It

The walk and the wake of it,

The talk and the take of it,

This life is mine,

And filled with mines,

 

Yet Yours it is,

 

In the breathe and the breath of it,

In the deep and the death of it.

The grace and the grease of it,

The trace and the truth of it.

 

I lie down in it,

 

To rise and raise in it,

To prize the praise of it.

In the meek and the milk of it,

In the speak and the spilt of it,

 

On my knees in it,

 

To pray and plead in it,

To stay and lead in it.

The thank You and the Your of it,

On the dew and the shore of it.

 

Oh the gift of it.

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Zip-tied or slipped tide. (Sorry, I didn’t know what to title this one.)

My eyes welled up yesterday. I felt hijacked by a compassion stored in the fruit cellar of my heart. A nice surprise.

Over the last few years of my life I’ve been doing some soul shifting. That’s right, soul shifting, not soul surfing, or even soul shaping. Shift happens. Well…not so fast.

I didn’t slouch on the sofa waiting for life to slap me across the face. I did, however, put my will down, and backed away slowly. What seemed like striving to free myself from zip-tied hands was really fear manipulation. Every time I attempted to wrangle out of the cuffs, my wrists bore witness of the struggle. Funny, the more this happened, the more it appeared as if I brandished a razor blade on them.

Is true freedom a suicide pact of sorts? May I be bold enough to say I was afraid to live and scared to death? How dramatic!

Anyone who knows me, knows my life is full of life, yet for years (Decades? Even before my thirty something years of mid-life crisis? Since my mother’s water broke?) I settled into a fallback position of sorts. My therapist described it like sitting a hundred yards from the house in the tall grass observing my family’s goings on. It’s what I knew. It’s what I was shown, father effect you might say. Father affect more like it. My Dad had the affect too, at least that was my experience of him. I miss him and wish we could talk about the similar wounds we carry. Our heart rates seemed flatter, not flattering.

Now, my thumper is fluttering on occasion. I feel, and in the feeling comes water tension on my eyes–A vision-smearing lubrication reminding me I still have a heart, and not to be afraid of it breaking, even breaking into joy. In our family there are plenty of opportunities for both kinds of breaking. Who am I kidding? I’m fairly sure every family fractures their hearts in wringing life out in close proximity.

“Oh the humanity!”

I think that might sum up this little stream of sub consciousness micro tome.

I’m feeling more human…more humane, and by the grace of God my heart will break open more frequently. The zip ties are loosening and I’m not as afraid.

Peace and prayers peeps.

On Prayer

Take us to the safe places,

not free of danger necessarily,

but void of triggers…

those spaces where scabs

fall off, not scrape off.

 

Show us how to play,

how to get absorbed

like a child on the floor,

Let us not worry about

how we’re gonna get up.

 

Help us to trust again,

fearless of reaction,

boundless in hope.

For a long moment

let us reach You.

15 Minutes on Family

Recently I wrote that “family is our resting heart rate.”

When we’re tired of playing hide and seek we can make a run for it. We run for home base.

I was a scrapper, a wee lad with dirty finger nails and iron-on patches covering the knees of my jeans. Our house sat on the dead end of a street. The brick porch leading up to the front door was our plopping point. When my mother blew the whistle we were homed in.

There are days when I wish I could hop in a DeLorean, rap on the flux capacitor, and set off for the early seventies. All my sibs and I would fill the front porch and get snot silly and tell stories and listen to Motown or Beatles.

Then I realized that our patchwork family does the same thing today. We find the fun in our dysFUNction. We find a peace within our imperfection. It’s a safe house and God shows up to let us know there’s room to grow, but “sit on the porch a bit…look at each other, love on each other.”

Bullet Points

  • Bullet Points
  • Entry wounds
  • Exit wounds
  • Mooring snapped
  • Mourning wrapped
  • Blood flows
  • Anger grows
  • Boughs break
  • Hearts ache
  • Coherence fades
  • Frustration jades
  • Chambers dressed
  • Triggers pressed
  • Round after round
  • Sound after sound
  • Good or bad
  • Bad or good
  • Misunderstood
  • Misunderstood
  • On our knees
  • Begging please
  • Don’t shoot
  • Don’t shoot
  • Hands behind backs
  • Hands in our laps
  • See us care
  • Hear our prayer
  • In God we trust
  • We must we must
  • Or bullet points
  • Or bullet points…

Sunday Psalm

Could this be the end of reason?

Is the gun mightier than the sword?

Are discussions usurped by

polarized rigidity?

Shoot now, talk later.

Oh reason, have you aged out

of the system?

Why are we now reverting to loop-wholes

and holes through the body?

Where are the talking heads taking us?

Why do we know so much so quickly

that we don’t chew, but swallow

as fast as we can with lukewarm milk.

Come, let us reason together

when we can

where we can.

No one can fashion swords into

ploughshares in a day.

Let us exercise, pure and undefiled,

and exorcise our rights against humanity.

Lord God Almighty, revive hope.

Sun Day

Birth again the sun,

may it crown the edge of the earth,

and spill glory and cast shadows

behind all it paints.

 

May we remember from where

this light bursts and fills

the land in golden revelation.

May we squint in gratefulness.

“God makes a huge dome

For the sun—a superdome!

The morning sun’s a new husband

Leaping from his honeymoon bed,

The daybreaking sun an athlete

Racing to the tape.

 

That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies

From sunrise to sunset,

Melting ice, scorching deserts,

Warming hearts to faith.”

Psalm 19:4-6 The Message

 

 

Conversations With God Part Two. Fear.

How are you feeling today?

What do my feelings have to do with anything? I thought truth was the ultimate.

I care about your feelings, and I Am the Truth.

Another tension I suppose.

Your suppositions precede you. I am pleased you have taken time to rest and think of Me. I think of you too.

More often than not I don’t feel the connection. It’s easier for me to think about You than engage with You. In the past it was easier for me to talk about You too. Now I don’t feel like talking about You to others so much. Deep down it feels like talking heads. I judge and project my experience on others. Little conversations rattle in my thoughts like…”If they only knew how disconnected I feel toward God they would walk away.”

Projections will get you nowhere. But authenticity will. I heard you tell a few people you were struggling when they asked how you were doing. I can communicate to you through others you know.

You seem to miscommunicate through others as well. I have slowly pulled away from possibilities of the influence of others, both positive and negative. There seems to be a parallel between that pulling away and the retreat from trust in You. I see the deception of becoming an island where I think my books and poetry protect me. You are the Rock and I am the island. Does Rock smash island or does island wrap Rock?

What do you think? Does playing paper, scissors, rock (or Rock, island, relationship as it were) bring a sense of comfort or purpose or hope? Don’t be afraid.

Afraid? Afraid of what?

Fear not, see the forest for the trees. Resist the temptation to follow one snowflake during a blizzard. Embrace the mystery of who I Am.

Are you saying I am a spiritual deconstructionist? Have I dissected you like a frog in a slowly warming Petri dish until You came to a boil? Have I killed you?

Fear not the dark night of the soul. I am not scared of the dark and I will come to you in it.

I don’t get it. How the hell did I get here? How did perfect fear cast out love? How do I turn the Titanic around? Help.

It’s time to let go of the rail. Time to jump ship. Why do you want to turn a sinking ship around? Remember the opposite of faith isn’t doubt, but certainty. Do I really expect those who follow me to be doubtless about who I Am?

I am afraid of You.

Oh, Jerry, you are so close. Fear and fear. One word that can be bent in two directions. Fight or flight. Draw near to Me and I will draw near to you.

That has not been my experience.

Think. Remember. Fear has diffused you from entering the pain again. There were times when you let go and allowed your heart to break open to Me. Granted, those times are fewer and farther between. When your mother came to be with me was the last great outlet. Even when you betrayed another your heart didn’t throb under my willing hand of mercy. You brushed off your knees to go it alone.

I’m tired of going it alone. I see those closest to me slipping on their autonomy from You to make sense of this world. Many are scampering to find a coherent whole. Is there such a possibility?

I Am.