thy dear blood may flow in us and cleanse our sin. Be thou in us and we in thee that Godric, Gillian, Ailred, Mouse and thou may be a woundless one at last.” (Godric, 7-8)
Notes: “Fairweather” and “Tune” were actually snakes, though “Mouse” was a real man, and a sea captain; Ailred was an abbot; of Gillian Godric says, “I have forgotten my father’s face. But her face I’ll remember ever. Gillian I will not forget.”