Thursday, November 17, 2011

thank you

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridge to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks that use us we are saying thank you
with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

-- W. S. Merwin


So here's what's going on -- life is really hard, for almost everybody. No, for everybody. There is not one person left unstained by the brokenness of this world, wrought either by their own hand or by the hand of another. Or both.

Each day that passes finds me more convinced of this bitter reality -- brokenness.

And for every new outward event that proves the brokenness to me, there is an almost one-to-one ratio of some inward event that - lest I be tempted to view the brokenness piously - makes it impossible for me to do so.

The world is broken. I am broken. And the world is broken.

I am broken. Also, I am redeemed. There have been some moments, so bright and expansive and hope-filled, when the redemption is so undeniable. Who could make beauty from ashes? Who could actually take the death and waste and (seemingly) useless parts of me, and transform them to life and purpose and power? Not me, not on my own.

I am broken. I am redeemed. Also, I am being redeemed.

Also, the world is being redeemed. Close to me, and far from me. Light always beats darkness. Love always beats fear. I have some evidence of this now, and I cling to it. Because I know one day (oh, I ache...let it be soon) we will have all the evidence we need.

"Oh, how I long for love to beat fear in your life. How I long for you to trust me! Lift up your eyes. I am calling out to you a thousand times a day, in a thousand different ways, to show you the beauty and the life and the power that is available to you. It's scary; I know it is terrifying. Because the cost is nothing less than losing the very life you've held so tightly. The life you still clench with white knuckles.

"You have spirit, that's for sure, and courage. But will you come to Gethsemane? Do you have the courage to have it out with me here? In Gethsemane, one does not have the luxury of hypotheticals. Oh, but one can find comfort, and purpose. And resurrection. Come to me, and you will find rest for your soul. Lose your life, and you will find it. This is the mystery. And this is the Truth."

thank you thank you thank you

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