Jacob Wrestling series
|Finally I've found a space to be alone at the end of a hard day. I've just begun to relax when suddenly I'm jumped by some monster out of the darkness and my face is in the mud, pitched into a battle with something I cannot see, but which, throughout the long, sweating night, seems bent on killing me!
As I grow older, I'm aware that each major struggle I undergo takes on these same familiar characteristics. And so Jacob wrestling with the angel becomes an increasingly poignant metaphor for me. Every personal conflict begins to look like that legendary one, with its many facets: Jacob wrestles an angel who's just as afraid as he is. Jacob wrestles his own fears. Jacob tries to kill the angel, who is instead making love. The angel gently allows Jacob to defeat himself. Jacob, remembering the consequences of stealing his brother's blessing, stifles the angel's blessing. Jacob and the angel rest, exhausted, in each other's arms, like lovers after passion. Jacob, by the light of morning, discovers he's been wrestling himself.
Inevitably, I am wounded in the fight and will limp ever after. But it's not until later that I realize that I wasn't really wrestling with another person but with some spiritual creature, and that I, too, have been blessed.
And I can never really remember who won.