Say Something

Say Something – A Great Big World

“Say Something”

Say something, I’m giving up on you,
I’ll be the one if you want me to
Anywhere I would have followed you
Say something, I’m giving up on you.

These lyrics by Ian Axel of Great Big World, sung by Christina Aguilera, have invaded the radio.  Youtube is flooded with covers of this song.  And as I discovered this past Sunday, all the students in my middle school Sunday school class know all the words.

This song reverberates within my soul in a personal way, for it expresses the doubts that I feel about God.  Does God speak?  Does God actually interact in human history?  How can we know what is or what is not God’s action?  Where are the miracles and signs of the apostles?  “Say something, I’m giving up on you.”  God, just say something.  Speak in a way that I know it’s you.  I would have followed you to the ends of the earth, and I still will, I just need to hear you say something.  Say anything.

Where does God speak in this world?  How does God speak in this world?  Does God even say anything at all?

March 15th and 16th was the Jewish feast of Purim.  This feast celebrates the dramatic story of Esther, the Jewish woman who became queen and saved her entire people.  The Jewish people are in exile, in captivity, oppressed by foreign nations.  Their temple is destroyed, they have lost their king, and they have lost their freedom.  I can’t help but imagine, some of them were singing their own fifth century B.C.E. version of “Say Something.”

The book of Esther is unique, for nowhere in its ten chapters does the name of God appear.  But does that mean that God is absent from the story?  No.  Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, tells the queen, “Who knows? Maybe all of these things have happened for such a time as this.”  Maybe God was behind Esther becoming queen.  Maybe God was behind the preservation of the Jewish people.  Maybe.

One of the traditions of Purim is to wear masks and costumes.  This symbolizes the fact that often the work of God is masked or hidden.  From our place in history, from our place epistemologically, from our place as finite creatures, we cannot peel back the mask, point and identify unequivocally what is the work of God.  But that does not mean that God is not at work.  That does not mean that God does not speak.  Who know?  Perhaps God has brought about the circumstances in my life for just such a time as this.

 

The Color of Love

The Color of Love

(Why I probably won’t kill myself)

12.20.13

“In life, just as on the artist’s palette, there is but a single color that gives meaning to life and art – the color of love.”

– Marc Chagall

I just walked through the exhibit, “Chagall: Love, Ware, and Exile,” at the Jewish museum in the upper east side of New York City.  Words cannot express the feelings evoked and the thoughts inspired in gazing at the beautifully textured canvases adorning the walls of the exhibit.  The palette of my soul was imbued with new hues, new colors and perspectives on reality.

We are all on a search for meaning.  We all want to know the answer to the question, “What is the meaning of life?” As one poet friend of mine wrote,

“They want to believe they were meant

fOr something

Intended to fulfill some destiny.”

There is a lot out there in the world, and it is far from easy to make sense of it all.  I have been honest in my struggle to find meaning amidst it all.  I don’t know if there is any universal meaning in life.  I don’t know if there is any universal meaning in death.  I tend to think that we as humans create meaning.  I don’t mean that we make up purposes for ourselves, but that our perspective and outlook on life creates the meaning we overlay on the events of our life.

Surrounded by death, enveloped in darkness, and constantly reminded that all is not right in this world, we are left to make sense of it all.  Making sense of the seemingly random mosaic of the events in this life is far from a simple task.  Some people choose to believe in karma: you get from life what you put in.  But I find that a less than satisfactory framework to life.  What about the innocents who die young?  It doesn’t make sense with the karma.  What about the evil men and women who live long and comfortable lives?

Things are a lot more random than belief in karma allows.  Unless you believe perhaps that you are paying penance for sins of a former life through reincarnation.  Which makes a bit of sense if you believe you get a second go at life. Which I don’t.  If I can’t remember the me of a previous life, it is not me. As I learned from Star Trek, the memories make the man.  And I should not be responsible for a previous iteration or incarnation’s mistakes if I cannot remember them.  That hardly seems fair.  And if things get difficult or hard, why not leave this world and let next iteration of me try again?  If I won’t be able to remember this life, why not jump to the next one?

The third option is to say that life is meaningless.  The events in life are random.  There are no God/gods/supernatural forces controlling floods, hurricanes, and school shootings.  That is just life.  We are animals.  Why must we find meaning?  Why not just live, breath, eat, and enjoy the life we have?  This is what I’m inclined to believe.  But the problem with this outlook is that there is no reason not to opt out.  There is no answer to the question, why not give up, stop breathing, and end the struggle?  If there is no more to life than randomness and meaninglessness, why bother continue on when things get difficult?  When we encounter obstacles, struggles, and difficulties, there is no reason not to throw in the towel.

The option I have chosen to pursue is the option that Marc Chagall proclaims, “In life, just as on the artist’s palette, there is but a single color that gives meaning to life and art – the color of love.”

The reason to hang on to life, the reason to stick it through is that there is potential in this world for love.  Every day is a slate of possibility, possibility to heal, possibility to encourage, and possibility to make a tiny difference in this world.

I live for that possibility, that possibility to love and to be loved.

Love bears meaning.  Love creates meaning.  Love, perhaps, is the meaning.
****

(Or perhaps the meaning is a white cow playing a violin.)

A Real Poet

photo (4)

The Real Poet

I imagine that real poets sit under trees

Gazing through a stream of words that pass overhead

Like a ribbon dancing on the wind

Flowing from heaven to heaven

 

When the Just Right word passes by

A hand darts out deftly and firmly seizing it

Weaving the chosen one into the sentence

Where it shines with new luster in new context

 

That’s what a real poet does

 

He does not drink one-too-many glasses of red wine

And depend on the internet to find synonyms

So he can replace words like “skillful” with “adroit”

And keep his perfect iambs all in line

 

When he gazes into space it is thoughtful and contemplative

It is not mindless zoning out

For when his mind wanders it soars from Hades to Olympus

Not to the dark haired beauty who isn’t calling me back

Death is Blonde.

I saw Death last night.  And she was blonde.

“Shut up, dog!” I chastised the loud white fuzzball shredding the silence in crescendoing barks.  But then the locked front door swung open.  The front door that I lock out of habit every time I enter the house.  However, no one stood upon the threshold.  Well no one that I could see, anyway.

I guess my dog trusted his sense of sight over whatever other sense he had perceived the presence of Another at the door, for he stopped barking.

Later that night, probably between 1am and the witching hour, my mom trudged up the stairs to turn off the water that was running full blast in the bathtub.  I hadn’t even taken a shower that night.

Once when I was nine years old, one of our childhood friends came over to play.  Her name was Amanda.  We were playing outside in our circular brick planter boxes, pretending to be World War II soldiers, killing the vile German boys that Hitler had sent to the front lines.  Our guns were made of sticks and our thirst for imaginary blood was fueled of patriotism and black and white war movies.  War movies that Amanda had never seen, but she played along quite nicely anyway with my bloodthirsty brother and me.

About twenty minutes after Amanda had used the restroom to clean the imaginary nocent blood from her hands, I went to use our restroom.  There I found that the sink was running full force.  Amanda.  When I told my brother later that night in our dark night pillow talk daily debriefing, he, in his elder brother wisdom, told me to think nothing of it, for she was, “Blonde after all.”  I had no idea what that meant at the time.  But I chuckled and said, “Oh right.”

And so I concluded this morning that death, or whoever our nocturnal phantom visitor might be, must be blonde.

For now, I wait. This morning I heard a rattling of my doorknob.  And I knew it might be she.  But if she didn’t know how to open doors, well, she doesn’t deserve to have me.

So I believe.

I believe in ghosts.  I believe in death.

But death is not as organized, as thoughtful, or as deliberate as we humans want to think.

No.  Death shows up unannounced, barging in, forgetting to turn off the water.

For death, sweet Death, is blonde.

Dear Girl-in-the-airport-who-reads

 

Dear Girl-in-the-airport-who-reads,

 

I see you sitting over there

Alone slouched in the old blue chair

While all the blondes on mobiles play

With heads bowed down to iphones pray

 

But you, oh hipster, brown-haired girl

Walk contrary to this tech-filled world

With book in hand and gaucho pants

You and Junot Diaz dance

 

My spellbound eyes can’t break the gaze

That’s locked upon your shining face

A girl who reads is such a pearl

You’ve got my head in such a whirl

 

I tear myself away to find

A whiskey and a glass of wine

And flirt with one who doesn’t read:

A blonde girl who says “her and I”

 

**This is sadly autobiographical. But the girl reading Drown looked so engrossed, I couldn’t go bother her. Also i have nothing against blondes in general. Just the ones who overuse literally and struggle with prepositions.**

I Doubt It

**So this is my first go at fiction. It’s not quite as cohesive as I want it to be. But neither is life.**

This story is not for young adults.

Even if it is read in English class.

Even if it is about a young adult.

It is not for young adults.  This is not young adult literature.  I am not going to hold your hand through the story and hit you over the head with glaringly obvious symbols and themes.  I am not going to provide air-horn-like advertisements for the literary devices they teach you about in 9th grade English literature class.  I am certainly not going to sicken my reader or myself with heavy-handed foreshadowing.  Not until I get to the point where the protagonist dies, anyway.

But the main reason that this is not young adult literature is that it is not good literature.  The kind of literature that young minds should be exposed to ought to be thoughtful, deep, well-written prose.  Not junk without aim, theme, or good characterization.  Good young adult literature ought to have all those elements of literary style that teachers can point to and guide their eager pupils through.  “Alright students.  Who can tell me what the author is doing in the second paragraph on page 19?  What does the color blue symbolize here?”  And then Jamie Firkins, with her flame red hair, can raise her perfectly manicured hand while sitting up with perfect posture and glance around the room at her less-motivated colleagues and tell the teacher, “I think,” with ivy-bound eyebrows raised in self-assured superiority, “that the color blue symbolizes death.  I think that the author is using blue here to simultaneously represent the universality of grief and despair.”  But this is not that kind of story.  I will not use the color blue to represent the universality of grief and despair.  Especially not on page 19, if only for the satisfaction that Jamie Firkins will never be able to dissect this story like she will dutifully dissect the lifeless frog in biology class.

For though this story is not a good story nor good literature, it does have life.  Unlike the blue lifeless frog lying on the cold metal tray in front of Jamie Firkins.

Not every story has life.  But this one does.  Because it’s about me.  And for now, I’m alive.  But we’ll see how long that lasts.

I guess I should tell you about myself.  Or show you.  Great writers show, they don’t tell.  That’s what someone once told me.

“Thomas, your writing is a little wooden. It’s just not there yet.  You tell and you need to show.  Your dialogue is not convincing.  And there’s no forward motion.”  That’s what my ex said about my writing once.  Interestingly enough, that’s also what she said about me during the surprisingly civil exit interview to our relationship.

I’m a writer.

Or that’s what I tell myself, at least.

I don’t tell people I’m a writer.  I suppose I don’t look much the part, except maybe for my problem with alcohol.  I guess I would fit in with Kerouac, Hemmingway, or Fitzgerald with the amount of whiskey I consume.  But not with the words that flow from my fingertips.  Actually, I don’t really know what writers look like.  The published writers I have had the privilege of meeting were surprisingly normal looking. Not like the “writers” I meet in coffee shops in Fairmount in Philly on in bars in Brooklyn.  I suppose if normal is what writers look like, I would fit in fine.  I doubt that if someone looked at my smallish frame, my brown sneakers, blue cords, and plaid shirt they’d think, “Ah, he’s a writer!”  But that’s life.  Is anything what it seems?

I wear the same old plaid shirts that I’ve had for years along with the same old haircut I’ve had in one variation or other since I was 8 years old.  Once, when I was 8 and a ½ I was at soccer practice at the YMCA, and Joy, the girl who matured way faster than all of us, threw a ball at me.  I was distracted by my bangs hanging in my eyes, instead of combed over to the right where they belong, and the ball came sailing straight into my nose, which proceeded to gush red, warm blood.  It was gross.  And it was then that I first discovered that I hate the sight of my own blood.  It is so. Red.  And salty.  And does not belong outside of my body.  It belongs inside my body where it can stay blue and un-tasted.

Today in class my teacher said that I was a good student.  She was lying.  I talk in class, which she likes. But my papers all received poor marks.  In fact, she even wrote on my last paper, “I know this probably is not the feedback you want to hear.  But this needs a lot of work.”  But that’s what college is for, right?  To learn how to improve one’s writing.  To learn how to succeed in life. To learn how to makes sense of the world.  To learn how to keep one’s blood inside one’s body.

Success. It’s such a funny thing.  There are probably a million motivational speakers out there telling us how to be successful.  But really, we don’t want to hear about personal fulfillment or how we don’t need to accept the world’s definitions of success.  I don’t buy it at least.  Sure, we create meaning.  We imbue the random events and affects of decisions made by others in a small domed building with meaning.  We throw words at history and expect it to become a living thing.  We expect for some God or gods or universal karma or Something to live in human history.  And history is not dead.  The consequences of actions of human beings living and dead do in fact influence the daily performances of those who draw breath.  But is there a God pulling puppet strings?  Is it some kind of karma that is killing those who seem to be innocents?  I doubt it.

I guess I’m doing it again.  Telling instead of showing.  But that’s how this whole writing thing works.  Thoughts enter my brain, fingertips clack on plastic keys, and then through some magic I don’t understand words appear on the screen in front of my eyes.

My writing wanders.  My ex said that too.  I suppose that’s a valid critique.  But I write as I see things.  And I don’t see a coherent whole.  Far from it.  I see fragments.  And we grab hold of the fragments and try to shape some kind of unified whole.  We try to create meaning out of the mess that is life.

And we try to create meaning out of the mess that is death.

I’m not sure what to make of death.  It’s so prevalent.  It’s our neighbor.  It’s our enemy.  I doubt we’ll ever figure out some way to make unequivocal meaning from inevitable death.  But I think I’d like to try.

When my fingers stray from the silver keys on the laptop keyboard, they find a comfort in running along the braided rope in my lap.  My fingers dance upon the cords of the rope as they do upon the rosary that sits on the desk to my left.  There St Francis sits, surrounded by a heap of mahogany beads, a reminder of a time long past and a man long dead.  Growing up, I was told to pray unceasingly.  I’m still not sure what that means.  I doubt anyone who tries to take Paul literally will ever figure it out.  I probably should pray more.  But if prayer is talking to God, then I’ll be praying unceasingly soon enough.

To sleep, perchance to dream.  That’s the rub, I suppose.  But does it really matter?  Can it be so different from this life?  The preachers I grew up listening to spouted out threats of eternal hellfire and damnation.  Maybe that’s real.  But I doubt it.  Maybe I’ll be reincarnated as an ant.  But will it really be me?  If I can’t remember it, if I have no sense of human iteration of Thomas, can that ant really be in any way, shape, or form, truly me?  I doubt it.  Maybe we just end.  Maybe we just stop.  Maybe that’s the end of the story.  That’s not a bad thing.  All stories end.  And what characters get to pick their ending?  We do.  Tiny, insignificant, human beings.

I suppose that’s the draw of death.  Choice.  People ask me why I think suicide is ever an option.  I answer, why not?  The void calls.  The darkness is so mysterious.  Maybe there is some kind of philosophical validation for this feeling.  Maybe there is some kind of neuro-biolgical imbalance leading me down this path.  Maybe there is some kind of psychological abnormality.  But I doubt it.  I feel the call.  And I answer.

The clock is the loudest thing in my room now.  The music ended an hour ago, and I didn’t bother restarting it.  As my eyes run over the words on this page, proof reading the text I have let leak from my mind and onto this page, my fingers braid a silent rope.  I run the rope through my fingers one last time.  Ending with a prayer to anyone out there in the universe who cares to listen, “Ora pro nobis. Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae.”  I think about adding an amen.  But I don’t.  Ending with an amen?  That would be way too cliché.

The ceiling is hookless. And too high to reach.  So I sit on the floor.  My braided rope winds like a serpent around the doorknob.  There’s a slight hiss as the serpent tightens its truthful grip around my skin.

I wonder into the darkness that is conscious thought.  I wonder who will find me.  I wonder when someone will find my blue body.  I wonder if anyone will bother to write a sequel to this work.

But I doubt it.

Judas, John the Baptist, and Obi-Wan Kenobi

obiwanchosenone

Judas, John the Baptist, and Obi-Wan Kenobi

A Theological Holiday Special

 

“You were the chosen one! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them. You were to bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness,” a distraught Obi-Wan Kenobi yells at his former pupil Anakin Skywalker, now mostly limbless on the ground.

This moment from the Episode III of the Star Wars series is pretty rough.  Probably because of Hayden Christensen’s acting.  Nevertheless, it is probably the most quoted line of Revenge of the Sith.

Recent retellings of the gospel story recast our view of Judas Iscariot, the Great Traitor, one of the three in the inverted trinity in Dante’s innermost circle of hell.

According to some interpretations, Judas wanted a politically revolutionary Jesus to free the land from Roman oppression.  Thus Judas’s “betrayal” was a way to force Jesus’ hand as the leader of a Jewish nation.  It is this Judas I see in Obi-Wan yelling at limbless Anakin.  “You were supposed to be the chosen one!”  Disappointment, dissatisfaction, and despair fill his voice as he looks at his defeated friend.  Judas, along with all the other apostles looks to the defeated Jesus on the cross.  Wasn’t he the chosen one?  The anointed one?  What happened to that Jesus?  You were supposed to bring justice to the world, not leave it in darkness!

Where is the anointed one who proclaimed himself to be the Messiah to the imprisoned John the Baptist?  This past week’s reading was from the gospel of Matthew.  John the Baptist was asking, “Are you the chosen one?”  To which Jesus, in his usual way of avoiding straight answers, replied, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.”

Jesus’ answer was in his actions.  The proclamation of his status of the anointed did not need words, for his actions, healing the blind, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, making the lame to walk, and proclaiming good news to the poor, told the truth about who Jesus was.

But now Judas is at the cross, screaming, “You were supposed to be the chosen one!”  You were supposed to be the one to deliver us from oppression.  You were supposed to usher in a time of peace and salvation from our enemies.

And I’m right next to Judas.  At the foot of the cross, I scream, “You were supposed to be the chosen one!  You were supposed to heal the wounds of the world.  Not leave it in darkness.”

Like John the Baptist, I ask Jesus, “Are you the chosen one?”  And I hear Jesus’ response.  But I have to ask.  Are the blind receiving their sight?  Are the lame walking?  Are the dead being raised?  Are the lepers being cleansed?  What good news is being proclaimed to the poor?  If this is the proof to the impossible claim that Jesus is indeed the son of the only God, what does this mean in a dark, death-ridden, and limping world?  What happened to the greater things that we were supposed to do in this world?

Like Judas, I see the crucified Jesus.

But unlike Judas, I wait for the resurrection.  I wait for the return.

Judas gave up before seeing the risen Christ.

But I refuse to give up.

Advent is a season that reminds us of the time between Jesus’ death and his resurrection.

We are familiar with the pain, the suffering, and the darkness of this world.  We are all too familiar with the crucified Jesus.


But there’s more to the story.

 

At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ, but we also celebrate the risen Christ who will come again.  Christmas is a time of wonder, magic, and uncommon generosity.  Every year, we hear stories of some extraordinary kindness.  My favorite Christmas movie is not Home Alone or It’s a Wonderful Life.  It’s Joyeaux Noel, a lesser-known movie about the cease-fires that took place across the front lines on Christmas Eve during World War I.  Amidst the darkness of one of the worst wars the world had seen, these soldiers found in Christmas a time to reclaim their humanity.  A time to claim something Beyond humanity, the declarations of nations, and the violence of politics.  Amidst the darkness, Christmas is a day of light.  One of my favorite videos on the internet (judge me all you want…this video is magical though slightly vulgar) is of this youtube blogger going around giving away envelopes of cash to strangers on the street.  In a more organized effort of generosity, my church participated in the Angel Tree project, where we gathered presents for children whose parents can’t afford them.  (Which raised the question to a 10-year old parishioner: Why are we buying these children presents? Doesn’t Santa deliver presents to them?)  There are sparks of light in this world.  They may not be many, but they do exist.

Christmas reminds us of this.

And so we wade through Advent, at the foot of the cross with John the Baptist, Judas, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Let us answer the question for those who ask, “Are you the one we are waiting for? Or do we wait for another?”  Not by proclaiming Christ in word alone but also in deed.  Let us work to heal the blind, heal the lame, comfort the leper and the outcast, and share our riches with the poor.

It’s Christmas time.  A season that reminds us that even Darth Vader can be redeemed.

Stitches and Similes


Like parallel stitchings on a cosmic quilt
separated by squares of time and space
and the steady hand of the Quilter

Like two beers brewed from the same batch
But one aged a bit longer
Or whatever one does to make it more hoppy
perhaps by adding more humulus lupus
or letting the humu lupu linger a bit longer
I am not sure
for I did not read that far down the wikipedia article

Like a spatial-temporal simile
within the etchings of the universe

Like a venn diagram that has significant overlap
(whatever significant means
Maybe three standard deviations of the norm?)

Like two coins minted from the same press
Or however coins are made these days
Probably with lasers

we walk the same path
– perhaps the road less traveled –
but probably not.

Perhaps my metaphors need work
For quilts don’t have parallel stitchings.
Or maybe they do.
I do not know.
But I hope that our stitchings will meet.
Or something like that.

Six.

Image
Six.

Waiting for the six
They say it’s delayed
A smile is not to be found on the platform
The ring of laughter is foreign to the ears of the station’s steel beams

A rat scurries along the track
Finding some food to nibble upon
She rests. Eats. Rests. Eats.
I think that perhaps she is the closest to happiness

The six is still delayed.
Perhaps the rat that caused the delay
Is now at rest. And perhaps –
Perhaps she is the closest to happiness.

Crisis, Curtains, and Christianity

[Preface: I write a lot about the silence of God and my personal doubts and struggles.  I feel like most of my posts are fairly deconstructive, so this is an excerpt of a hastily written letter in which I try to posit some kind of constructive theology.]

Here’s where I am with the silence of God.  I don’t trust human perception enough to believe in an infallible revelation from God.  I’ve seen Christians do too much stupid crap with “revelation” to believe that God is both God of revelation and God of our perception.  I know this sounds like it goes against the sovereignty of God somehow.  But part of our agency as human beings means that we bring some measure of humanness ­– dirty, messy, fallible humanness – to our perception of revelation, and that’s what bothers me.  How can I know that what I construct with theology or Biblical data will be anything more than a house of straw – a house of straw that will at best be burned down with the next generation’s philosophical and cultural ideals or at worst be seen as oppressive as we move toward the telos of the realization of God’s kingdom?  Knowledge is such a flimsy thing.  The way we interpret the same data changes from generation to generation.

At this epistemological impasse, I take comfort in the knowledge that I’m not the first to live in doubt.  One of my professors, Dr Robert Dykstra does a brilliant interpretation of the rending of the temple curtain in Mark’s gospel. [1]  Dykstra describes how in that raw moment of agony in the gospel of Mark, when Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” he reads that as real anguish.  I read it as fear.  I see perceived abandonment and utter loneliness.  I read this as real doubt.  And the text does not condemn this.  In fact, it supports it!  In what Dykstra calls a beautiful act of violent exhibitionism, God rends the temple curtain in two – expressing solidarity with His Son, suffocating naked, exposed, and doubting on the cross.

I don’t see God physically.  I don’t feel God emotionally.  Hell, I don’t even sense God spiritually.  But in doubting – I feel the freedom and agency God has given me.  In giving us the freedom to doubt and wonder where in this Hell God is and why he has forsaken us, God rends the curtain, exposing Himself in an act of violently vulnerable solidarity.  And faced with my doubt, faced with a Divine silence, I’m faced with a choice.  I’m faced with my own human agency.  And so I make my choice.  I choose to fight against the silence.  I choose to try to break the silence of God.  I choose to try to prove that the impossible can happen here in this world and that the kingdom of God is breaking through this present darkness.

I identify a lot with the gospel of Mark.  Especially the ending, “And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”

Of course that’s not the end of the story.  Mark wouldn’t be writing if it was.  And that’s the only answer to theodicy, for God’s silence, for God’s absence.  For like the disciples in the empty tomb, I have not yet seen my risen Lord.  The only answer is this: the story is not yet over; the drama is still unfolding.

Doubting is not in itself bad.  Living with questions and uncertainty is part of being human.  But living out the answers to those questions is something that is much harder.  I don’t have all the answers, and I probably never will.  But I can try to live the answers out as best as I can, reaching for the impossible, reaching for the Divine, reaching through that impenetrable curtain.  And maybe – just maybe – God will rend the curtain from top to bottom, revealing Himself in glory through the triumph of love over evil and light over darkness.

 

 

 

[1] Robert C. Dykstra, “Rending the Curtain: Lament as an Act of Vulnerable Aggresssion.” Lament: Reclaiming Practices in Pulpit, Pew, and Public Square. Ed. Sally A. Brown and Patrick D. Miller. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005.