Deep down into the soul it went. My prayer. Into the depths. Way in there, comfortable as a feather bed,where the water is still and the light is so dark it hurts your eyes. That's where it was.
The Jews believe, I am told, that God's spirit dwells in a special way in what remains of the Temple as the Western Wall. God used to dwell in the Holy of holies in the form of his Shekina, spirit. The only times when God refused to dwell there were times when some political occupant set up an idol. And now of course, finally, the Muslims have done the most unthinkable, built their own architectural idol on the sacred place. I have been there, but I missed it. The Presence went right past me.
When I was in the hospital, Fr. Christopher went there and put his head against the wall, knowing full well that God dwelt there in a special way. He felt the cold hard stone and thumped his forehead against it as though God's immovable breast were in front of him. He did it on my behalf. As though I were standing there with him. While I lay nearly dead, my dear friend was trying to be absorbed by the Holy Spirit, hard as rock.
Now I'm there. In the deepest, down-filled womb of the quietest of places with God. And the wall is there. Rising up. Up. I can't see the top. Only the sky on this side of it. The wall goes all the way to the sky. There is no other side of the Western Wall as I stand there, palms open on the stone with the note-filled cracks under my fingertips, and the imprint of cold rock on my forehead.
In that place, there is no room for graven images. Only the glory of God, shining brightly dark.