This morning, I had the sudden urge to watch the sun rise over Matthew’s grave. I’d been working on the re-write of my book and was thinking about him in the early hours of the morning. And so, before anyone else was awake, I headed to the graveyard.
Something caught my eye when I got there. A statue of a woman, only about 50 feet from Matthew’s grave. Though she stands about 15 feet high, I’d never really noticed her before.
I carried my camera across the snow and took a few pictures of her. I wasn’t sure who she was. Mary was my first thought, but then I puzzled over why she was holding a book and standing in front of a globe and a stack of books.
It wasn’t until I started walking away that I had a sudden realization… she’s holding a BOOK! I came here (like I’ve done many times) for guidance about a book. She’s holding MY book! Only, what came out of my mouth was…
“She’s holding MY FUCKING BOOK!” (Yes, I swore. It was one of those moments.)
What I wrote in my journal was: “Sophia God is holding my book. I guess I’d better trust her with it then.” And with that thought came a huge sense of release and comfort.
I don’t have to worry about my book, or about how I’ll get it published or whether people will want to buy it. It’s in God’s hands. All I have to do is show up and finish it.
I don’t know what the statue is meant to represent to other people who visit the grave, but I know what she means to me. And I can’t help but be amused at the way she remained hidden from me all these years, until now, when I’m standing on the precipice of finishing my book and getting it into print (my hope for 2012).
Sophia God has a sense of humour. And a lovely way of bringing surprise and wonder into our lives.
UPDATE: After I wrote this post, I opened my daily email from Fr. Richard Rohr. At first I skimmed it, thought it didn’t interest me, and ignored it. But then I opened another email from a friend who’d quoted Rohr’s email, so I re-opened it. Wouldn’t you know it… December 17th is the day associated with Sophia, feminine wisdom. Don’t you love synchronicity?
Today, December 17, (according to the Antiphons) begins with the letter S for sapientia. Wisdom—sophia in Greek, sapientia in Latin, sabiduria in Spanish—was the feminine metaphor for the Eternal Divine, as found especially in the books of Proverbs and Wisdom. One might partner or compare Sophia with Logos, which is the masculine metaphor for the Divine. It is interesting that Logos was used in John’s Gospel (1:9-14) and became the preferred tradition, but Sophia was seldom used outside of the monasteries. On December 17 we invoke the feminine image of God as Holy Wisdom. – Richard Rohr