A Vision in Many Pieces
June 8th, 2001
“God, its too big for me to carry!”
“I know, my son.”
We sat at the bottom of my heart, facing the dark, concrete-like slab which was my need for love, my desire for human intimacy to the fill the void in my life and give me meaning. We had been doing some Spring Cleaning of my soul. It had been a while since I’d talked with God, and when I finally got around to it again I was surprised to discover lots of worries and fears weighing me down. The stuff on top was relatively easy – I handed over issues at work, my marriage, relations with family. But then we got down to things which had been undisturbed for years, maybe decades, and I realized I couldn’t move these myself.
“Will you carry it out?”
“Of course, but I will not do it alone. You must be a part of the process. It is yours, after all”
This is a another poem from my old site, written back in 2004 as I was beginning my current voyage of self-discovery. It starts out a bit whiny, but that’s where I was back then. 🙂
The meter is loosely based on Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, and the plot is partly inspired by Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.
I’m in the process of cleaning up my “personal” site on DrErnie.com, and as part of that I’m moving some of my earlier writings to this site.
To start with, I present “Unforgiven”, a more-or-less accurate transcript of the first time God really dealt with me about anger…
A testimony in three persons
The stage appears empty except for a single chair, center, facing right. A man sits on it backwards, facing left, hugging the back of the chair. His expression is grim. A single spotlight shines down on him. Another man walk out from right, and stands looking at him from the semi-darkness. The first man speaks, but remains facing left.
In Which We Abide Fruitfully Instead of Vegetating Slothfully
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” — Matthew 5:6
Sloth may seem like an archaic sin in our busy modern world, but our frenzied activity is itself a sign of sloth, which can be defined as a lack of vigor in pursuing God’s name — His character and purposes. In fact, the self-centered pursuit of our own “name” — especially under the guise of religion — is actually the worst kind of sloth! (cf. Matthew 23)
The antidote is to empty ourselves of worldly pursuits so that we become truly hungry for faith, hope, and love. Only when we abandon slothfully seeking our own comfort — which merely results in restlessness — can we experience the divine dynamism and peace that comes from abiding in Him…
Peter Kreeft: Back to Virtue
- 11. Hungering for Righteousness vs. Satisfied with Sloth
- Dick Hockett: Foundations of Wisdom
- 3.5 (Trustworthy) Example: Proverbs about the Tongue
[Today’s story, the conclusion to the Scribe of Nicodemus, is actually the one I originally intended to write (since I write more-or-less stream of consciousness, it is easy to get sidetracked!). The impetus for this project was the fact that Jesus seemed to expect Nicodemus to understand what he said in John 3. I found myself wondering what kind of response Jesus was looking for, and whether Nicodemus — or anyone! — could have handled it better.
I thought about writing myself into the encounter with Jesus, but I wanted a character who hadn’t already studied this passage a dozen or more times. On the other hand, there had to be some plausible way for the character to improve on Nicodemus. This led me to the idea of Nicodemus’ personal secretary: bright, educated, young, and in a position to benefit from Nicodemus’ example. I chose the name Samuel because, frankly, it was one of the few Jewish names I could spell! Similarly, I mentioned Gamaliel at the beginning simply to burnish Samuel’s resume. Their climactic encounter at the end of Part I — and the significance of his namesake — caught me completely by surprise.
As will today’s narrative, because as of right now I have no idea how Samuel will react when he meets Jesus…]
I wait in the darkness, shivering — not from the cold. Most would call what I’m doing disloyal; some would call it blasphemy. I can’t help it; I have to know. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can barely think. My familiar world — everything I’ve ever believed in — is hanging by a thread. I’m terrified that the thread might snap; yet, a part of me is hoping that it will. That just maybe there’s something bigger, brighter, and more beautiful awaiting at the bottom of this seemingly dark chasm I’m dangling over.
But just when I’m ready to give up hope, He comes…