I recite literature to God. He likes the ones I can’t get through without tears, mainly because He knows I’m offering my soul and not just steering words with autopilot.
Sometimes I use my own, other times someone says it better than I ever could and I trust that God accepts it the same. So this one Thursday night, Sylvia Plath said my prayer,
“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”
As I sat under Plath’s fig tree God remained tied tongued- tongue tied, I wondered if He too was trying to borrow just the right words.
After laying in that awful silence for over a week God spoke, “I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou [me]? Thou shalt see great things than these.” Luke 1:50.
The silence was broken to remind me God has always been the best of Poets..
Art Courtesy of Carlo Mattioli