Thursday, August 21, 2008

Heartburn


I jog today with extra weight
the image of a blank screen
stalker deadlines in the bushes
and a mound of expectations
like a high pile of clumsy gadgetry
that only slips when I try to climb to the top
and the cords keep wrapping around my ankles
and pulling me down like evil seaweed
the world feels like it might be caving in
but I know You too well to believe it
and I listen for Your truth in the first song
in our little love story soundtrack

"Is this the new fear or just another fright?
Is this the new tear or just another desperation?
Is this the finger or just another fist?
Is this the kingdom or just a hit n' miss?
A misdirection, most in all this desperation
Is this what they call freedom?
Is this what you call pain?
Is this what they call discontented fame?
It'll be a day like this one
When the world caves in."
("The Blues" by Switchfoot)

I bring it all to you
the weight
the ache for You to fill in my blanks
running to catch You in the wind
or following only fast enough to see You turn a corner
I didn't sign up for a one woman show
I need You
in every assignment
every moment
every word
every syllable
breathing You into their ears
until it tickles and they have to choose

"What can I do with my obsession?
With the things I cannot see
Is there madness in my being?
Is it wind that blows the trees?
Sometimes you're further than the moon
Sometimes you're closer than my skin
And you surround me like a winter fog
You've come and burned me with a kiss
And my heart burns for you
And my heart burns . . . "
("Obsession" by Delirious)

all I can do is pray
for Your words, not mine
to feel You surround me like a winter coat
and burn me with a kiss
because my worst nightmare is that it's just my words
and they are so few in this moment of fear
so my few empty words cup like a bowl
waiting on the Spirit to pour in
writer's block paralysis
from heartburn
for others to know You
or come back to make the angels sing
louder than my ipod

"There are many prodigal sons
On our city streets they run
Searching for shelter
There are homes broken down
People’s hopes have fallen to the ground
From failures
This is an emergency!
There are tears from the saints
For the lost and unsaved
We’re crying for them come back home
We’re crying for them come back home
And all your children will stretch out their hands
And pick up the crippled man
Father, we will lead them home."

("Tears of the Saints" by Leeland)

tears and sweat drops meet
in V's and Y's and hold onto each other
until they hit the pavement
like the two halves of me
meeting in the crux of
full doubt in myself and
peace in Your arms when I fall
like Peter sinking in the waves
and calling out to you
arms that lift me back up
and increase my pace
with the rhythm of the next song

"Complexity haunts me for I am two men
Entrenched in a battle that Ill never win
My discipline fails me, my knowledge it fools me
But you are my shelter, all the strength that I need
It's my will, and I'm not moving
Cause if it's your will, then nothing can shake me
It's my will, to bow and praise you
I now have the will to praise my God."

("My Will" by DC Talk)

I can hear my breath gasping
but there's no pain
only me smiling like an idiot
flying through suburbia
with no concern for communal proprieties
unaware of anything but You
a child running on the playground again

"Here we are now with the falling sky and the rain,
We're awakening
Here we are now with our desperate youth and the pain,
We're awakening
Maybe it's called ambition, you've been talking in your sleep
About a dream, we're awakening
Last week found me living for nothing but deadlines,
With my dead beat sky but, this town doesn't look the same tonight
These dreams started singing to me out of nowhere
And in all my life I don't know that I ever felt so alive,
Alive"

("Awakening" by Switchfoot)


The blank screens flash back in my mind
along with the blurred faces
of all who need to find You
the steps start to feel heavy again
that stitch in the side begins like a little flame
but I refuse to slow
because I'm not relying on my strength alone
boot camp training for the real battle
of sitting back down
to face that white rectangle head on

"Let the wars begin, let my strength wear thin
Let my fingers crack, let my world fall apart
Train the monkeys on my back to fight
Let it start tonight
When my world explodes, when my stars touch the ground
Falling down like broken satellites
Let your love be strong,
and I don't care what goes down
Let your love be strong enough to weather through the thunder cloud
Fury and thunder clap like stealing the fire from your sky's
All that I am hanging on, all of my world resting on your love."
("Let Your Love Be Strong" by Switchfoot)

the confidence gets overzealous and crosses the line
from free-flow faith into scheduled checklists
determined robotic item completion
the drill sergeant is back with my raging voice
reminding me of those stalker deadlines
and the shrinking clock
tick tock click
the next song begins to makes me smile
an old favorite love song
Cody added when I wasn't looking
but again I listen for you . . .

"Sometimes, I get so tense
But I can't speed up the time
But you know, love, there's one more thing to consider
Said, woman, take it slow
Things will be just fine
You and I'll just use a little patience."
("Patience" by Guns N Roses)

Guns N Roses . . . who knew?
and I grin as I turn a corner
You have my attention
You have my faith
You have my heartburn
but I still need Your words
all I've ever wanted was to bring more of You
from up there to down here
so people can reach out
to touch You, see You, know You
to share You
but I'm feeling tongue-tied
so You start with the words
of my own prayer
as the next song fades in . . .

"I need a sign to let me know you're here
All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere
I need to know that things are gonna look up
'Cause I feel us drowning in a sea spilled from a cup
When there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head
When you feel the world shake from the words that are said
And I'm calling all angels
I'm calling all you angels
I won't give up if you don't give up."
("Calling All Angels" by Train)

and I turn the last corner into the tree tunnel
the route back to my front porch
back to the blank screen
back to the calling
with old songs in the ipod
new truths in my mind
like Your water on my fiery fears
and I know the words will come
because I won't give up if you don't give up
and after 2000 years
I think we both know
You'll never give up on us
so neither will I.


"After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly." Acts 4:31

"Henry Fonda was still throwing up before each stage performance, even when he was seventy-five. In other words, fear doesn't go away. Self doubt can be an ally. This is because it serves as indicator of inspiration. It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire, desire to do it . . . The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death." Steven Pressfield
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

"God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us." Acts 15:8

"This question of meaning of being, and dying and being, is behind the telling of stories around tribal fires at night; behind the drawing of animals on the walls of caves; the singing of melodies of love in spring, and of the death of green in autumn. It is part of the deepest longing of the human psyche, a recurrent ache in the hearts of all God's creatures. So when the messages, Listen to the silence. Stay Open to the voice of the spirit, and Slow me down , Lord, came, I was forced to listen and even to smile . . .The Holy Spirit does not hesitate to use any method at hand to make a point to us reluctant creatures."
Madelaine L'Engle
Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith in Art

3 comments:

Kathy Friend said...

Hello! Sounds like you had the kind of day I had...been trying to write an article for days now...deadline is today...still have a blank page.

Also wanted to tell you that I left something for you on my blog.

-Kathy

Corey Mann said...

Stop listening to the songs I listen to. That freaked me out.

caryn said...

your words amaze me - you have been given such an ability to paint thought provoking pictures. It is refreshing to hear your reliance on God and know that you know what He has given you to use for his kingdom. Be encouraged!