A Sermon From the Mount, Part 4 (alternatively titled “Ink”)


A short series.  For more, see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

A Sermon From the Mount, Part 4 (alternatively titled “Ink”)

This morning I sit on the edge of metaphorical mountain waiting to hear the words of the man I call my teacher.  It is early morning, and so, I call myself ready but only with a cup of coffee in my hand.  The automatic drip started this morning before a rooster could crow once much less thrice.  Last night after our dinner date, after paying the baby sitter, after scanning the nightly news, I told the coffee pot to be ready.  The auto-drip function rarely lets me down.

Last night was good life.  She and I talked about Jesus, this rebel that now stands poised on the cliff of Matthew 5.  We ran into Mel and her husband at the restaurant.  They claim ragamuffin status and I believe them.  They know grace, speak it fluently.  They have proven themselves ready to love us, ragged as we can be from time to time.  The girls talked about their tattoos, laughing and calling them “tats,” and “tatties,” and “ink.”  The colors are amazing I must admit.

After we left the restaurant, we walked across the street to the independent book seller, the one brimming over with sounds of espresso and gypsy music.  She read poetry to me.  It was good, thick poetry, the kind that makes other poets well up.  I am not another poet but her welling made me happy.  The college couples sitting at the coffee bar watched us over the top of the children’s book rack as if to say, “I wonder what we’ll be like when we are their age.”  They followed us with their eyes, then giggled.  It was a good night.

And now, in this early morning, I sit, Jesus waiting to raise me with his words.  The stewed chicken and latte night cap steams thick in my memory.  Lines from spent poems circle like vultures threatening to pick apart a dead thing not yet begun.  The couples, those young idealists, spring to mind, all drinking coffee and talking about social justice.  I can hear their cups clinking.

My eyes are too heavy and so I inhale a deep breath of coffee steam and stare into his words on the page.

Unexpectedly, he stares back.

And with the eyes of a mad artist willing to blaze bold art across an unseen canvas he looks at me as if to say, “the needle’s gonna hurt, boy.”  And then, he holds my hand with all the grace I could ever want and stares through my skin to where the ink will leave a permanent stain.  And he carves,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

amberhaines
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9 Comments

deb
Reply March 23, 2010

thank you. just thank you.

Lyla
Reply March 23, 2010

All the grace you could ever want.

Funny how that will hurt sometimes.

    Seth
    Reply March 23, 2010

    Lyla and Deb (and others),

    The grace can be painful, there is no doubt. And sometimes, I think confession is one of those prereqs that actualizes grace. I have a proof text for that, but I left it with John at the site below. I think it's a good one to add to the discussion. Hope you enjoy.
    http://thedirtyshame.blogspot.com/2010/03/howl.html

Amy
Reply March 23, 2010

I find it amazing just how my adrenaline builds, my heart beats fast, and my excitement is uncontrollable right before I get "inked". The irony is that I know the pain. . .my expectations are no less than the time before. . .It will hurt, but the results are always beautiful. . .stunning. . .breathtaking. . .Isn't that just like our Jesus? He knows. He knows that it might hurt, but out of the ashes, comes beauty.

Be Blessed!

deidra
Reply March 23, 2010

Oh boy! If you only knew. And not to make you read what I wrote but..I published my post today and then clicked over here. No coincidence!

    Seth
    Reply March 23, 2010

    Dear deidra,

    That's trippy. I'll tell everyone to read it. Hey, everyone, go read Deidra's post (http://www.jumpingtandem.com). I don't really believe in coincidences.

    And so you know, I'm trying to figure this sermon out too. Out loud, really. What does it mean to be poor in spirit? What does it mean in modernity? Can we be? And if so, how?

    Too many questions. I wish Hamster were here.

To Think Is To Create
Reply March 23, 2010

it's gonna hurt.

yes.

and such release with that pain. release! freedom.

this was great, Seth.

Emily
Reply April 2, 2010

That was amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing!

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