Posts

Hung Jury

For years, my mind has been split over myself. It must decide, as it does with all things, how to categorize me. It ponders over my value, stresses over it. For as long as I can remember, my mind has been the host of trials, endless trials through which I attempt to prove myself. In my mind’s unwittingly narrow scope, it takes my circumstances, acquaintances, and reactions into account. It attempts to balance the equation, pushing attributes and dreams from one side to the other and back again. But, today, I had a marvelous thought.  What has been achieved by this endless judgement? What have I gained by parading myself about in chains, questioning my motives and value at every turn. What if, for once, I was grateful.  It sounds almost bizarre to say of myself.  I’m grateful. For what? For me.  I am grateful for myself.  I have been here, faithfully every single day of my life. I have gotten up every morning, eaten every meal, and tucked myself in at night. I have bathed myself, nouris

Common yet Clean

When I take the time to stop and perceive all that I really am, I am mystified. For far too long, I have looked at myself, one piece at a time. I have disassembled and deconstructed myself. I have made myself less than human, pulling sinew away from bone and tendon away from muscle. In some spiritual autopsy, some emotional lobotomy, I have reduced myself to my basest elements and forgotten that I am still the sum of all my parts.  But, I am more than that.  When I consider the worth that God places on me, I am tempted to think it is based on my accomplishments or my traits. As if God loves me for the quirks in my personality. Truth be told, the value God finds in us is both intrinsic and bestowed. It has this dual nature by the basis of its origin.  “In the beginning, God...”  At the very origin of man, God created us in His image and breathed into us His holy breath. Meaning, at the moment of our creation, we had value in the model of our craftsmanship and the spirit of our breath. E

My America

This is my America. It lost its value. I lost my value.  I don’t blame the generations that came before mine. They are full of men and women just like me. The mistakes they made will line up with those that my generation will make in the unbreakable chain of history. Instead, I thank the generations before me for the rights they stood up and fought for. I thank them for the chances they took and the principles they founded. But, still, I see in them just how much I’ve lost.  The perils of my society and my generation were created by the actions of my forefathers and foremothers. Life-saving blood is now jeopardized by an epidemic past generations created through heinous sexual gluttony. Family has been broken over the convenience of the individual, and the resulting shattered lives have shaken the core of my society. Children have become parents, and parents have acted like children. Gender stereotypes have protected secret sin. Abuse, gluttony, and judgement have led to a generation o

Heaven's Side of Death

Sometimes I sit alone and ponder over this hole in my heart. I observe everything around me with wide eyes, and at night as I sit alone, I imagine pressing each thing into the hole to see if it fits. But night after night, thing after thing, is eaten up.  Humanity has that transparency to it. We exist on one side of the glass, knowing that there is something more for us on the other side. We long for it.  Poets, painters, and authors rhapsodize about it. Kings, dictators, and emperors try to seize it and squeeze it tight inside their gloved fist. But we human’s are incapable of attaining it. We are incapable of even seeing it, fully visualizing what could fill that hole.  The easiest test is to ask someone to describe heaven.  Heaven is universal hope for the redeemed. Yet, when we are asked to describe it, we often fall short. What will we do there? What will we see? What will we become?  And I think the deepest truth about our intrinsically human hole, the bottomless crater in our so

Sea-Born Sleep

Let it me sit and rest here, cast out and forsaken for a little time. Let me exhale and expire, and let me collapse down to how small I really am. Let me cradle on my side, burrowing my hand and my feet into the cold sand. Let me breathe in the grit of the earth as the sea spray spurns me. Let me rest under the hazy seaside sun, toweled-over by the crisp sea-born breeze.  Here I will be small, winded, and shivering. Here I will sleep.  But when I wake, the long cold night leaving me stiff and aching, my hiding place has changed.  The water is calm like glass; the tide muted and easy as it glides to shore. The sun is warm and soft, hidden and amplified in glow by a gauzy shroud of faded clouds. The sand is warm against my gelid skin, my eyelashes beaded with sandy crystals like snow flakes in my vision. And in my ear is the sound of welcome, a wooden crackle, and on my face is the warmth I am just now beginning to feel.  When I raise my head, sand showering down out of my unkempt hair,

Murals and What They Make

You must be mindful what murals you paint on nursery walls. Consider your lullabies closely. Be wary of every bedtime story. And most specifically, pay close attention to what mobiles you hang above your infant’s bed.  Those are the first concepts to surround the child. The first song he hears, and the first story he understands. And the mobile is the first in a very long line of things that will hang over his head.  Be careful.  Some fathers paint walls with war spectacles, sing anthems, tell tales of bravery, and hang sharp little ideas over their son’s head. When the child becomes a man, then, he is a conqueror. He rises up and overcomes with war in his eyes and anthems in his lungs and those same sharp ideas hanging over his head like the sword of Damocles .   Some mothers wrap gauze around their child’s walls and spread glowing stars across the ceiling. They sing pastorals and and tell their little girl fairytales. They hang a floral ring above their sleeping infant, envisioning s

Hell-Bound

I have heard people say that if you are going through hell, then you should not stop. Inspirational, yes. But, like most things in a Christian’s life, not completely accurate. With man’s eyes, it makes sense, but if we take a moment to aspire to God’s sight, we might see things a little differently.  When is the best time to see the stars? Day or night? What is the best time to see God? The Bible says He is both a cloud by day and a fire by night. He is always with us. But, like the wind, He goes unseen and often unnoticed as He touches on and filtered through everything in our lives.  Where can we find Him then?  I know of a place.  Daniel was a prophet of God who saw visions; He had three friends who did not. In multiple different accounts, Daniel has direct contact with God’s word—he writes the book of Daniel. But, the sight and presence of God did not come so easily to his three friends. It’s noted that the three Hebrew children prayed and sought after God, but aside from one speci