Tag Archives: spirituality

I know that look

Last night a friend of mine approached me with “the look” all over his face. He had been rattled by God, actually, God’s landscape. He tried to explain what had happened to Him. He had been exposed to something new to Him, at least new in the particular light of his last few days. He stumbled and stammered. I heard him more clearly than ever. I speak that stammering tongue.

Art, poetry, symbol and metaphor shake us awake, open our eyes and ears to the new or make the known new to us. They open wide the horizon of hope in our lives. My friend saw something precious and costly that though hidden in broad daylight, dazzles at dusk.

Dusk’s mellowed, warm light lends us shadows and archetypes. Good guesses at what just might be, if only we apply imagination and intuition.

I too am walking in a dusk drowned landscape.  New shapes and sirens arrest me and then force me forward.

It would seem a lonely place, but every few steps another sojourner and I seem to back  into one another… pursuing just a little more perspective, as if a little distance would grant us clearer discernment.

In this nearly night, I have found myself less alone, more alive than in the busyness of broad day. This place is the magician’s stage, the poet’s paradise.  I am home.

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The long wall

I ran into it first in college. I found it substantial and high, no small thing to just vault with a running start, though many times I backed away, gained perspective and leapt.

When it came clear that this static structure, not my desire, was the impediment, I did what we all did. I poured my life into new construction. We pretty much borrowed the old blueprints, adjusted ever so slightly. But we figured some new energy and technology and the fact that God’s very breath seemed so viable at our ear and all…that somehow that would change what came into being. But only close cousins came to be. It was not new and neither was it ancient in ways noble. It was the same old twisted sister.

I have run at the thing too many times to be less than embarrassed. I have tried to leap, or scale or find the edge …the Chinese have nothing on the length of this sucker. I can’t get around…

The only way to more, more God in me, more life and love and good is through. Deconstruction. I have but my hands for the work. They are getting bloody and sore…suffering seems the way of this work.

My eyes are being turned toward suffering: the world’s doing and our’s.

But God is not far from suffering.  He is here with me, so very near, at times uncomfortably near, scraping away the sand and stone that walls us all off.

Some of the most beautiful, God breathed words in the  letter of Paul to the church at Ephesus claim that Christ came to break down the wall ( between Jew and Gentile.) To the Galatians, Paul pasionately declared- obviously euphorically inspired – that Jesus has actually broken down every wall: male/female, greek/jew, slave/free. I imagine Paul later worried over those words that his captained hand wrote. I feel likewise writing this.

I am comforted that Jesus breaks down walls –  that it’s Who he is, what He does. So please pardon my deconstruction, as we take this down together.

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Every whisper…

...every waking hour, I’m choosing my confession.

A native Athenian, REM sort of speaks to me, for me.

I have so many of the lyrics of this classic running through my head. The tender frustration and self doubt Michael so powerfully relays, feels mine as well.

Sometimes you just have to re-stack your shelves. Sometimes you just have to reorganize your understanding and all the things in your head, move them around to a new place, maybe even make some new shelves. I’ve already left many things that I have been carrying around, in my hand or in my apron pocket, in some other locale than they once knew. And then there are those things that are just appearing on the floor, on the tables, by the doorways like the socks and flip flops that just mushroom about my house. From time to time though, I think that one must do one’s best to put things where they more rightly belong, best one can.

I know I could keep quietly changing, keep the places of my mind  “long changed,” silently held so. I could and in many ways will do just that. I will go on being who I am as well as who I may be becoming, best I know how, and try to live at peace with all, best I can.

But, alas, I am a teacher, by trade and more importantly, by calling. And so, there are things that are escaping me, things I cannot seem to rope down, they are coming free, flowing upon the waters of my call. I can clearly, easily not pick fights with ignorant and parroting parishioners. I can walk away from the bragidocious and insensitive. I can chalk up corporate delusion to a century of conference with only ourselves.

But when I teach the young, the  hungry, the not nearly so easily satisfied, I cannot offer less than as many viewpoints as I can grasp, as much generosity as I can fathom, as much mystery as I can imagine.

I can live a life in the corner…but when I teach in the spotlight (Oh No! I’ve said too much)….

I haven’t said enough.

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