It is My Passion That You Know This
I’m glad to be here, the comforting click. I’ve set an alarm for noon. It says “Pray; Drink” because I am a desperate sort. So that’s what I sat to do, and now this, the strange blog. I’m here to tell you that this time around it didn’t feel like Christmas at all until the gifts were over and we were home looking at the lights on the tree. I took it down on the 12th day. Ornaments still linger on the table. I’ve decided that next Christmas needs to start with some liturgy way earlier in the year. I ordered The Divine Hours. I bet this means I have to set more alarms, but I’m not sure yet.
Seth is in Ethiopia. When he messages me, he sounds completely exhausted, but I can hear his heart. His spirit is growing like how a zygote doubles, quadruples, multiplies to the Nth degree until a person is made.
My boys got to go to school today. They have been inside the house for days becoming superhuman apparently. They would wake up and yell EEEEEAT! Then I’d throw bowls and plates and jerk my hand back quick so no one would bite the Mama. Bits got in their claws and hair, and I let them go days with jelly streaking their cheeks because to wash them was to tangle with caged ones who wanted out.
I crave art, and so I have discovered the power of headsets. I listen to books and music while I load the dishwasher and fold clothes. The other day a sitter let me out, and I flew hard and breathless. I went to daytime poetry readings that bled past dark, and then I had pizza and beer with a girlfriend. She’s my friend who disagrees and laughs and lets her story hang out. We argue good, and that’s the kind of friend I love, the rare ones who wrestle out in the open.
I’ve come to love the doubters hard. God is getting bigger. No He doesn’t grow. He just bends and bleeds into every crook of matter and space and time, everything that IS. He is light, and my concept of being and love and grace is growing, and so God goes beyond the good kids all the way outside the universe, all the way outside the church, to those places that welcome greasy-headed, sore poets, the abrasive feminists, and the gay boys. This does not mean that I “desire the world” or “walk in darkness.” I love my neighbor, and I am in the light.
I’m not a liberal. In fact I don’t have a team at all, except maybe here, but I know good and well what the Bible says. I’ve wondered back into wondering what you think of me, and so I stay away. I know this is bad, so HI, I’m back. Sometimes I run and seem to need most the sight of God in the underbelly, because I feel like I am the underbelly, and because I think people forget He is there. He is there as well as in any upper crust of society. He is holy. He’s the whole. I don’t see this blog as a place for underbellies, and that is probably a very good and healthy thing for me and my great need for balance. But I am a stranger in the church. I am a stranger to myself. I am the church.
Some things I don’t say out loud here, half because of grace and half because of fear. But let it be known that I love you. I’m still learning forgiveness, and to me, you are the church, my people, too. Let me learn to speak here. What if I’m not who you think I am? So many mind-mice are spinning wheels of culture, wheels of “church,” and then wheels of longing. I long for CHURCH, for the communion of the saints. I long for it and then it knocks the breath out of me in the middle of a poem coming out of the mouth of one who some might call a sonofabitch. Stuff like that makes me beg that you’ll let me not hide. Let us come together unafraid.
So now I ask you, can I come here to be ditch low? I don’t know other ways right now. This isn’t guilt speaking. This isn’t my thinking I am less than what I am. This is my saying that I have people who wouldn’t step a metaphorical toe in among us for fear of being cast out. Many neighbors fear we point a god like a gun. These people are my people, too, and whether you know it, they are yours. I want to stand us all in a circle, ye conservatives and liberals, all. I hear too much about sides, and yet I find myself wanting one. Please let me be one of you. Yet I believe that there are no actual sides. It is my passion that you know this: There is only the brother we hate and the brother we love. One way is darkness, and the other is light.
Now I give Him thanks, and I take up the broken body. I dig in, both hands, and eat the bread. We are eating together, underside and folks up front, too. Take the full hands to the cup with me. All of us drink it down big red wine, and let it turn all our blood. God, let the transfusion begin.
I certainly couldn’t write such a restless post without directing you right away to a book I’m glad has come out into the world. Jennie Allen has been hearing this restlessness in the hearts of so many, and in herself, and so she writes in Restless: Because You Were Made for More,
“We are called to dream but we’re afraid to. But because we are called, when we don’t act on it we become restless—restless to find purpose, to make a difference in the world, to matter.”
What if discovering God’s unique calling for your life is your greatest responsibility, second only to knowing and loving God? Your restlessness may very well be a divine invitation to purpose, calling and life.
I feel rather unconventional in my own restlessness, and I know Jennie is right.