the fire and the blog: how to receive mercy


We turned the heat on last night for the first time this season. When the gauge senses the air turning cold, the blue flame flicks on the dull roar, and we are warmed. I’m not used to the low, powerful sound of combustion in my home, but without it, the chill. With it, always a hint of fear. The blue is a fire.

I am rebellious, and I am of low faith, but God has remained good, and He has remained faithful, even though I’ve been inclined to remove any mention of Him from everything I display online. Sometimes I feel like a fraud, like a blog is a masquerade ball. I can’t see clearly through my mask. I’ve lost trust in the believer’s voice. I’ve taken on Fear of Cliche. No mercy.

Doesn’t His kindness lead us to repentance? This apartment community has become so tenderly intimate that it breaks me. I had the honor of sitting with a new dear friend while she miscarried her first child. There we worshiped God together in prayer and petition. Her wedding dishes were regal and white, all the hope in the world arranged atop kitchen cabinetry.

I am broken. A friend told me: “Jesus did not give His life to us. He gave it for us, and that’s what we’re to do, too.” I asked myself what it means to give my life to GOD and to give it for those I love.

I hear Seth walk around our apartment. He’s repeating the verses he wants whirling around his heart before he steps out. The legal world has it’s own masquerade, too.

The question lately has been how to blog in this Upside Down Kingdom, and I confess that I’d rather just not do it at all on most days. I want to drop off the monitor, change my name, and start the poetry of snarling, log-eyed, at the masses. Other days I long for the counters to tower higher and higher, so I babel. I give myself to you for comments. Forgive me. Forgive me.

Forgive me, my ego standing too long at a row of carnival mirrors, giving myself too much to the ungod.

I am under an old blanket in a cozy apartment, my kids waking up neighbors, and the fire is awake. This morning I write for you. This is paradox of the fire that doesn’t burn. This is mercy, this belonging to God.

amberhaines
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