Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oh That Christmas Were Real

Angels in the House

There are nine orders of angels, to wit, angels, archangels, virtues, powers, principalities, dominations, thrones, cherubim, seraphim.
Billy Graham

Christians must separate the world of imagination from the imaginal world. There are things that are indeed imaginary. However, to know the world at all we must imagine. It is this function of the soul that brings to life the imaginal world that I am referring to in this blog. It is through the lens of our imaginal faculties that we experience the divine. In fact, it is through the imaginal muscles of consciousness that we even regard our experience as real and present.

In a conversation about angels one might ask up front if I think angels are real. This means that asking questions about whether something is real means asking what one means when they use the world “real.” The word real is used generally to imply tangibility both in a literal sense and in a scientific sense. Anyone should be able to experience something that is real for it exists outside the mind. It is concretely observable and always static in its nature and experiential engagement. If one cannot expereince it through the senses in an objective manner, it is "not real."

To believers real is what our faith animates and empowers as handed down through the great story called Scripture and Church history. It is clear that our brothers and sisters have known of and experienced angels for some time. Through the eyes of faith the grand story of Scripture jumps off the page and into our hearts. It is through this capacity to have a felt knowing and seeing that this blog on angels appeared. However, so as not to distance myself from the supernatural nature of their appearing, let me say that I do not separate the natural and super natural worlds from one another. There is only one world. By God’s grace, the story of my brothers and sisters who have come before, and their sense that indeed angels are in our midst, allows me to talk with such seeming abandon and a possible air of wackiness. But..For those who know me…there you go.

I am convinced that there are indeed angels. They are unseen for good reasons. Only faith senses their presence. They are God's emissaries to the weak, to those who greatly anticipate the ushering in of the Kingdom. These winged creatures do indeed guard us but not merely from the fallen powers of this world. We as believers get sick, get hit by cars, suffer at the hands of dictators and tyrants and fall prey to the fallen world. What angels do is protect our hearts from becoming part of the cynical world of greed and avarice. Remember the Scriptures about "gaining the whole world and losing your soul," or "It is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." We gloss over these but Jesus was serious for He knew the power of desire. He knew we were initially created to desire more than this world could ever offer. Thus, we want what we can't have. Everything!

To experience angelic presences is only possible to those who become profoundly innocent. This does not mean sinless or perfect. It means totally dependent upon the intervention of God to sustain one rather than our own acumen, cleverness, and calculation. Most of us cannot remain in this state of innocence very long for it is too costly emotionally to encounter the forces just outside this place of the heart. This place is the last gate before death and life. There is a whirlwind of doubt, fear, and despair directly at the entry point of divine innocence. All dross of the soul flows to our heart and we are overwhelmed by our seeming distance from God.

Just before the angels appear, the abyss opens up and two voices begin to speak. One is shrill and life draining. This voice mocks our desire to know and enter the Kingdom and drowns out our ability to be present, much like a large airplane sound. However, now all the other senses are in a heightened state. If we sit long enough in the presence of this overwhelming siren sound, it begins to fade and we begin to hear another sound. In fact, this other sound is orchestral in its substance. It takes us up and out into a seemingly different realm and allows for us to have a felt knowing. In this felt knowing we now see these winged creatures. We are not seeing them with our eyes, however. This is all seen only through the lens of faith. These angels are not anything like words or metaphors have described them for language is an inadequate container and pitiful cipher for transcendence.

Although not God, these creatures do His bidding and have been sent to show us His heart, give us direction, and reveal His glory. Gabriel is a messenger angel remember so his entanglement in warfare ( getting through the barriers of doubt and fear) causes God to seem absent. There is great warfare going on in this world right now. But....they are moving amongst us.

Here are poems that honor this presence.

From the movie The Mission

Gabriel’s Oboe & the Musical Warrior Angels
Te Deum Guarani

The Father’s opus is faintly heard
On this side of the veil
For it is being played by covert operatives
Warrior-like minstrel angels on an unseen mission
Out of sight & sound to those
Who might attempt to coop these graces

These guardian emissaries
Using only beauty as their bow
Openly bestow these rapturous sounds
Daily on those about to enter the coming Kingdom
This is the national anthem of paradise
This composition accompanies
Each new long lost member of this new family
As they run to the Father’s ultimate embrace

These angels
Are the only one’s willing to go into
The dark brothels of New Delhi
The prisons of Guantanamo
The sex slaves transfers in Darfur
The mosques and churches
Of charlatans and cyanide paranoids
The shadowy back room dealings of corporate America
The filthy convalescent homes
Profiting from the final days of our elders
The suburban sprawl of resignation and desire
To busy to pause for love’s concerto

So these angels play for scale
No residuals
No ownership
All is public domain here

This masterpiece
Performed by seasoned winged creatures
Plays round the clock
Heard by those who stand just outside this emerging age
And greatly await this dispensation of an all encompassing grace
For this in their only portion
Their solitary delight
Their final threshold
Their wonderfully anticipated moment of divine welcoming

Oh that Christmas Were Real!

In its absence
I came upon a room
A room full of angels
Sitting bored and unnecessary
Smoking Pall Malls
Playing cards
Waiting on the cynic

All these grand creatures
Feathers of trust and truth
Were folded and put away
Because of undue holiday nostalgia
Standing at the door
I felt compelled to weep aloud
In hopes the winged creatures
Would see their awful estate
But I am mute
For this room is my heart
My protectors have been grounded due to my fear
The fear these messengers have no word for me
So this absence is my dismissal
Still uncomfortably drawn into their presence
I reluctantly enter the room
Nearly choking on the smoke
I walk amidst the angels as though invisible
Just a few steps into the space
Nearly inaudible
I hear this chanting
This is no trance
Cast upon these beings
They see me clearly
They are merely waiting
Waiting for my return
I stop and look down at one herald
His gaze transfixes mine
His very countenance alive with awakening
Startles me into this beautiful surprise
So I am Christmas
I did not know
And now the absence begins to speak
Be not afraid
I bring you tidings of great joy
You have been missed
Now go and tell others
I so hungered for this blessing!

The Color of Soul Making

Blue fire
Slipped into my room last night
Sighed heavily
Illuminated my labored breathing
And the shallow rise and fall of sorrow’s chest
As if both color and flame could speak
Their words came forth
“We are your indigo angels.
In this place most call a desert
Your sister the white Iris blooms
In this dryness the soul flowers
Reverie fills the darkened cobalt horizon
Lovers held in suspension
Melt into each other
And weep with longing
Here imagination burns a cerulean glow
Melancholy marries Kandinsky
And all this pondering rekindles
A thousand years of exile
In the unreflective underworld of black and white.”

Gabriel’s All Girl Choir

I could scream
I could cry
I could run a naked mile till exhausted
Running headlong into my empty estate
Now, emptied
Not one weighty needless worry
Still remains on my back
Now with grass and stones still stuck to my forehead
I role over
With arms outstretched I sing
Sing into the universe
Sing until I’m hoarse
And she is listening
I hear this hum hum humming
This love love loving
I don’t care whose name she offers up to me
I am still amazed that in this cage of life

I can still hear her singing me home
Calling me home
Loving me home
So if this space between us
Is a random toss at best
Between the earth and the galaxies I cannot count
Much more an oddity to me than a prison of my making
Is this song that fashions my darkness into this melody of hope
And it is sufficient to sing away the nothingness
That mocks the mystery
And denies the irresistible longing for the song
So let the chorus begin…..

How to Paint a Miracle

First you take the vapor like membrane between realms
And ever so slowly
Pull it away from the soul
Hold it up to the sun
Make sure it is a day
Clear and warm with light
To the left of the entire sky
Outside the world’s frame
St. Francis is singing
You will not hear the melody
But its colors will resonate
With your outstretched soul
Move your hands away from your sides
And prepare to be stigmatized
From the wounds
Azure blue will pour
Retain this sound
For it is both tragic and glorious
Only the red finch
Was made aware of this revealing
He is so delighted and will
Trumpet your ecstasy
As you arise from this enlargement
Pay close attention to the sounds
Of trees and stones directly in your purview
Tears will flow freely
At first this may feel disquieting
Do not be afraid
Angels are withholding nothing
From this unveiling
As you see now you know
It is good
These witnesses are sacraments
And along with azure blue offer themselves up
The veil is now removed……….Your miracle may now be painted

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Balzac and the Ban on Books Part 3

When Stories are Kept Hidden out of Fear

I believe our task is to develop a moral and aesthetic imagination deep enough and wide enough to encompass the contradictions of our time and history, the tremendous loss and tragedy as well as greatness and nobility, an imagination capable of recognizing that where there is light there is shadow, that out of hubris and fall can come moral regeneration, out of suffering and death, resurrection and rebirth. Richard Tarnas

The last few centuries have fostered philosophical conundrums that are definitely downers at the weekend pub exchange. Who wants to bring up the spiritual malaise of countless friends within our small clique of friends let alone the countries throughout the world that are going through massive shifts in how they configure and understand the world? For many, a return to ancient ways and times is the simple answer. God is displeased and sacrifices must be made. Infidels are amongst us and must be punished and true believers must rise up. This of course is a highly simplistic rendering of a much more complicated issue but neo-fundamentalism has become a force in many countries where technology and the inclosing world have proven to be more than problematic. They appear to threaten the very underpinnings of a civilization.

Anyone traveling overseas understands that much of the products the Americas send overseas are media and entertainment oriented. These products are in many ways narrative salvos across the bough of cultures that here to fore knew nothing of these fables. The self made man, the romantic love interest, the dumb and dumber clown that is there for our mocking, the greed that is sanctified through the wounds that lead the antagonist there in the first place, are all novel expressions of being human in these first and second world countries. Many of these metaphors were nonexistent to these people groups or were couched in much more uncontaminated and societally sanctioned settings.

In the wonderful film "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress," by Dai Sijie, two boys in their late teens are sent to a small mountain village to be re-educated during the Cultural Revolution. They both fall in love with an old tailor's grand daughter who is known as the little seamstress. During the internment the boys discover a stash of books one of their fellow bourgeois transplants has hidden away. They steal the books and begin to read to the young girl. She falls in love with Balzac out of all the choices primarily due to the shear freedom of soul she finds in his writings.

We in the West are so deluged with books and art in the after math of many years of free speech we are unable to detect a good read from a bad. Could our intellectual oppression actually be more of the type of barbituated presumption predicted in the writings of men like Aldous Huxley in Brave New World? We now have so much freedom we deem our ability to form new stores an entitlement, thus, we do not read. This is not due to some ban on books but a ban on the intrinsic power of the soul to hunger after the beauty of images and metaphors . We are deadened to the power of story. We are emptied of our need to expand our very being through the sway and vigor of language and heart felt accounts of the universe written by our fellow planet mates. Are we not interned as well?

Who would have predicted that a young girl in the far reaches of rural China would fall into the metaphoric arms of Balzac and begin to re-name her own experience as real and true. Balzac, known for a kind of post-romantic realism brought to his readers a desire to offer a perspective on his characters that allowed them to be seen as real; capable of both good and evil. This glimpse into the characters of men and women of Paris during the early nineteenth century jumped off the page of this banned book over one century later in the outback of China and moved this young girl to see beyond her village, to dream beyond her current life.

Let’s not fool ourselves. Many a young person was punished or killed for this kind of risk taking during the cultural revolution. Why? Grand meta-narratives were colliding. Old stories or oppressive ways of naming were in control. These were as much wars over stories as they were over nation states and resources.

Those unsettling times of great transition regarding our foundational accounts of life and truth are not battles fought once and for all. These wars rage on and on. Many believers feel as though they are in an intervening time as well. So much of what we thought we knew seems to have evaporated. So much of what we regarded as firm and genuine is now on shaking ground. During these story wars, or as many have called culture wars, we are “in-between” stories. Whose story will win? Whose story is the most powerful to define and a refine the conundrums of life? Whose story resonates deepest with the cavern like recesses of the human heart?

Research seems to indicate that one actuality lives inside of their account of reality. Experience places us in mundane day to day stories that we tell ourselves so the world seems to cohere and make sense. On a much deeper level we have sacred stories that are not religious in an explicit sense but are sacred in that they offer up levels of meaning that allow us to navigate the vicissitudes of life. Some who study the brain and thought feel that stories may actually be consciousness itself. In other words, we may be aware of what we deem reality by virtue of the stories we tell ourselves about reality. Hence, stories by their nature create the world. Not that they are creation stories in a religious sense but that they create the world of consciousness and the personhood or self that lives inside that story and inhabits it.

This understanding as to consciousness is different than many psychological readings on consciousness. Most compartmentalize our sense of being human inside a number of neurological and even chemical responses to stimuli. They determine that we are really biological machines that configure and manifest life as a byproduct of our biology merely responding to the outside world. Narrative theories seem to offer up a much more metaphorical construction. In this understanding we name and embody our world. I am the story I tell myself about myself.

Psycho-drama experts tell us that asking a person “Who told you that about yourself?” is key in the deconstruction of dangerous and unhealthy stories about oneself. We learn about life and ourselves from what and how others name us. In our early years of childhood we are at the whim and whimsy of elders who could tell us anything about ourselves. We hear of horrendous memories from individuals who were told highly toxic things about themselves. Years later that story is almost some kind of mobius strip that plays over and over again inside the mind. The dismantling and rewriting of that story cannot be done alone. No amount of positive thinking or recitation of some positive mantra will release a story that is so deeply embedded in one’s consciousness. In fact, the earlier it was deposited, the difficulty involved in disengaging it is daunting and the expertise in dislodging it and retelling it is not for the faint of heart.

What is my current story? Where did it come from? What will the new story be? How do I begin to write that saga? If this formation of consciousness is possible, then the nature of the stories we tell ourselves now become much more significant to our sense of living in this world. Contemporary popular psychologies have grabbed hold of this tendency to be able to “speak” our existence into being and have made the power of words and narratives supernatural in their ability to create our world from our thinking. This is a sinister plot twist, however, as the study of narratives on the development of consciousness is not as simple as speaking some mantra of prosperity, wealth and health over yourself. In fact, this idea that the self alone can alter the very nature of reality is its ultimate flaw. Stories are never created nor sustained by the individual. We are a peopled story by the nature of our imbededness in time and space. We are all telling stories together at the same time. Occasionally we listen and incorporate each other in love. That is the Kingdom way of story telling. There is a grand narrative. We do not and can not write this story alone.

My Story Trumps Your Story Part 2

When the Plot Needs a Re-Write

It is the process of writing and life that matters. We are trying to become sane along with our poems and stories. Natalie Goldberg

With the advent of the global village, a phrase coined by Marshal McLuhan, we are discovering that we can no longer be mute to the varied stories in our world that conflict or strongly attack our own accounts. The proximity of the web and the day to day barrage of pictures and sound from the media have forced their way into our minds and there is no turning back. The phrase "what you don’t know can hurt you" could also have added "but what you do know can hurt you more." The daily litany of horrors and banality cling to our souls like existential Velcro and even mindless entertainment only dulls the chatter for a brief period of time. We are now to close to the sounds of “the other” to ignore his or her voice and chronicle of life. I cannot afford to have a story that excludes others.

For many, this entourage of reports from the edges of the world is used to quicken deeply held beliefs that these people may indeed deserve these atrocities. Tribalism is alive and well and even white collars will not remove the war paint hidden in the heart. If we live in a global village, is it possible the resources are limited and if so how far must I go to protect mine? When does all the information cease to inform and now only confuses or reinforces the exclusion of "the other"?

Part of the challenge of competing stories is the need for points of reference. When and where do we come together and agree? When and where do we disagree and what does that look like? It is highly threatening to discover that others not only disagree with our story but have thought deeply about the same issues and have come up with an entirely different set of cosmic answers. Without a dialogue with "the other" we are prone to demonize the person because their story represents what is wrong with the world. Their story challenges our moral and spiritual values as well as our understanding of how government and society should be lived out. It can also be something as silly amd banal as commentaries on music and films we love or hate. How dare these people assess our world and find it lacking? How presumptuous for someone to call me a bigot, a radical, or left wing or a right wing extremist and not even talk to me before I am named. Now, with Muslim fundamentalsim we have the pathological condemnations of “the other” who desires to see our very presence wiped off the face of the earth. These ideologies and sentiments are varied and nuanced in their degree of impact on us but they deeply impact our own sense of continuity and meaning. In the end we find ourselves asking, "Why can’t everyone leave my story alone? "

Ironically this barrage of differing narratives now begins to erode our own personal sense of confidence in our way of seeing the world. The attacks or even occasional engagements with those that differ now begin to make us wonder. Could I be wrong? Are my long held beliefs and sacred stories really as silly and lifeless as these people rage? These moments of self reflective doubt are seldom if ever repeated inside or outside our heads and hearts for they represent the beginning of truly looking at our own story. These questions will surely open pandora's box.

As the shear amount of grand narratvies cascade over each other via the web and media, it becomes clearer and clearer how muddy our hearts and minds have become when it involves an over arching story. We, and I speak as if I am talking for humankind right now (a lofty almost silly assertion), have outgrown our older stories and in our looking for new ones have yet to find any worth saving to our favorite sites if you will. We are a world in search of a new way of seeing and naming ourselves.

Because all encompassing overarching stories (meta narratives) are not in vogue in academia or artistic circles, the tendency has been to go deeper into the story of self. Let’s peel away the skin of the onion and see just what resides at its core. This process seems to have yielded little as the onion appears to merely be an onion. We were in hopes this search for the self would uncover the long ago forgotten code that realized the power to reign in the universe and hold the malaise at bay. But on the contrary, our search for the “core” of self has only revealed how unable an individual is to assess his or her own experience let alone offer up the deep answers to life’s ongoing conundrums.

The story of self, as meaningful and as necessary as it appears to humankind's understanding of being human, has built in limitations in its ability to form a larger narrative. In fact, the very idea of "the self" has arrived on the scene fairly late in the history of intellectual history. The self is a self. It cannot and will not see outside its borders unless it collaborates with other stories. Left to its own narrative devices, the self becomes grandiose and absorbed. Sequestered in the machinations of the unquestioned mind, the self dreams of glory and dishonor simultaneously and offers up the glory of transcendence on one hand while robbing the other of his or her glory on the other hand. This is paradoxical. We have created a way of seeing and naming that have penned a story which is now inhabitable. Many appear to be storyless and yet fulll of self.

To write our story we must have degree of narrative input from our own personal narrative (i.e the self). However, we are in times where the exalted account of the isolated self is not only limited and flat but dangerous and unreflective. The world can no longer sustain itself on the accumulation of self absorbed hearsay of the glorified ego. This world cannot be about each individual getting what they want or even deserve. Sounds good on Oprah, but in truth, my search for fulfillment may indeed rob you of your search for actualization. We have been offered a path of fulfillment that is proving to be the very road to destruction we have feared. We are following each other into the abyss of self fulfillment and development. We need a bigger story. We need one that invites all to the table to share their part of the ever changing all inclusive story. This is challenging. Stories written in collaboration are full or re-writes, long conversations about the meaning of words and the intentions of the heart. This will take time. We must take the time.
We must begin to write these stories together. As Christians we may just have inherited through the incarnation a unique posture for engaging the storytelling challenge. God must have known we would want our re-writes.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

For Those in Search of a Story Part 1

No story is the same to us after a lapse of time; or rather we who read it are no longer the same interpreters. George Eliot

Everyone loves a good story. From holiday memories of old Uncle Herbie exaggerating the family into hysterics to midnight fright night legends that scare us silly; we all love a good story. Stories hold the mystery together. They are not really about being right or wrong as much as they are about people and places, about how the world seems to be at certain times. Some stories we remember and retell them over and over again. These usually have something to do with clan or kin or some horrendous tragedy or likewise some outstandingly wonderful windfall. We want to remember those moments when the universe deemed to speak to us, to tell us it was aware of our presence. Most of the time the story of life is lost in mundane activities which even in moments of hyperbole just don’t sound all that exciting.

And yet there is a story that runs much deeper through our hearts that reveals something about how we see ourselves and others. It is a story that also reveals our role as the omniscient author. We are all writing a novel in which we are the protagonist or antagonist. In this story we are offered a set of options and as best we can we engage the role with a MacGyver like zeal. Sometimes things appear to work out and we feel vindicated and even celebrated. Other times we hope the episode is lost in the archives and never to dawn the door of reruns again.

The choice of reruns and their viewing, however, seems not to be some arbitrary choice we get to make. The hiding away of stories we find unpleasant or shaming cannot kill our role and our authorship in the scripting of this fiction. In fact, it is the stories we so disparately attempt to hide that are often the one’s that fuel the chapters and episodes we offer up for viewing to the world and our friends. It is like a film with missing scenes or a book with missing chapters. It is the missing chapters that I will be addressing in the next few blogs. We all have those missing Nixon tapes somewhere in our archives.

It is believed that what is not said may very well be as important as or more so than what is said. Why is the clandestine so revealing? Why are our omissions so full of meaning? James Hollis said that, “The healing of the world is in what we do not want others to know about ourselves.” Why is this silence or missing information so vital to knowing who we are and what our lives are attempting to say?

Entire schools of therapy have centered on the unsaid or hidden slips one makes when discussing his or her life. It is as if much of our life is unknown and buried to even us. This cryptic hiddeness is seldom addressed for its very presence is mysterious and enigmatic. How do we describe what our own heart and tongue will not address? How do we name what we will not even speak allowed or even let flow into our awareness?

Could it be this silence about our own hiddeness is actually a deeper reflection of something we feel about life itself? Are the deeper questions of life still unanswered to us? Are the mysteries of life still alive and well in our hearts and yet we are expected day after day to operate as if the world of the unknown and the mysterious are only for philosophers and saints? Are we unwittingly ask to act as if this big story were easily downloaded as spiritual "Cliff Notes?"

Yet this kind of opting out of the deeper questioning is not working or even possible for those who are seeking. The hidden parts are hidden because we choose not to search our hearts. The silence remains deafening because we fill it up with the din of busyness and self absorption. At some level we are all practical mystics. Life gave us this pen and we are writing. Some of our manuscripts are lost from the frenzy of sorrow and happenstance while others are purposely secreted away from all observers. There are stories half written and plays offered up only to the gods. Why all the covert hiding of these messages from the soul?

There are so many answers in life that are attainable and accessible. With the advent of the Internet many conundrums regarding health, wealth, theories, philosophies and such are only a few clicks away. We are all able to do research on the quandaries of life with great flare. However, most of these quandaries are not existential in nature yet they often plague us day to day and I for one am grateful for the avalanche of accessible knowledge.

Knowledge and knowing, however, may actually be different things. I can obtain and record much information that one might call knowledge. But if I were to ask how one knows something then the puzzled look comes over a person’s face. What does one mean when they ask “How does one know something?” We have assumed for centuries that the gathering of information, the testing of certain problems and questions, and the recording of those results, always arrive at some form of concrete knowing. This process that happens day and in and day would lead one to believe that what we know and how we know are the same thing. Is it possible they are not? And how would the issue of how we know impact the way we form stories and retell them to others.

There are many stories that exist in the world. The one about my flat tire has a degree of importance in my life but does not resonate in its impact like the death of my father. The account of my run in with the police while speeding does not weigh in as powerfully as the chronicle of my great grandparents coming over through Ellis Island. Stories have different degrees of narrative power based on their impact on my humanness. I am formed by stories and some reflect upon my life in a much deeper more profound manner.

We are living in times where the shear amount of stories is overwhelming. As the web offers up more and more conspiracy theories and film and TV push the mundane and glorious into our consciousness, the library of stories grows and grows until, much like the little boy in the Never Ending Story, we are all looking for the magic book, the ultimate story that frees the secret, unlocks the mystery, and demystifies what mystics have kept shrouded for centuries.

In recent months, the book The Secret has gained gargantuan proportions. Oprah Winfrey’s fickle hand of fate can do that in a world of media giants but why that book and not another? It is clear that we are all looking for some magnificent legend that forms and informs our deeper parts. We long for the wonderfully woven fairy tale that makes sense of it all.

As believers, we are part of a grand narrative. Yet for many of us, even that story has come under scrutiny and deconstruction. Even that story has been offered up to pundits, charlatans, and fear mongers. Many of us feel storyless. It is for the storyless for which I compose. It is for those who sense they are in-between stories that I put pen to the paper. But this story is not just mine to write nor interpret. It is indeed a never ending story of which we all play a part. Let us seek the emerging grander narrative in concert. Let us compose together.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Divine Consolation

To be Enlarged by Need

It is one thing to see the weak, appreciate their status, and pray for their condition. It is entirely a different proposition to actually be counted amongst the weak. To count ourselves amongst the weak is to walk the journey of descent. To be the weak is to allow the glorious shining sun of our egos to fall from the sky and watch all our attempts at Godlike status to be erased by the shear whimsy of the universe.

In recent years God has called many of us to not merely expose our weakness but to walk in the humility that comes from our weakness finally being a grace and not a burden. This means we must not merely share our tendencies towards human frailty and failure but our total inability to accomplish what our destiny demands. We are called to be what only God can accomplish in us. The process is ultimately hindered when we engage life from our positions of strength (i.e. self sufficiency & accomplishments)

Jesus tells us over and over again that the weak see things the strong do not. The weak will inherit much in the coming Kingdom. The weak represent a posture and disposition of the soul that allows for the Spirit of God to truly reign. When the Kingdom reigns inwardly we do not merely acknowledge the poor but see all states of sufficiency as roadblocks to this divinely ushered in new way called the Kingdom reign. When walking in and under the Kingdom rule we offer up our neediness and weakness as signs of faith. We understand that God is indeed interested and does not merely feign our essential humanity but created us thusly.

As life unfolds much of our fears and concerns center around our ability to stand up to what seems to be required. So much of life appears to demand more than we have to offer. This is indeed what it means to be weak. The weightiness of our humanity often overwhelms us and catches us unawares. We were not prepared to be so so so needy. We didn’t mind having some needs. We didn’t mind asking for a little help. But to find ourselves dependent upon forces beyond the human is to truly walk into the Kingdom reign.

Trusting in what man can do is part of our journey. We all have experiences where humankind has let us down. To be hopeful that this will change is part of the burden we bear. But to mistake the presence of man as the presence of God is to be blinded to the eyes of a loving Savior. He indeed sees us in our state of total brokenness. In fact, in and through His eyes, even our supposed sufficiency of houses, cars, savings, and amusements are heavy rocks our soul must carry. To place our hope and ultimate state of security in the things that pass away is to be forced to monitor those things in terms of our worth and endeavors. We constantly refer to that which is passing away and wonder why our souls shrink and fade.

To and for what does my soul work and long? When I am stripped of all I begin to see the Allness of the Savoir. I begin to get a glimpse of the Largeness of God’s provision. This of course does include my future story and the final consummation of this Kingdom reign. I am being drawn into the arms of the loving God. This is my ultimate need. This is my ultimate desire. This is my ultimate destiny. When all is gone but the final veil of pride that keeps me from approaching the Father, I can finally stand in the sufficiency of eternity.

It is a dark and lonely road to this place. That is why suffering is the only path to wisdom. That is why we hide the poor from our eyes. We do not want to acknowledge the insufficiency of all things but God. This day I not only see the weak but take my place in this group and wear the glory of that position as a part of my true nature and calling. I am blessed. I am close to the Father. He sees my weakness and is moved. This is my divine consolation.