“And looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply and said, “Ephphatha, which means be opened.”” Mark 7:34
In the night hush, zephyr lingers caressing the boy awake sleepily, he peers through the invisible stained glass longing to hear the hymn of the sea that echoes amidst the tree's canopy The tree aches to give what the boy must choose wooden limbs cocoon the seed for the-one-not-yet-of-age quietly, waiting in anticipation for the boy's conception of painted hands that reflect the hands that formed them Seeds planted long ago with dirt fingernails the gardener's hands fashioned the boy and wood from dust and dirt the soul and earth's womb tenderly tilled in anticipation for the boy and tree's inception of his fruit The weathered hands gently cup the two seeds the-artist-of-every-creature softly breathes on them sealing his longing with a signet kiss the mist germinates the seeds, giving life to the boy and the tree and the dew of ephphatha imprints home The tree knows, he carries the weight of the-artist-who-formed-him from dirt the roots ache with the knowledge his limbs will be dragged to Golgotha to bear the nails of the bloodied hands that gave him life But the twofold promise of the tree also shadows the seed of the boy's longing for the-one-he-longs-for the father's exhaled promise for the boy shelters in the tree cradling the inhaled revelation of the artist's hands Ring upon ring, the tree strengthens fired sap coursing through its veins giving sweet delight to those who remain still to hear the sound of the honey and taste the tree's manna Season after season, the tree inches to heaven waiting for the-boy-who-longs-to-paint to see the tree carved by the carpenter with enough wood to carry both the father and the son, home Zephyr curls off the water, collecting the boy's salted tears discarded along the shore each sorrow gently placed in his sacred bottle the tears mix with the son's fired blood a holy water baptism compressed in each drop of the father's mercy too deep to know The tree stands sentinel, the appointed time has come his limbs gently lift the boy, holding him near, to hear heaven's roar of the sea zephyr opens the ear to hear the painted-spit whisper: ephphatha The son opens his hands to receive the father's brush who painted him with the same stick that stirs the paint within him the veiled canvas gently reveals vision, to see the three The artist spills his painted blood colour streams into the boy who receives the very paint that turns the season of the tree into kairos with a deep sigh, the boy inhales the artist's exhaled ephphatha zephyr opens the boy's longing to paint home With the imprint of his father's hands line upon line he pours out the paint the reservoir of colour overflows from deep within with the father's stick, he paints each line wooing him to the space, he stills Borderland, the space between where longings meet the father's waiting room where he quietly lingers with arms open The sabbath space the gift of borderland where in communion with the son, zephyr rests as the father longingly waits for his son to paint his way home
“While the son was a long way off, the father ran to his son, and threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8
The sack-clothed glory readies in the womb as wailing women give voice to its imminent arrival.
“EX INTIMIS VISCERIBUS MISERICORDIA COMMOVEOR!”
His womb aches for a resting place but there is no room in the sanctuary. The marketplace hustles and bustles in anticipation of the Harvest Census but buyers and sellers dismiss the value of the fertilized seed. The merchants know there is no margin in a fruit freely given.
There is movement in the womb. The fruit is ripe, saturated for birth, and the midwifery stones wail in anticipation. His eyes dart to and fro longing for labourers empty enough to bear the olive-pressed fruit.
It is the ninth hour.
Splagchnon makes room for the ache of His womb. The cry of Nineveh transitions through the blue penciled line between the seen and the unseen. The membrane of silence shatters with the final push:
The divine dew pink with the blood spews forth. A longing so deep, it overflows from the heart of Him into the humble who long to give. The ring of fire sears those who bear the Gethsemane twinned fruit. Compassion and mercy are named. The swaddled fruit whimper, still tender from the birth. Incubated in the shadow, they wait for the Father to make room. The Lord of Hosts raises his sword and cries out:
The yielded sword, sever unholy alliances that stop the flow. The beloved is pruned and those who do not succumb to the sword are driven from the sanctuary. The Father of Mercy reclaims His key and unlocks Sanctum Sanctorum; its counterfeit is hurled into the fire. A tear trickles down his cheek as He surveys the lost multitude huddled in the secret place. Moved with compassion, He raises his sickle and whispers:
“I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,
I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
The eyes of the heart reveal the wisdom of His fruit. Travailing at Gethsemane precedes the entrusting of the precious multitude. Ichabod remains constipated but humility opens loins that long to be moved. Compassion pushes out judgement and mercy boomerangs back blessing those who bless. The twinned fruit bear more fruit. Preaching, teaching and healing become the heirs of compassion; kindness and forgiveness are begotten of mercy.
Compassion and mercy restore the breach that wall the cubed ember. The repaired rampart protects the flame and the newly polished pearl illuminates the way. Hand in hand, nations return to the square drawn by the brilliance of the Lamb. On bended knee, they drink from the chalice of the river that roars from the fire. Ha’etz is shared and in communion, they eat the fullness of the fruit tree. The agony of the garden that birthed the fruit, blossoms into leaves that heal Gethsemane. Glory and honour take their place; the rear guard fruits of compassion and mercy.
The root rises to kiss the star as the twelve watchmen position at the gates. At the sound of the trumpet, in unity the Sentinel Host cries out for Nineveh:
Holy, Holy, Holy,
Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
“But when he saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them…” Matthew 9:36