Friday, September 24, 2010

On this Harvest Moon (I'm still in love with you)

If you don't live in this part of my city, you'd probably be surprised at how quiet it is at night. The city bus stops running at about ten, so people stop moving up and down the street toward the bus stops on either end. The cars pretty much stop, too. In the summer the June bugs and air conditioners hum mechanically all night, but this time of year they've generally quieted. (Except for this week when the Indian Summer has driven the temperatures back up to the high-nineties once again.)
I came home late last night and stood on our stoop looking up. Up at the red eyes of the television towers and the full moon hanging heavy between them. The clouds were fragmented and thin as they blew across the face of the sky. There in the darkness at the divide of the year, my neighborhood was quiet. Quiet and holy. Holy. Holy. Holy. I lifted my hands (He stretched out his Arms) and resisted the persistent peace (that comes with acceptance) as it washed over me in waves and ribbons. It wasn't a mistake. You didn't make a mistake. The answer to the question of my heart for all these months. I haven't been ready to let myself off the hook.
We came to the city for the "right reasons," I realize now, but with the wrong...well, methodology? Intentions? Theoretical constructs? Something. Something wrong. Nevertheless, we came and we failed. On a truly Magnificent Level. On the level of failed marriages, failed priesthoods, failed friendships, failed churches, and ultimately failed religions.
I made the comment last night with some of my friends that David and I never wondered if we had a missional call. Not true, said my friend, because you went there. We came here. And we are still here. And after six years of testing and proving and development, maybe we're finally ready to do what we came to do. And it's so much simpler than I thought and so much harder.
I have a feeling after writing this, that some of you are looking at me through your computer screens and thinking "Well, I'm glad she's finally come to terms with her failure." And I ask you, with sincerity, have you come to terms with yours?
Yeah. Me neither.


G. Twilley said...

We're doing a lot of reading on Martin Luther right now (reformation: church history).

1518 Heidelberg Disputation:
"28. The love of God does not find, but creates, that which is pleasing to it. The love of man comes into being through that which is pleasing to it.

(part of ML's explanation) Therefore sinners are attractive because they are loved; they are not loved because they are attractive..."

All to say, your post has echoes of this. Failure reminds us of a God who lavishes grace on us to make us lovable. Thanks for sharing your experience in the autumn night.

rebekka said...

You. Blow. me. AWAY!!!!!!!!

And that song makes me weep, every time.

susan said...

Gene, yes! This really is germaine to my thought-train. I so appreciate you sharing this. I'll have to think about it some more.

Rebekka, you make me blush. I miss you. Just you, but also your whole perspective and insight.