Wednesday, June 09, 2010

cataloging the evidence

yesterday a spring drenched tree stood in breathtaking contrast with a soot grey sky.

today a volunteer who i have grown to treasure hugged me like a friend and forever sundered the transactional nature of our relationship.

this evening lydian wasn't struggling with colic, but struggling not to laugh as i ruffled her hair, thumbed her nose and delighted in her smile time and again.

every day threatens an open and shut case for entropy. for that reason we have to be careful to listen for, observe and record the small signs of the redemption accomplished and the redemption promised that are colliding upon the earth.

Monday, June 07, 2010

a shaky confession

the first time was awkward. she didn't have the silhouette you speak about furtively with your friends and her intellect was crammed in some damn shoebox, assuming it was there at all. she was also from decatur, home to firestone, futile jesse jackson crusades and general squalor. so i dropped her at the first opportunity. other girls made the starbucks at o'hare. she wasn't so lucky.

the next girl was sexy. she sold authenticity, traded musty maranatha for dave matthews and, during that first song especially, her ass sure could swing. she was the party, bringing energy that could not help but compel. though she played it straight, i swear one time she almost offered me a drink. this girl wasn't cloistered but offered agnostics, reversed fundamentalists and strangely warmed ska kids the same mass appeal. as for me, she didn't flinch at mixed intentions or lapsed probation, but spoke lovingly, carefully crafting phrases, pointing me up in hopes that i would go out. but for all that, i never got comfortable. after a couple of years the cracks started to appear and the sounds became too saccharine and failed to cut where they should. though she only said it once, and then obliquely, she demanded that i reflect, never shape, her calculated barnes & noble charm.

so i left. but it was far more difficult. she was a life to live, an agenda to reckon, a what if resides.

now i'm with the girl who, with a question, called my game and who strangely intrigues like the lone saab on the lot. she isn't a hole to fill or a brick that'll build, but a woman simultaneously essential and stable as a water. at times we connect and current hums true, but more often it alternates between belief and betrayal. i can't possess her, can't seem to leave her and often fret this will end in a terminal fail.

some days my eyes still linger on that carefully crafted ingenue with her soft colors, wide eyes and, yes, ass unlike any in decatur. with her calculated authenticity and airbrush appeal, i cannot call her anything other than my porn.

so i'm fighting a battle that's broken better men, tangling with intrigue in hopes of escaping debasement by enhanced object.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

mary, full of grace

for the past three years i have wanted to hear more female voices from the pulpit at the gathering. for that reason i challenged, cajoled and manipulated several women to take a slot on the preaching schedule or at least speak more often.

to no avail.

fortunately, a couple of months ago, mary agreed to preach occasionally. mary is a graduate of harvard divinity school, dedicated incarnational minister in the goth community and aspiring novelist and poet. after setting her feet in her first couple of sermons, mary has started an amazing series on the beatitudes.

today, as mary wound her way through the passage about hungering and thirsting for righteousness you could almost sense the congregations' growing desperation for the living water of God. by the time mary concluded with the admonition to "hunger and thirst for God and he will pour blessings into your life and through you bless others," i was famished for the sustenance of the eucharist and desperate to seek God and participate in his transformational work in the world.

it is such a blessing to be a part of a collaborative church community where proclamation is a shared burden, worship is open source and the eucharist sustains and strings us, in all of our wackness, together.

thanks be to God for the grace he has given Mary to preach the Word and build up the church.