Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Tree on a Foggy Winter Day

Its many limbs
Finger the cold sky, rising
Out of the mist on my approach
Till, sharp,
They stand like dancers frozen in a pose,
Arms lifted
In praise of the sun's
Fog-filtered orb - a cold
Ball of silent fury.

Friday, December 7, 2012


It's time to bring it back.

I've been absent from this blog for over a year, and while I've maintained a ministry-focused blog, there's something about the freedom I've had in publishing here that I've missed. I miss the discipline of writing essays and poetry about whatever strikes my fancy, and putting it up for the few who stumble upon it to enjoy or vilify. I've missed being a writer, in other words.

And rather than simply post an announcement that I'm resurrecting a dead blog, some thoughts on resurrection:

The movie Batman Begins centers around the quote recited by multiple characters: "Why do we fall?" "So we can learn to get back up."

Most of the time we think of failures as moments to reject, to throw out onto a scrap heap somewhere and hope the trash collector comes early. We try not to dwell on them, we try our best not to let them weigh on us, and we move on. We'd rather not examine too deeply whether the failure was a result of deficiency within ourselves, or a result of circumstances we can't control. We'd just like to pretend it didn't happen. So we'll file it away, and avoid circumstances as much as we can that might put us in a position to experience the same kind of failure. We don't expose ourselves naturally to situations in which we might fail.

What I'm saying in all this is, resurrection's a miracle any way you cut it.

Let's look at the big example: the dead coming to life. Dead things stay dead - that's the rule by which nature operates, and any of us are hard-pressed to find exceptions to that rule. Death, as much as we resist believing and saying so, and as unsettled by it as we are, is the normal experience. Everything dies, and new life replaces the former. What dies does not revive. Every once in awhile we'll witness resuscitation, where that which was almost dead is restored to health, but this is not resurrection. A man whose lungs are filled with water may be in danger of dying - seconds away, perhaps - but as long as the water is expelled, the man will be fine. He can be resuscitated. The dead cannot. The dead are dead.

But resurrection restores life to what is dead, no matter what died. Resurrection belongs to the divine. Resuscitation is what the mortals do.

We can resuscitate dreams: ones that are wheezing on the scrap heap, clawing for air. We can breathe new life into their lungs and rescue them from death. But when a thing is dead, it takes an act of God to resurrect it.

"Why do we fall?" And what happens if we fall so hard we die? What happens when the Fall kills all of us?


There's a God who walks among the body-riddled scrap heap of this world, who picks up the broken, lifeless souls and gives them His life, binds their wounds, clothes them with festal garments, and sets them on a path they wouldn't have dared to dream about. Whether we know it or not, we're all dead inside without Him. We need resurrection power from the fall we've suffered - we are broken unto death.

We can't learn to get back up. We are down for the count, because before the count stopped, we stopped breathing. And until we can recognize that, we can't go anywhere. A dead man can't resurrect himself. And a dead dream - for peace, for love, for fulfillment - can't be restored either.

But this universe is ruled by a God who love to restore. He is making All Things New. He is resurrecting men and their dreams alike. He has defeated Death, and will soon vanquish it forever so that it will be nothing but a distant memory.