Thursday, February 25, 2016

It doesn't matter if you're good

animus by rudruk

I yelled at the sky this morning. Not out loud (only a little bid out loud), but internally. My heart rushed heavenward, and in a jittery, quaky voice it railed in anger. But those gates are immune to my anger. By now it's not hard for me to imagine a giant nose on heaven's door, and windowed eyes, forever looking downward, in lofted glances, down that nose, to me.

"I'm done." I said this morning. "My religion is dead." Life is a house of cards, and apparently, I firmly believe goodness is the glue that God uses to hold it all together; that if I'm good, it will mean something. I no longer believe this. Being good is nice, it is nice to be good, I would even say it is good to be good. But it doesn't mean anything. And there is no glue.

I marvel at men like Job. Oh who are we kidding - who in our taught history has been pillarized like Job? Job, the man who lost everything all the time repeatedly and still said nothing disparaging. Didn't question, didn't let his heart rush heavenward in anger, didn't say "I'm done" and give up his religion. It's an impossible standard Job, and I simply can't live up to it. You are the golden older sibling and I am the muddy, ruddy fall-behind who trophies pain so I can pick it up and look at it later. That's fine. I'm sure you don't mind; I'm just making you look better.

I heard once that if you're too dense to pick up the lesson the first time, God or the universe will teach you again, and again, and again, until you get it. I think I'm dense. Unless the lesson is: goodness, kindness, gentleness and justice mean nothing in this world's economy. I've picked that one up, by now.

In all likelihood, the second part of the lesson is this: Be good, kind, just and gentle anyway.

This is hard. I do not want to do this. I do not want to continue building to code if the bulldozers are still driving around with their eyes closed. By compulsion though, I still try. I still try even though I can see those wreckers trundling over mindlessly. I would like it to matter that I try.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

I love you every day

I try to explain it, but it really doesn't work that well. How much I love you, that is. I feel like you'll never fully know. You frame my poems and you melt me with your buttery brown eyes and you say I won't know either, how much you love me. This is a good place to be, and I know this. But I still wish I could tell you.

I love you every day. It breaks my heart to know I've been an idiot, and anxious, and scared, and in the greatest irony of my life time, have, by my own faulted hand, tainted the truth. Of how much I love you, that is. Of how good you are. How unequivocally good, and kind, and truthful, and patient, and undeserved.

I can not get enough of you. Sometimes I think I'll burst open if I go there, to the depths where my love for you is rooted. But when I get down there I see it: I'm not myself anymore. I'm a new thing, wholly entwined, completely attached, totally one, one hundred percent yours. It scares me, in the way something wretched must shrink back at the sight of God. I know this love, I've seen it, in the northern lights, in sunrise, in newborn babes and forest fires. And now, even moreso, in my love for you. It's all consuming, it overtakes the heart, awakens my world.

I love you, and those three words feel very little.

Friday, February 12, 2016


from instagram

I heard someone say this a couple of days ago: "I give mercy, not justice, because it has been given to me." So often I am caught up in trying to make sure things are right! or fair! and forget, entirely, to be merciful. Yet I am often unfair, unjust, and wrong, and still demand the good things come my way; I beg forgiveness when I will not give it; I ask for grace and in turn, respond in graceless wonder. Mercy, though. Mercy grounds. It is by Grace I have been saved, and Mercy that I am not left to wander. It is Mercy which allows my plank-filled eyes to see, sorrowed heart again to breathe, broken legs to stand. Mercy has been given to me. I cannot explain it, could not justify for you how or when it lands, will not be able to describe the feeling of Mercy in my dying hands. So I will give it, and Mercy, doing what Mercy does best, will go on from here. It will meet you. In dying hours and feeble attempts, it will meet you. Accept grace, give mercy. This is living.