Maps in the Dark

Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth.

I look around and wonder what we are, really. A mortal yarn that spins its life away with each second, each breath. A small beating, blood-colored muscle surrounded by a fragile cage of bones. Thump, thump. A frail fleshly body that houses an eternal weight of glory, made to worship and chase and love with an undimmed blaze that we have canned and isolated like preservatives with a shelf life. Here’s a candle for your career. A brief, colorful firework for your love story. A lamp for your Sunday religion, if you want it.

We have learned to make filters that cover our brokenness. What, I wonder, would we find, if we tore the layers away? Where is the raw, bleeding heart buried in the rubble?

A splintering world can’t be bandaged by human hands and machines. I want to shake you, when I see you drawing maps in the dark and sprinting through a maze with a cliff at the finish line. What good are these bits and bytes, these Babel-like structures, these soaring speeches if we all come to dust and ashes?

Still our hearts love these glints of gold, gleaming in the dull iron landscape of existence. Oh, how we live for that bright and elusive tomorrow, forgetting that all tomorrows will end in the grave. I suppose we must forget – because we are not human without hope. Hope that there is more, that the glimmers in the gray are not liars, but angels. Hope that we simultaneously cling to and crush because we love and hate holiness.

Before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. 

The mad world spins on. But on the other side of the veil, glory dawns like a sunrise. And in the still, quiet moments, it calls to us.

The stone was rolled away. And He is not silent.

For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

Vanity’s Shroud

What a strange old world,
where I’ve got one heart
but a thousand faces,
I’ve got a hundred friends
but one ticket to Vegas.

What a sad old world,
where we wear smiles
and our words are sweet,
but all we do, all we do
is love and leave.

It’s the American Dream
and it keeps beckoning,
but what will it cost me?
‘Cause my Mama said:
don’t chase what’s empty,
and my Daddy said:
honey, no dream is free.

What a cruel old world,
where we all die
and even though we know,
we still buy our drinks
and sell our souls.

If I have a son one day,
I’ll always tell him
just one more time:
if you chase anything,
chase the truth
in a world of lies.

It’s the American Dream
and it keeps beckoning,
but what will it cost me?
‘Cause my Mama said:
don’t chase what’s empty,
and my Daddy said:
honey, no dream is free.

 

Featured in Germ Magazine December 2015.