Don’t deny the thing inside
That tells you what is right.
You may not always do what’s right,
None of us are perfect.
And you may not always know what’s right,
There is no shame in ignorance.
But beware of saying that right is wrong
And wrong is right
When you know better.
For you might just convince yourself.
And once convinced, your state is truly terrible
Since you will fight for the wrong that’s right
And fight against the right that’s wrong.
And the spirit of all that deceives then takes control
And drives toward the abyss.
And surely, surely,
It will be a long time
Before the fog lifts,
Yes, truly, only ruin can help you when
The truth that burns within has been denied.
There is something about the form in silhouette that we like to see.
We don’t always want to see each of the particulars.
But the simple thing, the form,
Cast upon the backdrop
Of evening colors
Why is that?
Perhaps it is because peace lies
In swallowing the whole
To spite the ugly parts.
And perhaps that’s how we were persuaded
To choose earth life before we came here.
We saw the whole of our future lives
Silhouetted upon the backdrop
Of God’s perfect evening colors
And we said, sure. I’ll take it. It’s beautiful.
I can watch the life of leaves.
And so far, I have seen 49 crops,
49 crops, And they come and go
Without me doing anything.
It makes me think that life
Might be more on track
Than I realize.
Oh Great Man in the sky,
Holy Father, much maligned,
Look down with mercy upon us, your wayward children,
And shed grace upon our weakness,
For we cannot see you much of the time,
And so often we forget the way.
Oh, Jesus, Son of the Divine,
Have mercy upon us in our wayward climb,
And find us here in the depths of our worldly blindness.
And guide our steps day by day,
And forgive us when we think
That we can figure it out.
Holy Spirit, whisper of the Divine,
Please give to us this day
The manna that doesn’t keep.
Give us answers for the very moment
And keep us from thinking that we can figure it out.
For you are Holy, Perfect Spirit, Son, and Father much maligned.
And you know the way. When we stray, you know the way.
If we will but turn to you in blindness
And offer up our lofty thoughts as a sacrifice
For they make us think we know the way
When in the end, they lead astray.
And only day by day
You show the way.
Day by day you show the way.
If I had a great balloon, I’d travel
This way and that, and up and down,
And throughout the world, from nation to nation,
And from people to people.
I’d float it into the hole on the top of the earth
And visit the ones who live inside.
And I’d take it past the stratosphere
Into the open expanse of space,
Not because I had some appointment to keep,
But because I wanted to wander off
And follow the need
And I wouldn’t tell the Martians I was coming.
I’d just show up and pretend that I was one of them.
I’d wander the streets of the alien towns
And sit in roadside cafes
And watch the people,
The alien people,
And soak up the thing they are.
And then I’d find the downcast Martians there
And put my arm around them.
I’d make them feel that I was one of them
And pretend that I was theirs and they were mine.
Yes, if I had a great balloon, I’d travel far.
I’d make the universe my passion.
And I’m not so sure that that is wholesome.
Perhaps there are reasons for the bounds
That tie fast to this little earth.
I don’t know. But one thing for sure,
My heart flies upon a great balloon,
It wraps itself around the downtrodden
Of people, alien people, not like myself,
But like myself nonetheless.
And I think that that’s ok.
Remember, when your project
To do a thing for God goes wrong,
When the church never rises from the prairie,
Or the community of Saints
Falls into disarray
That the City of God is not made by earthly hands.
It is not a thing, not a place.
It is not made of lumber or brick or mortar.
It is made of people who have come through great tribulation.
And the pillars that hold up the temple therein are people.
And the gates to enter therein are the names
Of Jacob’s dysfunctional family.
The great work of God is not the thing that you build in his name,
It is the thing that you become in the process of trying,
He does not need the earthly things he asks for.
He needs your obedience when he calls.
And the purity of heart that results
From coming through “great tribulation” in His name.
Rev 7:14…these are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Rev 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Rev 21:12-13 …a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates
Life didn’t turn out the way I planned,
But it’s been good, real good,
Better than real good, really,
To spite the pain.
And I’m ok.
And I am grateful for it all,
Grateful for the thing that I could be
To spite not being all that I had hoped to be.
And I’m grateful for the people that I touched,
To spite the times I failed them,
And grateful for the ones I loved
Though I did so imperfectly
And with many flaws.
Perhaps it is not possible
To be all that we hope to be.
But we come anyway.
We come and love.
And I still believe,
To spite it all
That it is worth the trip.
I am inclined to sell what sells if it is honest, aren’t you?
And to sell plenty of it so that I can let it rest
At the end of the day
And focus on other things.
After all, I am not smart or clever.
So I had better not try to speculate.
There was more peace in books.
We have lost something
By displaying motion
Beneath the sea there are things
That we don’t know about.
In the unfathomable cold
Of the Ocean Deep,
There is peace,
Peace for you and me,
Peace because we don’t know what lives there,
Peace because we cannot see the things
That swim in the unseeable dark
Of the Ocean Deep.
Yes, there is peace
In the great tumult of the waves
And the currents that move like highways
In and out and through the thing that we call the sea.
Yes there is peace. And the master of all that is unknown
Sees the things that we can’t see and makes his home
Amidst the chaos of the thing we can’t perceive.
And for that reason, there is peace
In the things that we don’t know about.
Even in the dark of the unfathomable Ocean Deep.
If I want to connect with Him
I resist the impulse to fill the void with noise.
I sit in silence. But even after all these years,
It still burns sometimes.
There is a planet where the sun never sets
And it is gold all over.
There is a planet where the light shines from every stick
And the buzzards lay light-filled eggs that glow all over.
There is a future planet,
And on that planet, there is a man whose vest shines
Like the sun at noonday.
Yes there is a planet where light is everything
And we are going there one day
If we can only leave this world behind us forever,
Leave this world behind forever.
And I am going there today.
Will you come with me
To the planet that shines upon the world of yesterday
And beacons to those who want the light
More than the world of darkness.
Yes, the golden light-filled planet
Shines bright in the heavens of my deepest faith-filled thoughts.
And I see it. I will see it.
And you see it. You will see it.
It is coming for us today.
Yes the golden light-filled planet
Has come for us today.
I used to try to be good.
But I don’t do that anymore.
Since I don’t know what is good.
God is good. That I know.
And I trust the thing that I am
Because I am not my own creation.
And it seems that though I am not good
That goodness still visits me to spite myself
And I am grateful for that.
And yet, I also do not throw off inhibition
Because I do love goodness.
I love each lovely thing
That I have always loved.
I cling to every beautiful virtue that I can.
And I let go of the things that I can’t cling to
Trusting that in time they will come to me
To spite my imperfection. In other words,
I believe that He is doing a work in me
And I trust the process.
Day by day I write away my life,
Write away my life, fare thee well.
Fare thee well my life, my tender life,
And I write away, day by day, fare thee well.
I write away my life in middle age,
Away my life, fare thee well.
I write away, and day by day I say,
Fare thee well, I say, fare thee well.
And when my life is ripe with age,
Ripe with age, fare thee well.
I’ll write away at end of day
Till the end draws near,
And the angels say
Come up and put your pen away.
Put your pen away, fare the well.
And on that day I’ll be whisked away
Whisked away, I say, fare thee well.
And on that day, I’ll be whisked away
My life will end, and I will say,
Fare thee well.
Everyone wants their marriage to last forever
But to have a forever marriage,
You must stay married
Even when your spouse renigs.
And to do that you must know by the Spirit of God
That faith will do the trick.
And only God can tell you that.
And not everybody is willing to pay such a price.
And not everybody believes that God can make it known.
But for those who do, and those who know, I broach the subject.
For the Adam and Eve relationship functions upon certain principles.
And if we are ever to return to the Garden of Eden,
And to that love which bound our first parents
In an eternal, never-ending, union,
We must consider the stuff
That makes it up.
We need so little to be happy.
But you may not know that yet.
But it will come. Simplicity is on the rise.
It is claiming the world for Him,
Till only the foxes will have holes.
And then, the end.
You will never fully understand me
While we are in this world.
And I can’t explain it to you.
I wish to God that I could.
But I am unable to explain it even to myself,
Though I know the wind that blows.
And my life has been a life upon the wind,
Blowing this way and that.
And I haven’t known anything
Except that I am not my own,
And that I must go where the wind blows.
But one day, we’ll both go home.
We’ll travel north to the place
From which the wind blows.
And there it will all make sense.
And we will rejoice in it together
When the truth is no longer hidden
By solid things that don’t make so much sense as the wind.
I am a traveling man, a traveling man.
I never stay too long.
I take a job and leave it.
But when I stop, I hunker down
And search out long-forgotten friends,
Kindred, broken, torn-up, souls
The grown-ups leave behind
And they hang on by the tassels
To crumbs left for the dogs.
And I take down their stories
To tell the world about the ones
That chose the most unwanted roles
So that others could be the winners.
For someone has to lose in life.
Someone has to be the one
That falls behind.
It’s an important part,
And there is much to learn
From being broken and despised.
But it is easy to forget.
And so I take notes.
I write it down
And then hold it up before the world
In all its gruesome beauty.
A traveling man, a traveling man,
And I never stay too long.
I take a job. I write it down.
I tell the story. I leave the town.
And all because I’m a traveling man,
A traveling man, a traveling man.
It is good to receive things for free
Because we are freer with the things
That we don’t pay for,
And especially if we believe
That there will be more.
Think about it.
If you work all month at minimum wage
And then go out to eat and order fillet mignon,
And if you spend every spare dollar on that meal,
Then it is precious.
You hover over the plate protectively.
You lose yourself in the experience
And every other person in the restaurant
Disappears in the momentary bliss of that dish.
And heaven help the soul
That gets between you
And your dearly bought succulence.
And yet, when the 18 wheeler
Comes barrelling down the canyon
And turns over just in front of your house
And spills forth 20 pallets full of frozen choice cuts,
You call your friends
And the town descends upon the pile
And your only joy is that it didn’t go to waste.
Do the thing that you’re afraid of
If you know that it is right,
And let the chips fall
Where they will.
It’s better than the alternative.
When you live by faith,
You reap where you do not sow
Because you never know
How you'll be paid
For sowing seeds
Where you will not reap.
Life is simple. They say that it is complicated, but they’re wrong.