Why do you mourn, oh starlett one?
Why do you gaze towards the horizon?
Why do you weep, oh weary one,
With your eyes toward the sea?
Why do you sigh
Like a mother never see her son again?
Why do you moan, stoop shouldered
With your eyes toward the sea?
Did you give your life and heart
To someone who would fail you?
Or did you simply learn the name
Of the One who found me?
Interesting thing about this poem: There are two lines at the bottom of it, in my note book, which are crossed out. They read, “I see it now/ I was destitute, I was dying.” I guess I just couldn’t think of anywhere to go with that idea in this particular poem. Now, it’s been a long time since I looked in this particular notebook, so I didn’t remember those extra lines at all. But I thought, well gee, that line looks familiar. So I did a little search and found this one. Apparently those two lines sat in my craw like a bit of sand in an oyster until finally… So I thought that was interesting. And I’m kicking myself now, because I have no idea when I wrote the other poem. I should have put the dates up when I was posting them. It never occurred to me that I would deliberately delete all my stuff on my computer.
In other news…
I guess dreams do come up. Here’s my story. I’ve been kind of dry for a while now. Aw heck, I’ve been dry and getting drier for a couple of years, probably. I think I hashed through this a couple of days ago. I got worn out at this church, I stopped going to that church, I quit my job and went back to school. I found a new church for a couple of years, but decided after much prayer and, I think, a word from God, that that wasn’t really where I was supposed to be. So now I’m looking for a new church. OK. Now we’re all on the same page. You too can hear that little old man chasing behind you on his crutches, saying, “running isn’t the answer!” We’ve really got to have a talk with that guy. He shouldn’t be chasing people around like that. I don’t care how old he is, he could get labeled a stalker.
Yeah. So… Dreams come up. I’m working out of a new notebook of old poems, and the other day I was flipping through to see what was there to work with. I have to tell you, to me at least, this stuff is amazing. It may or may not be particularly good poetry, but I can feel the spirit of God all over this stuff. And the amazing thing is, I know, looking at the dates of stuff, that this was one of the most miserable times of my life. I had a separate notebook that I was keeping at this same time, that was just full of page after page of, “God, why can’t I hear from you? I feel so numb. I can’t worship. I can’t think. Help!” I would go back every couple of days and copy the good stuff into this book (whose pages can’t be torn out) and tear out everything from the other book. And yet, the quality of the ideas in this book are just amazing, a reminder that in a lot of ways, I am a mere shadow of what I was then. I know exactly what it was, too. Around that same time where I just gave up, I made at least an inner decision to tone it down a little. There’s a Michael Card song called “Live this mystery,” and it has a line that goes
Like a moth ‘round the flame
Drawn to the light and pain
My life is hidden in thee
I must live this mystery.
I decided I couldn’t handle the pain, and stepped a step or two away from the flame. I literally stepped into the shadows, spiritually speaking (if you can have a literally and a spiritually in the same concept). Now, part of me knows that avoiding pain is the worst possible thing you can do as a Christian, precisely because of the experience I just described. A life without pain is a life without risk and a life without risk is, well… not a life. I would be willing to bet that you could go ahead and make a sort of formula out of this one (yes yes, I know, formulas are not spiritual): to the degree that you avoid pain, you will also avoid any kind of upward spiritual progress. But the other part of me says, fine, but enough is enough. You can only tolerate so much radiation before you start to mutate. I was worn out; I was beat up, and I had to take a break. I will stand by that position until whenever. It just so happens that my break has lasted about two years.
So, the other night, when I was reading my notebook, it had an effect on my that “My Utmost for His Highest” has never managed to do. It lit a little spark in me. I had to go pray. So I left the dorm and wandered the lush and vacant hillsides of urban Charlotte late at midnight, until I came to a little church whose buildings were only worth $10 or 11 million. And I wandered around the building and saw a little chapel with it’s light on. So I went into the chapel and had myself a little prayer time. I prayed and I sang and I worshipped, and it was just like old times. God even spoke to me a little bit. He said one phrase: “It is time.”
I’m taking that as a hint. I think I’ve been recovering perhaps just a wee bit too long. It’s time for me to huddle a little bit closer and see if I can catch myself on fire again. A little metaphor on fires for you: Do you know how the wick of a lantern keeps from being consumed? It’s got a tap supply to an awful lot of oil. I know what “the oil” means to me. Do some research. See what it means “for you.”
That said, I’m going to make myself available. We’ll see how much God wants to use me.
P.S. I’ve gone back to that little chapel since then, and apparently the doors to that room are always kept locked unless there’s a meeting planned there. Hmm…