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Monday, October 31, 2011

Love of the Father

They are a light
In the darkness of my
Spirit. Eyes like mirrors
Of blood bound truth. “Daddy,
Daddy,” they bless my core with
The sap of adoration. Spindly saplings
Reaching upward yearning to mingle their
Branches among the elder’s; not knowing
To take care. From on high we can topple when
We reach without asking,
Where grow my roots?
What moist, rich soil feeds the heart of my being?
Do I reach past the nourishing flow of wonder?
Am I still enough so Mother can lift me up to the Father?
Does my life flow clear to salvation?
Do I rest in each season giving faith to the ebb and flow?
Eyes like hope are the reaching hands of my sons.
As the Father gazes upon us we rise to rest in the
Heart of his lasting embrace.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just Because I Need To

For over a month now, due to constraints and duties beyond my control, I have been unable to attend church. This Sunday a tiny window of opportunity presented itself yet there were still pressures and consequences that made the decision difficult.

After vacillating somewhat I posed the question that I believe should always come first. “What would God have me do?” At that point … “nuff said.” Decision made.

So I “compelled” one son (the other is sick) to join me. I had commitments but I knew that much more was calling. I justified my need to leave my duties and go as “carrying a message”, honoring a commitment, setting an example … all the rote answers to why we go to church.

I rushed to be on time until I found myself standing in the sanctuary, singing with my fellow congregants. Suddenly but clearly the truest answer came to me. I needed to be there. I needed to sing these words of praise, hope and joy. Why could I not just sing them in the shower or car? Why could I not simply read the bible or other spiritual literature?

I avoided church for twenty years as the “opiate of the masses.” Today I know that corporate worship is the manna of our lives that infuses us with the strength to live. As those voices rose to the upper ranges of human octave my heart soared along with them. When the small children with their cherub faces exited the sanctuary my seriousness could not contain my huge smile at their innocent satisfaction with themselves.

Most of all … it was the glowing faces of these folks who walk with me hand in hand on our journey with Christ. I saw their histories, as I know them, in their eyes as they loved me and I loved them back and I was healed. I touched them and they touched me and I was renewed.

God speaks to us through each other, you see. We know the Father through the hearts and minds and experiences of our brothers and sisters.

Finally a young woman I have watched grow from adolescence to young adulthood stood and sang a hymn of gratitude in her clear soprano and I struggled to hold back the tears. Her joy lifted us all to a place beyond where any can go alone. The unabashed clarion of her faith held out its hand and caressed our cheeks, each and every one, with the unquenchable love of God.

I am no longer a young man and much has passed. One thing I know is that I must be with my fellows on this eternal journey of the spirit. I must sing with them and work with them. I must shake their hands and hug them. I must hear their joy and their lament and I must experience the all-encompassing love of God as it lives in his house.

I go to church because I need to. Please come with me to this place of love. Please come with me to My Father’s house. I have something to show you but I cannot show you with words. You must feel it and if you go with an open heart I suspect that you will one day discover that you need to go too.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In the Dark

 Last night, as I sat in the darkness on the stiff couch of the hospital room, my focus was drawn to the bed where he lay. He had drifted off into a drugged fog. I sat with the energy of the last few days passing before me as my heart and mind settled into this place of surreal images and sudden quiet.

 The mechanical bed became a ship on the night horizon. Running lights glowed as his slumbering form morphed into a breathing superstructure that guided the bed through troubled and painful waters. His destination is a far away shore that for now we can only yearn for.

 That though, is another day. For now we seek rest from the trials of the present. We stand before the steady headwind leaning into our faith in the knowledge that God is with us. He captains this vessel that carries my son into a deep and darkened sea.

As I wept, I observed the silhouettes of the space about me. They will be forever in my mind’s eye as a place of passage carrying us forth into hope. Yes … there is mostly hope that we will emerge from these ghostly shadows into a light of balmy day where my son will walk in glorious grace to a future of light and joy.

So as that ship of pain passed slowly before me, through waters of foreboding and fear, I sat breathing oh so carefully so that the devils of despair not hear us passing by.

And now we have emerged into morning. Shadows are illuminated. The IV pump drones endlessly as it did in the deafening dark like a dreadful buoy signaling disastrous shoals. Now it is a heartbeat.   

Living in this unfair place where children suffer is like unto “purgatory”. It is an in-between place that would rob us of our humanity. Yet I find in the eyes and posture of their loved ones a dreary hope that one day this will all pass away. One day that small figure resting in a fog upon their ship of pain will arise to play and groan no more.

Last night I watched his ship in the fog pass that tolling buoy of pain. This morning he smiled as we entered, for a little while, safer harbor.