Friday, June 27, 2008

wesley moment

The Wesley Covenant:
It is agreed by us whose names are underwritten to:
that we will not listen or willingly inquire after any ill concerning each other;
that if we do hear any ill of each other, we will not be forward to believe it;
that as soon as possible we will communicate what we hear
by speaking or writing to the person concerned;
that until we have done this,
we will not write or speak a syllable of it to any person whatsoever;
that neither will we mention it, after we have done this, to any other person;
that we will not make any exception to any of these rules,
unless we think ourselves absolutely obliged to do so.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

clinging moment

living in a land of deep shadows
at the edge of the wingspan of a raging river

I have come to learn
I have come to lean and love

there is noise
but everything is quiet
as I press through
and touch the seamless garment of silence

night is leaving

I stand on the shore and watch
feeling the weight of my life
begin to drop
and I realize why dawn
is called mourning

the rocks echo ancient rhythms
heat slams into my skin

and I remain upright
solely because clinging to a cross
are the tendrils of my being

Thursday moment

we are born
to develop
in the sometimes rugged earth
of our families

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

mirror moment

I had a dream last night
of a man
and a boy
standing side by side
looking at one another
in a mirror
the man seeing what he had been
the boy seeing what he will become
and I wept for all the boys
looking into a mirror
with no dad looking back

Monday, June 23, 2008

Saturday moment

while the land was still enveloped in an early morning fog
there was a rap rap rap on the door

our neighbour
looking for coffee and company

and so
while nibbling on still warm muffins
and watching the steam curl up from our cups
we sat by the water
comfortable in silence

and then his story
chapter by chapter
came out

this man is now 77 years young
born in Austria
he came to Canada in his late teens
to work on the pipe line

a true self made man
little formal education
his hands capable of doing almost anything

he fell in love with Canada
specifically the lake we both now share

he married
a girl from his Austrian home town
they had two sons

his wife was never happy here
soon she and the boys went back to Austria
and he followed to care for them ...........

but his heart remained in this land

and so even now
at the age of seventy-seven
he still comes back
every summer
for three months ......

every log of his cottage
selected and put in his place himself

every stone in his garden
selected and put in place himself

the building looks very Austrian
in this very Canadian spot

and this sometimes gruff
rough edged man
five years ago
became our neighbour

this is the one who led me to the poustinia

he opened the first page of his story

his mother worked as a maid
for a wealthy family in Germany
the son of this family became attracted to her
and she found herself pregnant
the family kicked her out
the son would have nothing to do with her

she somehow made her way back to Austria
where she gave birth to a baby boy

at three days
she gave her baby away to a farmer and his wife

and now seventy-seven years later
this man/child
sitting beside me
is weeping with all the "nevers" in his life

the touch of his mother
words of love
of acceptance
of well done
the hug of a dad
the name of his father

the farmer family fed him
clothed him
worked him
but were unable to love him

never receiving love
he has never learned how to give love

and my heart broke
at the seventy-seven years without love

so I shared the absolute fact that he had a Father
who loved him
who accepted him
who wanted him

the coffee and muffins long finished
he now feasted on the love of a Father

and this man
became a boy
listening to his Dad
loved by his Father

and the fog lifted
as the SON shone

Friday, June 20, 2008

come moment


I felt His nearness

awed by His beauty
trembling at His majesty
I fell to my knees at His holiness

‘Come to me’ He said

I could not move
bound by who I am

‘Come to me’

I still could not move
bound by who I had been

He stretched out His Hands
and I saw the scars

He moved closer
and I saw His pierced feet

He bent towards me
and I saw His eyes

‘It is done’ He whispered

He helped me up
and set me free

insightful moment

we are never captured by another's intimidation
but only by our own fear

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

pierced moment

there are times
you can only reach out
through a broken pane/pain
in the window of life
and hang onto
the pierced Hand

Monday, June 16, 2008

anonymous moment

"I screamed at God for all the starving children,
and then I realized
that all of the starving children
were God screaming at me." -

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday moment

like an unfinished painting
a song not yet sung
a dream still in the foggy recesses of the unseen
a life ending yet barely begun
an unformed hope
a dance waiting for its rhythm
arms full yet empty
wrapped in a sigh
so wide it would fill the universe
I wait
in silent stillness
noting the storm
the fire
the earthquake
listening for the whisper

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

email moment

You do not know who I am, and I have never met you, but a friend of mine told me he has been greatly helped by your wisdom and he gave me your address and urged me to write. I trust you will read this email and give me some answers.
I am writing to you because my Christian life is a disaster and I have nowhere to turn. I am in a position of leadership in my church and if I shared with the pastor or any other deacons the way my life is, I do not know what would happen. I know I would no longer be welcome in the church. I pray you will read this and be able to help me.
Let me say upfront that if you saw me in the context of the church, in the weekly meetings, in social gatherings with other church members or teaching my adult Sunday school class, you would never imagine that I am not the person you see.
I did not set out to be a hypocrite. From the very first I gave my very best to live for Jesus. I have disciplined myself to pray every day and read and even memorize scripture. I honestly set out every week to live for Jesus. But I fail every time. The life that my family and the people I work with see is very different from the one that is portrayed before the church. I have a terrible temper that I cannot control however much I try. I wrestle every day with lustful thoughts and when I am out of town on business I watch pornographic movies in the hotel room. I have a brother I have not spoken to in twenty years and cannot bring myself to forgive because of a betrayal of confidence that deeply hurt me. If Christianity is loving as Jesus loved then count me out.
But above all I do not love God; I do not find joy in prayer or bible reading - it is something I do because I have been told that it will nurture my Christian life. But my heart is not in keeping His commands and being with Him; in fact there are times I have to admit that I envy the world - they look a lot happier than I ever feel.
Maybe I have continued to live this way for the past ten years because in the church I can get by with a veneer that satisfies my peers and leaders. You know what I mean by veneer - the rules of the subculture we evangelicals are part of. I went over them the other day. We are the people who do not do certain things; we do not go to certain places; we do not smoke or drink liquor, nor do we dress like the world, especially our poor women! As long as I keep these rules everyone thinks I am a great Christian.
But in the last weeks I have faced myself and realized that the Bible primarily addresses my thoughts, motives, and relationships not so much the lists that I spend my life trying to keep that have been given by the church. Above all it commands me to love God and delight in Him, to obey His commands out of love for Him.
I miserably fail. The truth is I do not love God. It would be more correct to say that I am afraid of Him and go to church and pray because I am afraid if I do not, I will go to hell. I look around at the others in my church, even my friends, and wonder if they are living in the same craziness that I am - and why not? They do not know what I am really like. Do they scream at their kids and sneak pornography when no one is watching? Do they go through all the words and motions on Sunday while their hearts are untouched and without love for God? Is their religious life like mine, just a millimeter thick mask over the real person underneath?
There have been times when I think that I have had an experience of God. At special meetings when hands have been laid on me I have felt a warm glow inside, the flickering of a joy that has lasted for a couple of weeks and I have wondered if that is how real Christians feel all the time. At times I have heard a message that lays out a formula for living as a victorious Christian and I have tried it, but it feels artificial when I try to live it out with the guys at the office. All my spurts of hope that I can live this life are dead ends and leave me in greater despair than before.
In the last weeks I have looked at myself and evaluated what my life is really like. It has left me in utter despair. This letter is my last attempt to ask someone I can trust if the Christian life can be lived by ordinary people like my friends and me. Tell me honestly, is it for a few unusual people who do not have the desires that we have, who really do hate the world and love God? And if it is for everyone, then is there something I have missed. Is there a level of dedication or an experience I need to have that will finally get me living the Christian life? Or is my life as I have tried to describe it to you as good as it gets?
If my experience of Christianity is as good as it gets then I will quietly walk away from it all. I can no longer live a life that is so incredibly shallow and meaningless. Please be honest with me - if you tell me that this is the way Christianity really works out in practice I will not tell anyone you said so; I will burn your response and drop out. There is a Bible study and prayer meeting at the church tonight and I do not want to go; in fact I have no interest in being there. If I go, it is because I do not want to go through the hassle of being asked by the pastor why I was not there or of having my friends think I am backsliding. But I think I will stay home because I am sick of this game. Please answer me and be honest with me, whatever the answer is.
Thank you.