His Turn…

My fundamentalist roots have taught me the urgency of expressing my faith and sharing it with others.  It also taught me to think of this moment as vital to the outcome of the rest of eternity.  While there are limited parts of this thinking I might now tend to agree with, much I no longer concede.  I’d like to think God plays a larger part in his creation and the control thereof.  If God is dependent upon me for the wheels to keep spinning, well this is going to be a bumpy ride.

My faith has evolved to a more mysterious place of late where God can be God and I can be, well, me.  The pressure to perform and keep the world whole and happy is more than I can bear nor be expected to succeed.  While this has been my mental process for quite a while now, I want to make this public proclamation.  I’m not going to be helping God out anymore; I think he has it under control.

My role is going to be that of a servant who helps out and seeks to avoid the spotlight the performance ministry of my younger days encourages.  You’ll find me trying to befriend the friendless, help the helpless, and welcoming in the castoffs of society.  The fight for the underdog will find my support as will resisting the advancement of anger.  I seem to be more comfortable around the church’s interpretation of “sinners” anyway, so that’s where you’ll find me if you set out to look.  I think I’ll just work on being a good friend going forward.

Goodbye created order, hello reality.

Let go and let God.

The Magic Tree

The shady spot under the tree asks me to sit down and visit for a spell.  We’ve not been together for awhile, so the invitation is readily accepted.  The shady spot offers me a cool release from the attaching heat surrounding me in every direction.  What a welcome relief this is.  This should be a good visit.

I find myself reclining against the tree and notice a part of me that I had been missing too long has suddenly enjoined us.  I recognize this realm by the peace and calmness that becomes my present experience.

No sound is heard but the quiet.  No emotion felt but contentment.

I’m asked why I don’t come out and visit more often.

I have no answer.

Go Fly a Kite…

My daughter likes to tell her friends of my affinity for flying kites.  For some reason kite flying hasn’t transcended to my next generation.  Our kids will come outside and see me flying a kite and give the look; you know what look I’m referring to, that look teenagers give parents when they seem to enjoy themselves.  Parents should know better than to try and have fun.

I had a favorite kite shop located in a back alley in San Francisco’s Chinatown.  Each time I visited the city I made sure to stop by and pick up something new and extraordinary.  The shop owner was a small gentle man who loved to talk about kites.  We hit it off famously.

I had this one kite, rather large compared to most others, that when assembled made quite a display against the background of the sky.  Besides its bright plumage it also had eight lengths of brightly colored fabric trailing its magnificent flight.  These tails were over 20 feet long so when this kite took flight, people noticed the swatch of flying artwork.  As a person who likes to make a spectacle, this was the perfect opportunity.

The downside to such a kite was the amount of wind it took to get it aloft.  Gentle gusts would do nothing but see me drag the kite helplessly about trying to find the perfect direction of the brief wind being blown.  Getting this kite up would be reserved for special occasions and waiting was not my forte.

Then came the hurricane.

Most people who’ve experienced a hurricane will tell you they are destructive events that disrupt daily living for extended periods.  Having been through a few I thought flying my kite  may be the welcome break my neighbors and I needed.   After all the prepping for the storm all one does it sit and wait for the storm to come.  Knowing its coming and having nothing to do but sit and wait to get pounded effects one mental make-up.

So I thought the best way to fight back against the big blowhard was to use the advancing winds to get my albatross of a kite up in the air.  Neighbors peered out their windows as I dragged the beast outside ready for flight.  As soon as she went up, and boy did she go up fast, my neighbors came out in droves to share the moment.  There we stood staring at all this color pulling against this long string and watching this dance of simplicity.

It wasn’t long before the storm got too strong and eventually snapped my string before I could return the kite to earth.  I watched the kite sail away like a balloon towards heaven.  Then I looked and found the same sadness in the eyes of my neighbors.

A common event.  A common emotion.  A common time to reflect together on life.  That is what community is all about.

When everyone came to their senses they scattered like roaches in daylight when they remembered the incoming hurricane.  Real danger loomed.

Enjoyment doesn’t always have to be complicated.  Sometimes it’s so very simple.  Like flying a kite.

Lesson:  Know the difference between fun and danger.  You might end up saving your kite.

It was fun while it lasted.


Lena Horne

Recently a legend passed from us.  Lena Horne died after 92 history making years changing the face of entertainment.  She was a remarkable beauty.

My grandfather was a musician’s musician who understood and valued quality music and talent when he saw and heard it.  Lena Horne had it all for him.  Not only was she a gifted singer but she was also quite a looker as well.

Grandpa would always talk about the crush he had on his girlfriend.  He would ask me, “have you ever seen someone so beautiful ever?”  As a young boy a certainly appreciated his fondness for this attractive woman.  But the way he talked about her as his girlfriend troubled me.  So this young boy finally set out to clarify the situation.

We lived in a small town where everyone knew everyone else and all of their personal business good or bad.  Imagine the surprise on my teachers face when I told her of my grandfather’s affair.  Word got around pretty quickly and soon I found myself sitting in the school nurse’s office who happened to be my grandmother.  What’s all this about Grandpa having a girlfriend?  Tell me now she demanded.

So I came clean about the private conversations I had with Grandpa, detailing the depths of his attraction to Lena Horne.  Seldom has a face transfigured so quickly removing the look of anger with the new shape of humor.  Grandma laughed and gave me a hug and sent me back to class.  The clean-up around town was now beginning.  Hopefully news of Grandpa’s unfaithfulness would begin to dissipate to all the newshounds in town.

Thanks for the warm remembrance of my Grandfather, Ms. Horne.

National Day of Performance Prayer

I don’t get it.  I don’t understand the need.  I don’t see the value.

The National Day of Prayer.

First off, I believe in prayer and the value prayer plays in people’s lives.  Prayer enables us to find peace and calmness in a world where both are greatly lacking.  Prayer moves us closer to our God and the surrounding warmth of his presence.  Prayer works.

This event seems reminiscent the prophets of old running around cutting themselves, dancing and crying out to the pagan gods trying desperately to get the attention of a distant god who needs so much pleasing to care.  Again, I don’t get it.

Prayer should be a daily part of our existence, a very part of our being just as breathing is.  Staging such events to show everyone we are prayer warriors seems insincere.  Such propaganda is nothing more than creating infomercials to the holy for the sole purpose of securing a claim to God’s favor for our country and our people.  God has no more love for the American people than he does the Dalit’s of India.

We can’t be greedy, uncaring, and judgmental all year and expect these cruel traits be overlooked because we gather with others to show our sincerity once a year on a crowed courthouse.

I like theatre as much as the next person.  I wonder how God feels about it.

Coming Soon…

For those of you who’ve asked, I”ve about passed the blockage in my brain.  My writing constipation is coming to an end.  Hopefully soon more can be added.