The Music Box

It is morning, the day before my mother’s funeral. My oldest son and I are standing by the French doors in the great room of my mother’s house. He is cleaning the windows and I am admiring the view of the pond when we both hear music coming from the mantle above the fireplace, six to eight feet from where we are standing.

I go over, thinking it must be one of her clocks. It is not. It is a music box, playing its song.

It played for a couple minutes, then the morning quiet resumed.

That was all.

My mother died last week

She was sick. The accretion of conditions related to smoking years ago and other things were taking their due.

John 20:1 NIV
[1] Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

John 20:19-23 NIV
[19] On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” [20] After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. [21] Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” [22] And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. [23] If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Advice for the dictator

Lately he doesn’t seem to smile much, hardly a surprise when his latest hobby is world domination.

I pray for him, but how?

How do you pray for a monster?

By acknowledging we are all monsters, only some monsters do not obey the voices in our heads which

Reduce cities to rubble and children to dust.

The advice is simple–

You are a man, just a man

And you are dying

You cannot, no,will not, outrun God

Repent and change

Leave everything but your soul behind and say you are sorry for what you have done

Replace your illusions of control with the acknowledgement of your weakness

For we are all monsters here

Debtors all to grace

The Feast of Thorns

Long before our terrible story your birthday was already

the feast of Servites pruning winter roses. I cling to that now, all the other days this day could be:

Obstinate mountains lumber into obeisant seas

Lame men whole, blind men see

Dead men rise and shake off their shroudy bindings

impossible things all around ya

If only you will

See

Chuppah

You should not drink juice, especially from plastic straws, should not drink milk, especially whole, for animal protein is a moral issue now, too much to intervene, to save the children from anything but

Juice and whole

Milk, honey,

And mammon are such old words, reminders Jesus is older than

All of us. This rough hut, this hand-held chuppah, this soaring cathedral, this new grave, this glassy sea.

I may tell myself in my best moments that all this is the real real, true true we will inhabit together One Day, One Day

But today, yesterday, tomorrow even

We are the monsters

We become.

Words for thirsty

We sit in the shade, it is all shade here, so incorporeal, so many of us, all waiting for a voice, for a light, for The Before The After, the now and forever, we talk of sunsets, the way the sun might send one last piercing shaft of light up through the darkening sky, faith-hope-love coming for us, they say, these men who have seen the-greatest-of-these-is-love

But when? How long until

We are irrevocably

Called to life.

Jennifer the Beautiful

I miss you girl

Miss your sister

Your nieces, nephews, cousins, children

Used to sing

Break-up songs for lullabies

Wish I could write you and me

A happy kind of story instead

No lost loves, no broken promises

Hope changed into

The steady gaze of a man who can build with his own two hands

Homecoming tabernacle

For all us, broken