“There’s more that rises in the morning than the sun.” – Rich Mullins, “If I Stand”
A band of orange chases blue across the sky
the color a runner, preceding the light to come
I can see the waves of brighter race up across
the canvas of sky, line after line dissipating into “day”
I am standing on a fence, trying to see above houses
that black the horizon, set on hills so they can see
what I cannot. I shuffle my feet, rub my hands
it is cold, so I get down, sun unseen.
I go inside, back to darkness, but warm under covers
when out my window, on the points of far-off houses
day catches the runner and overtakes his message:
“He finds me, even when I hide.”
celebrating our life
broken, but loving each other:
I am an editor.
I am paid to tell people
what need not be said.
Humility insists that my battle is:
figuring out for myself
what need not be said.
what waste, what loss, what folly!
I just gamble trust.
The point of all our brittle bones
is not that we would live
instead pain points to holy days
no time or sickness there
one of these days
my head will explode
escaping into the world
where they will wreak havoc
as yet unseen
or at least, that’s what I imagine
from the damage they do inside
oh God, this emotional garbage
is whipping me back and forth
Oh God, be my vision
and be thou my light
let me not fall deeper
into sin’s dark night
for as I fail to trust
and let emotions run
I sin just as if
I had lived by the gun
so please be my vision
and be thou my heart
for I am no navigator;
you wrote life from the start
Does art come only from the excesses of emotion?
Is it an overflow?
or is it a spring
which gives new life spontaneously
upwelling from the depths
*(discernable but not useful information)
no, not understood
treated as magic
as a source of wonder
but then of satisfaction,
and subsequent reduction in the art urge
not a spring,
but a canvas
and some paint
when we need it
which for some is far more often than others
as our discontent rages on
fueled by all our inability to rightly relate to
He who has said, “It is good.
You are good, as I see you.
Not as you were, or as you are
But as Christ is, I see.”
And that tension, I suppose, will ever live in me.
And when I am content to pose as
sanctified and free
then will stop my aching art
and my heart will be set free
to making things victorious
amid bouts of jubilee.
on this side of that great wall,
that day I just don’t see.
so I will ever set to art
to shine light on the tension
and keep my eyes all fixed above
my heart also suspended.
An empty street
just my footsteps
and my breathing
where has this been?
where have I gone?
why has living crowded out what I live for?
I say I want peace but I do not live like I do.
I like explosions. I like noise. I like action and motion and passion and
these are not the problem
(well, okay, maybe the explosions are a problem)
but the thing is not it; the liking is.
for if I am honest, I love those things;
no, I’m dangerously obsessed with them
I am a whirl and I like it that way.
I do not take time for silence
at the end of each day
before I cancel it out
I check the balance.
and it has come up waning.
oh, idols, you are crafty.
disguised as good things
built into my heart of hearts
you do not show your true face
and I suffer for that.
for I do not look
that is, until there is silence
and no wind
and I remember that this holy emptiness
is where I remember where I belong
when the massive spaces sing and say
“I will revere and rejoice if you won’t,”
for I am too busy not hearing and not feeling
to see that the massive emptiness of the sky
is always and ever
alive with the glory of God.
it cries out to God, for I do not.
and I hear its cries.
I should be the one who drowns out the sky
with the praises of our God.
and it would not be hard; for the silence of sky cries out tonight
and I sing hallelujah.
I gape, aghast, for in my mind
are hidden doors and places
sanctification flashlight says
“and this, you see, must go”
“Is that a pillar that I see?
Is that lode borne on pine?
I think we really need that tree.
Can I decline this find?”
and so my heart clings tightly
to past lines, without consent
running programs in the background
when I’d thought, “I’m through with it.”
Oh deceitful heart, and wicked!
God, let me not be made of pine
Let old branches cease to live and
let the past be cauterized
and let the now be sanctified
as someday we will be Your bride
I have always held tightly
to the things I want to keep.
how often have I strangled them?
And when do muscles sleep?
For I cannot let my guard down
if I want to keep what’s mine
for if anyone can touch my life
it’s curtains for these lines.
and so I wear myself out
trying to keep everything
afraid of all who would come near
afraid of each new sin
if I would hold with open hands
and see things not be torn
I’d learn that sometimes my clasped hands
were the reason for the storms.