I remember scrambling over the train, throwing my bike across my shoulder and climbing stilled boxcars. Sopping wet, singing at the top of my lungs, and setting my sites on upcoming puddles promising the biggest splashes as I remounted from the other side. In the spring and summer of 2014, the seams of heaven loosened to historic levels of inclement rains on our semi-arid desert region; intoxicating balcony sessions filled my evenings with a slung hammock, interminable coffee allotments, and soul-wrecking books.
In the mornings, I had a circuit of figure eights I’d imprint around the trees: praying and laughing, touching blooms and blossoms, whispering to the clouds, listening to serenity’s secrets as the morning bustle awoke, imposing her departure. ‘Seducive’ has always been the tone of morning’s approach to my awake. A tanilizing solemnity that enratpures and stimulates with the sensitivity and arousal of an old lover’s touch and presence, forever favored by time and its phlegmatic inducing; who is seemingly a closet, hopeless romantic.
There are trees I remember. Scripted into creation for my discovery. Their dendritic patterns lacing the sky as I lay on my back counting leaves, those heroic holdouts left self-commissioned under a moral obligation to grant us with color until winters reprise. I guess it’s spots. There are colors that have arisen behind my eyelids in meditation, eternally present. The cool touch of rocks, whose embrace I still feel touching my skin as the seat to a masterpiece before my eyes. Those places where divinity speaks without words and serenades without song. Those moments of poetic glimmers, attuned to and surrendered in. Symphonic interabiding of colors, breath, wishes, and bliss. I have rocks and spots and trees held sacred to me. I’ve felt moments lapped in wonder.
I need to remember to be youthful. Remember to play. Remember to sing. Remember the euphoric moments ever present and waiting.
We get to scandalously participate in a life that softly invites us to see splendor and impressiveness in ordinary, recognizing more to be seen than the eye allows. The whole world is articulated with a clarity and vibrancy through a lens attentive to the divine.
God is everything. Practicing His presence every moment of the day, living a posture benignly held by in place by the dynamic play of grace and pursuit of awe. We get to scandalously participate in a life that softly invites us to see splendor and impressiveness in ordinary, recognizing more to be seen than the eye allows. The whole world is articulated with a clarity and vibrancy through a lens attentive to the divine. A way of Being that would seem unfulfilled in anything less than a total, reckless dance of devotion.
Animated by worship, we’re drawn to make choices counter-cultural to accomplishment, forward progress, or achievements. Then how we spend time looks differently; the presence of others, career goals and sense of place change. The thrill of experience, efficiency, and binding economic, utilitarian value to everyone and everything, loose relevance and meaning. Faith, walked out in a reality that transforms, isn’t interested in crossing finish lines and sees the model of tallying up successes as archaic and sterile.
And that’s where it begins.
“Wonder is the state of our being asked” (Heschel). We now enter into this place where “endless wonder is endless tension,” where we are forever weighed by this “load of marvel, wishing to exchange it for the simplicity of knowing what to live for, a load which we can never lay down nor continue to carry not knowing where” (Heschel). This is where I’ve found myself. I crave to move from the hints of the ethereal to constant communion with a way of living. How do I live in the deepest connection with Him? I don’t have the ability to return to speculation or acquisitiveness in knowing Him, understanding theoretically or intellectually can’t satisfy a life of worship of mystery and marvel. A way of being. It seems to be the returning theme of life; to look out at life from a place of conscious union with God. Constant questioning remains though.
What is asked of me now? How do I give you the most glory? How do I walk in a “transcendence of living,” bringing the most redemption and restoration to humanity and creation? How can I bring heaven here in all I do?
I want a life lived out scandalously. I want to turn down job promotions or opportunities, driven by what’s best for the incarnational faith community I dwell in and what’s best for family. I want to practice true biblical freedom, referenced by a Russian theologian as “restriction of self for others”. I want to give radically in resources and monetary value to supporting the brethren, knowing if I take care of our brothers and sisters, God will take care of me. To live communally in a fellowship, loving and serving one another in a way “on earth as it is in heaven.” I want to crawl across the threshold of heaven with callouses and bruises, having lived and labored for creation care, hospitality, and justice in my midst; battered internally by a heart beaten from loving out of vulnerability and no expectation. I desire to love.
I’ve been asked. Now how do I reply, God?