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The Sacred and The Profane, part 3


Author’s note:   I called these three blogs “The Sacred and the Profane” not because anything in it is profane (sorry to get your hopes up if you expecting me to make a scene), or sacred, but as a literary device to express that all of the journeys we go through in this life as we travel toward such a thing as Glory are of both radiance and of dust.  I was talking to someone of one of my favorite books this week, “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, and although it can be a slow read, it’s also one of great value and I recommend it for you.  In it, the protagonist “Christian” finds himself locked into the dungeon of the giant Despair.  I won’t ruin the end of it for you, except to say this scene always will haunt me.  It’s amazing in this world for those of us that know a sacred Messiah, how we can still live at times in the baseness of our humanity.  But there’s a secret that I know….

These three blogs talk of loss of dreams, loss of names (and thus knowledge of the individual), gaining dreams and hopes of eternity.  This last one speaks of relationships, both present and past, both regretted and hoped for, both great and small.   All of these seem to have  elements of both the holy and the human, the Divine and the dissonant, the sacred and profane.  But here the secret that all who walk with their God know…

It’s all sacred!

So now I’m going to go into a season of putting my writing on the shelf.  I don’t know how long that will be.  Maybe I can only last a week (I hope so), maybe it will last 5 years.  Maybe I never really was a writer at all, and it will disappear forever.   But I need to find out from myself one simple answer… WHY do I write?

I’m afraid to find this answer.

But as I leave for this season, I have a question or two to ask you, because if you read this, I will need you more than ever during this time.  I might be leaving writing for awhile, but I don’t want to leave you!   One of the answers I’m going to find is that I write because I love my God.  The other answer I’m going to find is that I write because I love you.

So let it begin.

***

Why are we friends?

Are we old friends? Were we formed through the pressures of life? Are we formed into something lasting as a diamond is formed? Were we friends that have been crushed apart by those same pressures? Did we fight hard or merely surrender at first sign of adversary?

Are we new friends, kind and considerate to each other, unwilling to commit to future predictions? Are we such due to circumstances or by choice?

Why are we friends?

Do I make you laugh? Do you make me? Is it my wit or my willingness to play the fool? Do I insist that you play the fool, dancing as an organ-grinder’s pet for my own amusement? Where would we stand if the laughter fades? Has it already faded?

Do you care?

Do I care?

Why are we friends?

Do I or have I ever made you cry? Have I enraged you? Have I disgusted you? Have you done so to me? How exactly was that done? Did I insult your pride or was I a mere inconvenience to your world? Did I make you feel less about yourself and if so, why did my actions or options make any difference to you? It is always a morbid hope that one could cause someone to hurt merely due to the love they share, and not only because of matters of inconvenience or selfishness or pride. That is so rare. I’ve heard of it, and experienced it on occasion. It always catches me off guard. It is as rare as an unselfish thought.

When it is seen, though, it makes loss that much more tragic

It makes redemption that much sweeter.

Have we shared that?

Have I played the betrayer? Have you? What were the intentions? Were they innocent ignorance or malicious malice? Was the phrase, “You should have known better” used? Who used it? You or I?

I’ve always been baffled by that phrase. Is there anyone who truly does know better? Are they better people? Are they better friends? Do we know better and just make foolish choices sometimes or are we simply immature in that area? Can this be forgiven? Is forgiveness implied, coming naturally, or is begging always required?

Do you blame me for this? Do you judge me? Do you love me less because of it? Do you love me despite it?

Do I you?

Do we live by the old cliche “out of sight, out of mind”? Do I ever run through your thoughts? Do you think you ever run through mine? Are we content to keep it thus? It’s no crime to do so, just as long as we can accept that it is what it is.

Can we spend years and years apart, becoming in many ways totally different people, and have it but seem only mere moments when we see each other face to face?

What place does judgement hold between us? Does it stand as a constant threat, sword in hand, ready to slice off any part that might stray from it’s expectation of thought, speech or action? Does it do so for legalism or simply for perceived love? Do not tell me (or let me tell myself) that it does so for the sake of holiness. Holiness IS love. Holiness needs not be defended. Holiness shall defend itself!

What place does grace hold between us? Does it flow like a fountain of pure water, bringing relief to the dry and thirsty? Is it absent as a tear in the dry eyes of the stubborn?

Are you to blame for it?

Am I?

Is blame something we both seek? Is it or could it be something we care little about?

Can you see the embers of the eternal inside of me? Can you see the spark of the Messiah’s fingerprint in all I do? In anything I do? Ever? Sometimes I feel it’s so strong in my very bones that I am surprised it doesn’t break my simple frame apart. Sometimes I feel like heaven is so near that I can smell the sweet lilacs on the Karmel Gal Chayah. Sometimes I fear that this is all too far hidden under the clay of my walls that it will be forever hidden.

Sometimes I feel the heavens are like brass

Sometimes I feel my heart is like brass

Have you seen this? Has it been so beautiful or so horrid to you that you want to cry? Could you simply not care less?

Have I seen this in you? If you feel I should have, but I haven’t acknowledge it, could it be that I have been in secret awe, yet hide it for some reason? Pride maybe. Fear perhaps. Do you think I am capable of such deep emotions and thoughts? Could you simply not care less?

Do we share a mutual concern and respect for each other or am I here only to hear of your life and loves, desires and losses? Are you there only to hear of mine? What would happen if one of us tried to change this? Is our friendship so ingrained in this pattern that the mold is set? If change came, would it be flexible or would it simply shatter? Should it shatter? What could be done to make a change or are we happy to leave it what it is?

Are these questions too deep for us to share? Do they make you feel uncomfortable, or are you relieved to hear them? Is our friendship the product of the past? Is it the essence of the present? Will it be the fruit of the future?

I have heard one of you speak of someone as being “fiercely loyal”. I love this phrase as much if not more than any virtue I know. My secret desire is to one day be know by this. My heart longs to be a man of love, strength, compassion and this . One day I long to have someone honestly say of me, “Sure, he has many faults, but you gotta say one thing about the guy… he’s fiercely loyal.”

Does this make you laugh? In my mind some of you are, and that breaks my heart.

Am I fiercely loyal to you? Are you to me? Does it matter to you?

Two final questions…

What can separate our friendship?

…Betrayal?

…Distance?

…Time?

…a careless word?

…a careless thought?

…nothing?

One final question…

Are we friends due to or based on something… a moment, a common denominator, an expectation?

…or are we simply friends?

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