Friday, January 30, 2009

Confession XLXIII

And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen...”  (Acts 1:24) 

I’m out late at night thinking of her.  Thinking of when I’ll be back in England.  Thinking of my two-week home at Drayton Gardens.  That view: when the world was fogged over, distant industrial buildings outlined an imaginary castle like fog brings magic and magic brings thoughts of knights saving fair maidens and the fantastic lives just outside plates of glass when clouds fall or when morning dew ascends the heavens or when life is just simple again.

The night’s done.  And now there’s a different window to keep me from the fantastic nature of life.  And I wonder how well she sleeps at night.  Wonder if it’s as cold there as the snows are piled here.  Wonder if the moon hangs its crescent upside down over her latitude.  Wonder, I wonder how all of this mess for a separation can come together.

Wonder, I wonder do you remember? the heatless nights on the coldest nights where rivers and even moon light froze like lit cigarettes stubbed out under quick walking side walking feet pushed under pavement to soils, center of the earth: nicotine burials. 

And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen...”  (Acts 1:24)

For the first time the disciples had no one with them.  They had no incarnate God in front of their face leading them on.  No Son of Man calling them to a new life.  No Rabbi teaching.  No All-Knowing Being giving them the answer.  So they had to pray.

“But God, how do I tell her, say to her, “Hey, it’s going to be okay.”  No, it’s not like that.  No, I can’t do that.  Because God, sometimes I just don’t think that it’s going to work out.  Because God, I live so many more than 3,000 miles away from her.  Because God, I haven’t been able to speak to her, call her, phone talks long talks repeating simple “I love you’s” in days now; and You know how we thrive on our communication.  God, how do I do this, this whole long distance relationship preparing for marriage thing?”  And I say it all tired like.  All strung out of breath.  All gone for words.  Seeming like life’s all gone for nothing, there’s nothing like hopelessness stole all of who I once was.

And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all...” (Acts 1:24)

And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all...” (Acts 1:24) 

And they prayed

and said,



who know

the hearts of all...”

(Acts 1:24)

I get so wrapped up in the imagery in front of my eyes that I can’t see past the fog outside the window.  And that’s what most of life is, a fog.  We live from day to day not knowing what the next will bring.  And when life is perfect we see all castles and romance like sleeping beauties waking up and damsels being rescued from doorless towers.  We don’t remember that the reality is those castles we think we see are not castles; they are smoke stacks and brokendown flats, graffitied busted up roofs and all of the Projects lining what might be coined by most as a sad-sad reality for life. 

But horizons are never sad because they always lead on into tomorrow, the next. 

See, life is not about what we know, it’s about accepting what we don’t know, accepting what we don’t understand.  We need to come to grips with the fact that we’re completely ignorant of the next second of our life.  We seriously don’t know. 

Ask yourself, honestly sit back right now and contemplate your future.  Yeah, you might be able to say something like, “Oh, I’m going to graduate from University by the time I’m 22, then I’ll be married within two years of graduating; maybe I’ll have kids when I’m 30; and of course I’ll be minted working on State Street in a window office with my Starbucks coffee in hand and a secretary at my beckoning.”  Nice try.  Tell me the plan for your life and I’ll tell you, “Good luck kid.” 

Don’t read on till you come to terms with your ignorance about the future.  And I’m even talking about your immediate future.  Then enjoy the brevity that life brings.

It’s so completely unnatural for us to say to God, “You know my heart.”  Because in saying that we claim not to know ourselves as well as an Omnipotent Being does.  We admit ignorance even when it comes to the most personal or personal – me.  We admit a lack of control over even our own lives – me.  And most humbling of all, we let go of all our dignity and ask for help because we’re even saying that we’re incapable of helping ourselves – me. 

But we need to come to this point.  We can’t live our life without realizing that the castles are sometimes not castles at all.  That life is not always beautiful, but that it’s horribly dirty, broken down, graffiti drawn on, messed up in all degrees and so completely confusing; that’s not all.

God.  Knows.  All.  Hearts.

So may you understand that your Lord knows your heart.  And may you even admit that because God will show you the next.  He will lead you on even though He might not be right in front of your face.  He will have life sorted; it’s already sorted. 

Realize.  Relax.  Trust.