Not Me at those Harps

Not me:

at those harps

sporting a stylish halo

walking on cotton ball clouds.

Beyond conflict,

Receiving everything I want

even before I ask for it:

Not in my heaven.

I used to only know what it wasn’t.

But the gift

of the last

few weeks

has been a taste of what it will be.

I was nearly wrung dry:

I hope you will permit me to torture that metaphor

and clarify:

the towel

of my soul

was just



In moments of peace

there was solace

in the fact

that I’d done some good.

But I needed peace

to find that peace,

a thorny dilemna.

And then there was the ocean

not waiting for me

except that it was

waiting for me.

What deep hidden part of me

does the white noise rhythm of the waves

awaken? Why does the salt

carried on the breeze

remind me who I am?

And in the middle

of the rest and the peace

we held a war council

to recover one of our own:

But even this brings a deeper peace

than the surface battles we fight:

I am reminded of who is by my side.

And the capping moment

that next time

A legacy reawakened

through its own force of will?

How could you know

that my own grandmother

stored up her change

for me way back then?

A handful of metal and lint and miscelania…

through the banks alchemy metamorphed…

and then changed again:

Whatever I wanted,

stuff simultaneously

worthless and priceless…

And so my heart tells me it will be like this

In the Great Then:

Rest and battle, trials and the continuance of all the good things…

But there is something more!

I will not play a harp but I will hear it

maybe we will hear it

maybe this is the Great Difference:

Our acts, all of them, will be the

voices, the strings, the harmony.

It turns out there is a truth hiding in that simple-scary vision of Heaven

We will hear it in some new way:

Earthly music will turn out to be only a castrated echo

of this thing our actions themselves will proclaim:

Holy is the Lamb Holy is the Lamb Holy is the Lamb.


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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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