So my head exploded yesterday. It was a panic attack which I managed to control, but then in the evening I found myself crying – and crying, and crying. We’re talking messy, loud, snot-and-saliva-and-tears crying, and it went on for ages. An outpouring of the horribleness of it all. Swept up in the onslaught of emotion, of the overwhelming reality of all I’ve been through and suffered, all the shame and grief and anger and hurt and emotions I really can’t identify, let alone name. I went to bed exhausted and dehydrated, and woke feeling numb and hollow and bleak, and vaguely ashamed at such loss of control.
As I struggled, though, there on the floor of my sitting room, I found myself, without meaning to, calling to mind the words of the Agnus Dei prayer: Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us. Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us. Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us Your peace. Without thinking about it, and without making a choice, I found myself saying those words over and over, feeling my breathing slow and my soul still with the repetition of the prayer. Gentle words, none the less fervent for the fact that they weren’t my own, repeated until they became meditative. Until sobbing quietened and the storm calmed and passed. The words weren’t my own, but they became my own in the yearning of my soul.
I do not know from where those words came last night, why some part of my distressed consciousness – my spirit – elected to whisper that particular prayer through the maelstrom of my distress. But I do know that in the fear and anguish of that tempest, that still small voice of calm spoke, and the Creator of the Universe was present there on my sitting room floor.