Thursday, September 29, 2011

Skimming and sinking

My fifth anniversary weekend I stood on the shore of Lake Michigan skipping stones into the gray-blue water, feeling the urging and release of small stones lodged in my heart. There were dozens of nameless stones with almosts, mistakes, incomplete and deep burdens etched onto them; formless intentions until joined with rock and water in my letting go.

You listen to the waves
you listen to the throw away
All you think I had
all we ever had
Watch me soon pray
the cheap wine takes my fear way
I pick up stones and throw them out to sea*

I was feeling a gentle dip in equanimity that produced a desire for peace, a peace not just for myself to be a better me but also for those who had left the shadow of the Wing I stand under. Was I feeling the loss of their place in my community? Perhaps. Did I believe that they now held a destiny different than mine? No. Yet the loss was there along with a longing with love to please come back.

Lower the wooden boats
liar comes and liar goes
Just watch as I throw all I have vowed to the sea
Will you meet me?
Will you meet me?

There has been this warning rising up within for a long time, tangled and un-articulated. The current modalities of faith have chosen logic over wisdom and politics over potential. Self-inflicted victims of the effects of the Enlightenment and influence of Dante and the American Dream, the kingdom has become a misappropriated place of militancy and strict conformity instead of simply just being a place of dwelling within.

So why?
So why is their heart dead
as we skim stones and we sink boats instead

And those who see this misappropriation feel the hypocrisy can't get past it. Why wouldn't they feel the sinking of their faith? Those who rail against the mainstream find the energy it takes to do so crippling, until waves of cynicism crush what precious left they have. Others float to the surface of grief and stagnation called acedia and just remain there.

So why?
So why is their heart dead
as we skim stones and we sink boats instead

I have never known a time when I did not have faith. I've always been able to intuit the Spirit's leading, not letting the way I feel keep me from the Spirit's undoing me. It is enough for me and I can't imagine it not being enough for anyone else. I have survived the church. I still believe in Mystery. Is that evidence enough for anyone?

Will you have a go?
Will you have a go?
Just take a look at me
is it the same world you see?
Is it the same world you see?

It is painful to see friends walk away. The language and alchemy of the relationship shifts as they break up with God. The Mystery becomes someone else's mechanics. It is worse than a parting for me because I listen to see its affects happen on disparate levels.

I look them in the eye
They shout in my ear
they shout in my ear
they shout in my ear

Who have we become as a people of faith? In this day of sensitive identities can we draw such vaguely constructed lines to separate sheep from goat? Skin from skin? Bone from bone? Why would we ever want to take on the only job for which God is employed? How can we spew words love and enforce such separation between our brothers?

So why?
So why is their heart dead
as we skim stones and we sink boats instead

My thrown stones created ripples as they skipped along the Sunday sunset water. The Spirit and I were the only witnesses, who knew what they meant in our kingdom within. The longing remains. Even now my heart whispers, "Come back to me, my kin with tender skin and heart of stone."

Skin and stones just
skin and stones
we're sinking boats and
we're sinking boats

*‪Sinking Boats by Iain Morrison‬ (click to listen)


Zena said...

Thank you. Youve said what I can't.

"I've survived the church."


Cathy said...

I have survived religion, yet still from time to time I am torture by suited preachers in my mind. Thank goodness the stability of the Holy Spirit always calls me back from self loathing and picks me up, brushes me off and gives me assurance that I am perfect in every way.