Christ Jesus, Keeper of Love

Christ Jesus, Keeper of Love—exchange our hearts for Yours. You’ve asked us to love You, and this alone reveals the tragedy of our condition. What should, of every order given in all the annals of time, have been least burdensome to follow—has utterly confounded us.

You’ve asked us to treat all others as we would have them treat us—seemingly simple enough, since we share the plight of all humanity. Yet, still we strive to sustain ourselves—no matter the cost to our neighbors.

You’ve asked us to love each other in the same way You have loved us—Dear God, show us how! Teach us how such a thing can ever be possible.

We need You. Please, come to us—and in this very moment, conform us to Your image. Irrevocably consume and let us die to ourselves—that we might know Life for the very first time.

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Who Are You?

Who are you that makes the sun to shine and the moon to cast its gleam? Who are you that sways the waters blue, composing a cradle for life to teem?

Who are you that gives the rose its scent, commanding the dew to crown it in splendor? Who tells the doe to hide in flora, making way for nativity tender?

Who are you that called us forth from dust, bestowing your breath and bidding us trust?

Providing our shade ‘neath your towering trees, until one of them threw us in shame to our knees.

Now, lo! Do we see you spinning a robe, to cover and comfort and shield us from cold? Who are you, we ask, that would do such a thing for we who have fallen and made your heart sting?

Who are you with hands so calloused and worn, yet smiling so sweetly upon the forlorn?

Your face so familiar, yet strange to behold—who are you whose friendship is worth more than gold?

Who are you that cries all alone in the dark, who asks more than anything never to part from the source of all wisdom and glory and love—lifting your eyes to the vastness above?

Who are you with arms open wide in such pain? These arms meant for holding now carry the stain of crimson transgression, but how could this be? You’re hurt for our crimes while we are set free.

Who are you whose death has given us life? Who are you whose triumph has ended our strife?

Oh please, you must tell us, for we long to know. Who are you that loves us? We cherish you so.

 

Celestial Dance

In dreams, one night, I traversed a cosmic ballroom—unmatched in opulence and charm. Every passage, arbor, and column contrived to hold my gaze as I stood perplexed before divinity. Every god and goddess known appeared to grace the dance floor. From Aphrodite to Vishnu, the tapestry of holiness unwound before my eyes. A gala of the gods, I thought. A bal masque of supernatural glory—how is it that I should be here? 

Bemused and somewhat frightened, I hastened through the hall—my dizzied head unwittingly keeping time to ethereal twirls. But amid the commotion, my gaze abruptly set upon a captivating figure standing alone in the recess. The spinning stopped. The room stood still. And then there was nothing. Nothing save his piercing eyes on mine. Nothing save to come to him.

Slowly and deftly, his eyes led my feet toward him, ’til finally I stood in his reach—knowing not why. Was it the intensity in his stare? The kindness in his smile that had drawn me near him? Maybe, I thought. But as I paused to look back upon the heavenly scene unfolding, I couldn’t help but wonder something else. Maybe it’s because of all of them, he is the one who most resembles myself. 

Suddenly, his hand beneath my chin swept me away from my thoughts—and my eyes returned again to him. “Dance with Me,” he said.

Oh, what else could I do? What else could I do but yield forever to his requests?

I gave him my hand and surrendered to his warm embrace, returning his smile as we joined the throng of celestial dancers. Clumsy and stiff though I am, not once did he allow my feet to flounder—not once did he let me fall. On the contrary, in his arms, I was the image of poise and serenity. A miracle, I whispered aloud.

Then, something recalled me, again, to his eyes—his eyes which pervaded my soul. I searched deeper within their intensity—and found there ultimate suffering. Our dancing ceased as I looked once more at our entwined hands. There were scars at his wrists. I could scarcely believe it. A god with scars? I looked away and tried to mask my shock. But the scars didn’t end at his wrists. No matter where on his body I set my eyes, they seemed to be everywhere. Forgetting myself, I reached up and traced a line across his head.

At once, he caught my hand and lowered it slowly toward his heart. He gently placed it there to let me feel its beating… The resonance overwhelmed me, and then, at last, I knew. He’s human, I whispered in my mind. My God has a heartbeat. 

I struggled in vain to give voice to my feelings. In vain because He knew them already.

“It stopped once for you,” He tenderly whispered—as though He were breathing His very Life into me. “That’s why you’re here with Me now.”

I could bear it no longer. My whole body trembled as my tears spilled forth. I could feel everything He’d felt. I looked up and saw that His eyes were wet, too. Then, falling to the floor, I asked Him, “Oh, God, what do You wish? Please, tell me what You want. I’ll do anything.” 

“I love you,” He said as He reached for my hands. “Will you dance with Me?” 

 

 

Tree of Knowledge

It doesn’t seem like much now—this life-deprived and wilted thing standing still in the loneliest place on earth.

Oh, why did we ever want it?

Is it because we were afraid to miss out on something special—some strange, elusive secret that we couldn’t help but know?

Were we so entranced with longing for the one thing withheld that we sneered at all we’d been given?

Was it not enough to be sheltered in our innocence, clinging to Another in absolute trust?

And, what of Love? Surely, Love was worth more than an untasted fruit.

For all the knowledge we’ve gained, we still seem to have more questions than answers. Why?

Evil haunts our hearts, as our minds crowd with false piety.

We could’ve had Everything, but we had to know everything.

Oh, that we could take it back—just take it back and run into His arms!

Like joyful children, that we could play unbridled in the kingdom of Purity!

It doesn’t seem like much now—this life-deprived and wilted thing standing still in the loneliest place on earth.

So, tell me—why do we still reach for its hollow branches?

 

 

Eucharisteo

For tender hearts to share our course and whispers of childhood dreams.

For twinkling light on a summer’s night and the moon of wondrous gleam.

For crystal pools to calm the heat and emerald meadows ‘neath our feet.

For joy within the midst of sorrow, and life today despite tomorrow.

We thank You for Your Presence nigh in everything we see.

We look around and sense Your love—none greater could there be!

Return to Eden

Close your eyes. Sense naught but the warmth of the sun as it kisses unveiled flesh. Smell the wild and fragrant honeysuckle, and take it to your lips—it is for you. Now, rise and run unbridled through windswept fields! See the hues of stunning sky and dance beneath its splendor. Feel soft, green life on tender toes and fear not to bathe beneath the cloudburst. Hear the sounds of thunder and rain; of humming birds and every breathing thing. Hear them as sweet music longing to caress your waiting ears. Drink from crystal springs, and eat the fruit of trailing vines. Behold the world—a glowing canvas of purity and grace. Behold yourself! Young. Healthy. Beautiful. Alive. And as you sense this wonder, above all else, remember to breathe. Yes—fully and deeply, respire with purpose and awe. Breath is the foremost gift of your Creator—the genesis of being and cosmic intimacy. Take it, and know that your first breath has been His into you. Take it, and whisper His Name. There is no choice. His Name is in your very breath!

Awake

Awake, all creation, to the Bright Morning Star—and His love burning fiercely for you. Avert not your eyes from the Light of this world and from all that is good, pure, and true.

Sleep in darkness no more; He has conquered the grave—endeavoring sweetly for our life to save.

Arise to the One who is all Life itself, and be not afraid. For as He is Life, we are His.