Impulsive master of misunderstanding,
You comfort me with all your big mistakes;
Jumping the ship before you make the landing,
Placing the bet before you know the stakes.
I love the way you step out without knowing,
The way you sometimes speak before you think,
The way your broken faith is always growing,
The way he holds you even when you sink.
Born to a world that always tries to shame you,
Your shaky ego vulnerable to shame,
I love the way that Jesus chose to name you,
Before you knew how to deserve that name.
And in the end your Saviour let you prove
That each denial is undone by love.
From: Malcolm Guite, Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year
Joyce’s debut as a novelist tells the story of Harold Fry, a pensioner who, leaving the house one morning in order to post a letter to an old friend, ends up travelling all across England from Kingsbridge in the Southwest to Berwick in the Northeast. This is a book about an old man beginning to come to terms with his life, with mistakes made in the past and the ruins of a marriage that had been dead and loveless for a long time:
… for years they had been in a place where language had no significance.
There was no bridging the gap that lies between two human beings.
However, all this is slowly changing, for Harold’s pilgrimage leads to an awakening, as he becomes more fully aware of the world around him and develops a deep sense of compassion for the people he meets:
It was hard to understand a little and then walk away.
This is a gentle book with deep, yet unobtrusively expressed spiritual truths.
There were times, he saw, when not knowing was the biggest truth, and you had to stay with that.
Not knowing, or better yet, not understanding, indeed so often is the biggest truth and one that we need to learn to stay with, difficult though that can be.