You

You are the song.

Roger says that to Mimi in Rent.     I would like to say that to you, dear reader.  And I would like to affirm that about myself.

I am the song.  You are the song.  We are the song.

Roger is this struggling musician.  He has been struggling to write something new.  So perhaps that line is just a reference to the idea that he was able to write a song, near the stories end, by focusing on her.

And yet, I have this hope that it means something more.  That is why I would like to say it to you; because maybe it means something so much bigger than just artistic inspiration.

I am thinking about how we all have this thing we chase after.  Roger had his songs.    Painters have their paintings.  Businessman have that one big business deal.  I have this love affair with words.  But sometimes it is an unrequited thing.  An amazing poem, a transcendent story, a transforming blog post.  This is living inside of me, taunting me.  It is a thing unwritten.

Greatness has been achieved by people brave enough to go after their dreams.

But there has been suffering, too.  I have been daunted by the oppurtunities I have squandered.  By the words I have left unwritten.  By the things I wish I could have achieved.

I have shut myself down, sometimes, and I have shut myself off.  I have been unavailable.

This is the human condition.  Even if you are not an artist.  There are things you long for.  And you haven’t gotten all of those things yet.  (I hope and pray you haven’t gotten all the things you long for yet!  What a hell life would be if you have!)

But whatever you are running after, whatever you are longing for, it is not greater than the people around you.  Roger tells Mimi that she is a song; and I hope that he means that she is greater than a song.   And I am just learning to say that, now.  The people around me– you– you are greater, more, better than anything my brain can dream up, anything that my hands can produce.

 

 

 

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jeffsdeepthoughts

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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