Wednesday, May 8, 2013


The piano began to play and everyone stood. Middle-ranged notes told the story and all gathered there knew this song was for them. And the song beheld all; the utter wretchedness, the tears, the first glimpse of the Lover, the traveled way. The notes mingled and ran together and light streamed through the branches overhead. There were no walls around the piano and the people gathered, because it wasn't about the walls at all, but faces. And they all stood in a circle around a tree, waiting.

The music began to build in the most quiet and full way as the notes climbed further up the scale as if they were traveling as water does, rippling over the rocks after the cascade of a waterfall.

Gently, someone across the circle took hold of the person's hand next to them. Standing on soft mossy ground, hands reached out and connected. Connected, the circle complete, and the piano player kept building the quiet climax of the noted melody.

Then it happened. It started quiet with the music and a word formed on the lips gathered around to make the song whole. A few strong voices whispered the word while it took others moments to form as the fullness of such a love penetrated them. All joined in and began to express the overflowing of their souls,

"Holy, holy... Holy, holy."

Oh! It was breathtaking to behold the sound of such a verse being sung by humans. You see, the gathering included everyone. Everyone; the faithful father and mother, the light-filled daughter, the generations of the deceived, and the wild, searching man whose light had not yet been lit again. All had the potential of light. All broken, all connected. All singing, "Holy."

The music changed slightly and rang with anticipation as eyes searched the rough texture of the tree in front of them. Its roots rippled out like waves, laying the foundation for growth. Strong, secure, firm. Tatooed with the mistakes of the gathered, the tree bore them all.

Then the expected happened and everyone waiting stood tall and singing louder than before the words of the One who was set apart. A man with dark hair broke through the circle bearing an ax in his right hand. Walking boldly up to the tree without hesitation, he raised the ax above his head, took aim, and cut deep into that etched tree.

The tree began to sway and bend with the sound of sorrow as the wood creaked and broke with the final swings of the ax. The man with the dark hair bent down and tied a rope to the base of the scarred trunk. Standing, he pulled the slack over his shoulder and began to walk toward the perimeter of those gathered there. Dragging the broken tree behind him and with the weight of much on his shoulder, he said, "It is finished."

The gathered stood close together and watched, knowing this was not the end, but a beginning. Their wedding day was coming and the Lover would be among them again to close up the circle of the broken and make it whole. And the roots of the great tree would be there, laying the foundation for new growth. This is the hope of the people who sing, "Holy."

*I wrote this after hearing the song, "Holy (Wedding Day)" by The City Harmonic. "Holy" in Hebrew means "to be set apart for a special purpose."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

God's Blog

Addicted, captivated, and distracted! These words describe my behavior when reading. Currently, I am in the middle of three books...well, actually four. Bottom line: I love to read a written word and the journey to understand another being through those words.

Since being abroad, I have savored reading other people's blog entries. Minutes ago, I was staring at my computer screen wondering which blog I would read next, when I glanced across my white metal desktop at the new copy of the RSV of The Green Bible which was given to me by a friend today. Then I heard it, "There you go: you've got God's blog right there."

In a culture that derives its satisfaction on  instant communication we are an impatient people. Once in Bangladesh, while waiting for our bus to leave the station, the "schedule" changed a counted four times that day, resulting in us leaving 12 hours later than our expected time of departure (Well, expected by mostly me). As these changes kept happening through out the day, I leaned over to my Bangali friend and said, "I think Bangladesh is teaching me patience."

And my friend in turn said, "Yes, you Americans want everything now. It doesn't work that way here."

Hmm...impatience. I'm in the middle of four books, because I am too impatient to stick with just one story-line. I prefer the variety. Much like my times of prayer and worship; I want to feel God and I want to feel Him now. And there is value in the desire. We were created this way. Yet, in my life the least read book of my chosen four is the Bible. So, am I the one missing the point? And is it all about feeling, anyway?

Reading blogs intrigue me, because people are laying their thoughts out in the wide-open and if they are really okay with the "wide-open" business then it can get quite interesting and very compelling to experience those words. Tonight, I picked up a Jesus-follower's words and my eyes instantly found this title: The Purpose of This Book.

Good, I thought, now we are getting somewhere!

"Now Jesus did many signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may [continue to believe] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name." (John 20:30,31)

"God is here whether we feel him or not." This was said by a close friend of mine and it turned my thoughts toward faith. Faith is deeper than feeling. Faith is searching what we know to be true and grasping hold of it to live. To live! And mercy isn't about us being prime candidates of a love campaign. Grace is about Jesus being here no matter the feeling. Immanuel: God with us.