Unsay Me

Unsay me
Uncall my name
Unbraid this coil of hair
Unspeak these things
Unspell these words
Untie this knot
Unhand me, fear
Unbreakable Love
Unquenchable fire
Undo this curse
Under this tree
Unbearable pain
You spoke for me.

A Terrible Christian

The essay appeared to be heartfelt–urging people to brook the barriers of their resistance to organized religion and find a church, any church…because churches do good things.

Do they?

I spent the better part of my (Christian) life believing this. I still do, generally, on principal.

There was one thing missing from the impassioned church essay. One Person, actually.

You should go to church to see Jesus.

You should do everything to see Jesus.

“Christian” means “little Christ.” What happens to us when we excise Christ from our identity? All that is left is the “little” in us.

It is not easy to follow Jesus. Recently I gave a dramatic depiction of Jesus to someone who would definitely identify as a believer. This person rejected my gift with forthright disgust.

Did not actually watch the DVD….

I thought, huh…not an unusual reaction really.

How many of us would dare stand at the foot of his disfiguring Cross? How many of us have the courage to identify with our naked, broken, bloodied Savior?

I am a terrible Christian, unwashed and unlovely. But no one said redemption would be pretty.

Just absolutely essential for life
Eternal life.

The Alabaster Jar: what we used to be

The story goes like this:

A woman who owes a great debt to Jesus takes her expensive dowry perfume and breaks it, then pours it over his head.

The scent wafts throughout the house. Beautiful, costly, extravagant.

She weeps and wipes his feet with her tears.

Humbling, intimate, kinda embarrassing.

Onlookers don’t get it.

Jesus does. He is the ultimate gift of love, she responds with the next dearest thing she possesses.

Because he has returned life to her.

Because he has redeemed her soul.

We have an impulse to scramble either to embrace or evade the expectations of our “love holiday.”

Perhaps we don’t need to do either.

Perhaps we already possess the most priceless gift of love–a perfume born of sacrifice and redemption.

More satisfying than chocolate, far more enduring than cut blooms.

The cost and burden of love is a Man who pours out the only life he has for us.

I have a theory about all of this–overpriced roses, fancy chocolates, even costly French perfumes are all nice, but the real symbols of love are often more like the tears at his feet–baby wipes, paper towels, mops, and detergent.

Often it is the daily, ordinary sacrifices we make, the humble and invisible things we do without any glory whatsoever, which in the end define love…

in the shadow of his Cross.

Exercising Ghosts

I often tell myself–don’t write in the wee hours of the morning.

But I still do. Because I am a ghost. I am the only kind of ghost I believe in–a human, ordinary human, haunted by the past.

Losses of the past. No one is haunted by the gains, the victories, the trophies.

No.

We are haunted by the what-ifs, would have beens, and hairpin turns on dark highways.

I have been a ghost since 1998 when I lost Veronica.

I began to rattle my chains in 2009 when I lost a slew of other people.

Also ghosts, all of them.

I say all of this because tomorrow I will exercise my ghost. Myself.

I will run, jump, and glide in order to remind myself of the very most fundamental lesson of metaphysics–

How we live matters
How we die matters more
And how we live again: most of all.

There are no ghosts in heaven
You must wake
To get there.

I bet you think hell..

Is a place of great
And universally unpleasant activity
A mine of infinite sorrow and regret
Or the ordinary home of men like Stalin and Hitler
Locked in an endless game of twister
Or country and western karaoke

But what if you are wrong?
And it is this instead–
The nightmare we have all had once
We are the supine
We scream
We try to scream
But there is no sound
No noise comes out of our fire-
Parched throats
Utterly helpless
Crave even Hiroshima rain
Forever.