Posted in Spoken Word

eye wonder

(Click here to listen.)

Another sun rises
And we should not be surprised when it seems to burst through the lies
That there is no light worth seeing
With every ounce of our being we silently applaud the darkness fleeing
As the world of shadows becomes the world of forms
For a moment, the storms have ceased, and increased our awareness of
This present moment. That something new might foment.
And here, I wonder.
Although we remember the thunder of days past, will we let them cast a shadow
Or will we allow the light to shine
This doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye toward what was, but we shift our focus
To what can be. That we might see, and our eyes might wonder.
Eye wonder.
As blinders are torn asunder we begin to see a bit more clearly
So much in our world we’ve nearly let go by, without batting an eye
And it’s not that we must more strongly try, but that we may simply need to let hurry die.
To hear the cry of golden beams of sunshine lighting up the trees
The one who sees holds treasures for a moment, not to possess or to employ, but to enjoy
Eye wonder.
The brightest greens of springtime grass, the winds that pass gently
Carrying seeds to furthest corners, even the mourners who profess their sadness deep
There is beauty there in keep – steeping slowly in the humanity we’ve usually passed by
We’re invited to let our eye – wonder.
Drawn in by realizing that light shines even here, we’re set free from fear to hear
Voices we’ve previously cast aside
Eyes and Ears opened wide to allow our fellow man to confide
That they’ve missed out on beauty too.
In different ways than you. And I wonder.
Will you hear their stories? Will we pause from seeking glories at the expense of every other
Slowing down to join our sister and brother
Realizing they’re not so different as they seemed in the darkness
And the starkness of this, eye wonder, speaks to the blunder of those who cannot see
Proclaiming the light is broken. Not just a token moment from which we easily move on
But a dawn, an arrival of sight in ways we’ve needed to recover
To see the value of “the other”, the beauty we discover when we realize what the light reveals
How it heals what has been scarred, and as those marred find themselves restored
We find that we’ve too long ignored, as we’ve looked for sources to plunder
But here is eye wonder.
Reminding us that’s it not always about what we can take, for goodness’ sake
We must live as those awake – not only to what can be – but to what is
That we would not miss the sacredness of this. present. Moment.
Walk slowly, with eyes fully open, continue hoping – but also look them in the eye
Seek the why, instead of assuming you know the story. Know that glory comes more fully
When it’s shared. When we’ve dared to cross the aisle, to walk the extra mile
In their shoes. They often didn’t choose their path, and the aftermath of such a finding
Becomes a blinding light inviting new things to be
And then – I wonder what wondering eyes might see.

Posted in Different Books

This is Happiness

I’ve just finished reading “This is Happiness” by Niall Williams. There are many places you could easily Google to find out the short version, the important bits, or more about the author. As with most books, you could easily research it enough to “know it”, and talk as if you’ve read it. But I would warn you – that is not happiness. 🙂

The story takes place in a small town called Faha in Ireland. It seems the kind of town which is important to you if you’re from such a town, but even then only if you’re from not just “such a town” but from that particular such a town. It happens to be occurring just as the town itself is on the cusp of electricity’s first arrival. It is told from the perspective of an older man looking back on his life, remembering the days of his 18th year.

The book is filled with poetic words reflecting on major themes such as life’s purpose, romance, faith, love, friendship, and the arrival of something new that can change life forever. Even if you’ve never been to Faha, and even if you’ve only lived in major metropolitan areas you’re entire life – you’d find yourself in familiar territories many times throughout this book. Whether you’re the kind of person who romanticizes places like this (as if they don’t exist an hour’s drive from where you presently have chosen to live), or you feel trapped in one (but are actually quite free to make your mind up and try something different), you’ll find aspects of life in Faha that draw you in.

As a pastor, I felt particularly drawn to the moments describing the arrival of something new which changes the perspective on all things which have come or been experienced previously. This happens in more ways than electricity itself – although this is the most obvious correlation. How do you help people to excitedly anticipate something for which they have no reason to think they’re in need of? How can the human heart seem dormant or clueless, and in an instant be switched or lit up in a direction it never even comprehended itself capable of?

In the mist of all that happens, we hear the words of wisdom from which I believe the book received it’s title:

“..you could stop at, not all, but most moments of your life, stop for one heartbeat and, no matter what the state of your head or heart, say This is happiness, because of the simple truth that you were alive to say it. I think of that often. We can all pause right here, raise our heads, take a breath and accept that This is happiness…

All of which to say: This book is worth a read. Especially if you enjoy the kinds of books which say something a bit more poetically than might require saying. If you’re the type of person who would rather someone say “It was windy outside.”, you may not enjoy this book so much. But if perhaps you’d enjoy someone saying, “The wind was a pack of wild stallions invading the still forests of the night, as if they’d burst in protest from the fences some ill-equipped ranch-hand had assembled, meaning the darkness was theirs for the taking and not even the strongest bird dare leave it’s shelter for fear of being lost forever.”, then this book might be right up your alley.

Read it slowly…and with an old man’s Irish accent.

Posted in Uncategorized

John 17:1-11

When Moses found the burning bush
He was invited to remove his shoes
Holiness said, “Come, approach..
“Your life I wish to use.”

Jesus moves into such a time
In prayer with the Father
And the fact that His disciples were there
Didn’t seem to bother

It’s almost like He wanted them
To observe this intimate prayer
There was something important in knowing
We were invited to be there

To hear the heart of the father
Revealed through the prayer of the Son
That just as the two of them relate
So also we would become One

That we would have life of the Age to Come
And such life would bring God glory
Through knowing God, and His Son Jesus
We’re invited to enter their story

As we’re already known by them
And still Loved as ever before
Here is a moment we should truly
Embrace, and not ignore

Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb
On our behalf, is praying
Through Him all things were made
And in this moment, He’s saying

Everything that was given Him
We have been enabled to believe
To know His Words, and knowing God
His Life we shall receive

If we take a moment and perceive
The foundations that He’s laying
To calm our souls and quiet our voice
We can still hear Him praying…