Posts Tagged ‘Spoken Word’
Last week I sat down to watch “Galaxy Buck: Mission to Sector 9″ with my kids, and I was kinda blown away. Here, condensed into a 40 minute children’s puppet movie (with quite a bit of humor), was a potent message. Not just a good message. I mean – take all the current spiritual living, devotional, God/Christ-centered literature that has come out in recent years – this movie will summarize a large percentage of it.
Buck works in a call center for a large ministry, and is discontent because the poster on his wall constantly reminds him “God wants you to do BIG things!” He feels like he’s not accomplishing what God wants, and gets excited when there seems to be a chance. Things go awry, and he finds himself bummed again. Then, in the subterranean levels of an alien planet, he meets someone who rips his goal apart. Literally. He takes Bucks’ poster, and rips it so that the words left read, “God wants you.” I asked my 10-year-old daughter the next day what the message of the movie was about, and she answered clearly the same thing: “God doesn’t want you to do big things, as much as God wants YOU. You’re not a shark, you’re a jellyfish caught in the flow of God’s Love.”
The obvious push-back to that is: “That sounds like an excuse for laziness, and not trying anything.” Certainly it could be manipulated into that. But when we allow ourselves to exist fully in the flow of God’s Love – we have to trust that WILL call us to be actively offering ourselves fully toward the mission of lives, community and creation transformed. But our activity doesn’t begin with us setting a goal of “accomplishing great things for Jesus”. It begins with us relinquishing control of everything in our being, into the great Love of God. That may mean we accomplish great things by the measures of this world, or that mean we lose everything and all noteriety for His sake.
The first step? Allowing the truth of that ripped poster to sink in. “God wants YOU.” Not because of your gifts or talents. Not because of your heritage. Not because you’re specifically poised to accomplish what no one else could ever do. Not because of your purity. But because He Loves you. Fully and completely, and without reserve. Just as much when you were making horrible decisions as He does today. Most of us have been loved wrong by a human in our lives, and it messes up the kind of love we even see as possible. So let the love of God sink in a bit, and then release yourself to it. There is no greater place to exist, or calling to walk forward with…
For more on covenanting with God to do/be whatever He wants, check out this modern version of the “John Wesley Covenant Service” I’ve written for use in a church setting.
For a few words on God simply desiring/loving you as His child, here’s a Spoken Word I recently recorded.
Calm before storm, softly lit trees in dim living rooms
Like tombs of years gone before but passed, too fast to grab hold,
Scraping off the mold, like flakes of gold left behind by memories stored longterm
Knocking back the worm you’ve finished the glass waiting to be poured,
Ignored by others, your sisters and brothers but left behind for you to wait, to contemplate,
To exist in a state of mind promising not to bind you to what was, and less thrilled by what is
But this – moment that points to what will be. As still framed artwork from empty hotel tells you
This is the same in every room, every womb that carries expectant moments of hope
For those facing end of rope, for those with unpaid bills, unclimbed hills, or scars from falling down
Look around and find you’re not alone, not abandoned to roam as sea foam washed up on
Empty beaches, previously filled, children laughing at will, sun spilling through the shade of clouds
Too weak to intervene – and somewhere in this scene, you recognize the obscene thing
Is not to have hope, to try to cope, nor is it offensive to be burdened or feel uncertain,
behind the curtain, to to be hurting or elated, you are not fated to endure these moments solo,
To know there are plenty just outside, waiting for curtains thrown wide in invitation
Just waiting for relation’s sails to unfold, ship catching old winds
and launching into waters, departed to places uncharted but together, weathering whatever.
If only all would sever the binds toward such endeavors, instead of cleverly arranging
mortar and brick, in order to trick others into staying just outside their reach, impeaching friendship as a sail not worthy of raising, tasing those who try with shock waves of pride and cold shoulders, boulders way too heavy to entertain, strained to points of breaking simply by taking the chance on the uncertain, and trying to know the you behind the curtain.
So rise up from your position, wishing to be known but sitting on a throne surrounded by carefully crafted kingdom of silence and control, take a stroll through the eyes of someone who wants to know The ways you grow, so show the extro-version, the side you’ve tried to hide,
slide back the door, or at least trade brick for fabric,
A trick which allows you privacy but still parts the way
When seasons sway you toward a day where all seems lost, and cost seems too high
Hope embossed on invitations sent to everyone but you, to do that thing that seems with ease,
Locking your knees, pretending all is fine on center stage,
but with age those dog-eared pages of behavior lose their truth
The proof discovered on the shoulders of others you’ve allowed behind the curtain
I knowing thou, world seeing just how there might be hope for them as well
As swells of hope the waves crashing on shores around, surrounding and flooding
Where you live, the best gifts to give come unwrapped and ready, a steady flow
Of willingness to know and be known, your light shone and self shown
Pulling back covers, recognizing sisters and brothers where previously called “others”,
Remember that knowing a name is not the same as knowing person,
Clicking like is not making a connection, on deeper inspection we find souls thirsty
To interact, to shed the laugh tracks of hundreds to hear one genuine response,
And you – can be a first responder, the first to ponder,
On the scene, showing just what it means to be less obscene in our culture of obscenity,
To not accept the serenity of status quo, simply adding to the flow of what it means to know.
Pull back the curtain, but first your own, letting it be known, we are all wizards on tender thrones
Groaning beneath the weight of creating an image we know can easily shatter
So do something that matters, unfolding sails meant for winds of change,
No matter how strange it may seem, engines filled with steam gleam with polished potential
Powers elemental to our being, much more freeing than scrolling down with feigned elation,
Soften your heart, and set sail your ship to true relation.
I don’t have all the solutions, but I know change is needed. The way our political system encourages unhealthy competition, unnecessary spending, and berating brothers and sisters who desire the same things – we need to walk around it.
Ps. Posting this early here, so you don’t get bored of my writing and miss it. My wife got me an incredible new microphone (Blue – Snowball) for Christmas, and I couldn’t wait to try it. So I whipped up a quick spoken word yesterday and put it online so others could hear it. Check it out if you’re brave, and share it with others if you like it!
I suppose it’s about time for an update. We continue to wait, and pray desperately for a miracle to help bring our daughter home from the DRC. No incredibly miraculous updates there, other than the blessing of knowing she has just celebrated Christmas in a home with a family for the first time in her life. The pictures of her beautiful smile, and stories of her visiting sick children in the hospital to help them smile warm this fathers heart.
It’s also worth noting, I’ve completed my first year of Seminary!!! Whoo hooo!! I’m 1/3 of the way toward my MDIV degree at Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. What is an MDIV? (I get asked this often.) My response is usually, “I want to be a better pastor. To improve how I serve God, my family, my community, and my church. The classes for this MDIV are basically examining the various facets involved in pursuit of such a goal. So far I’ve also realized I’m not a horrible student anymore. Somewhere along the way, my nerd genes were activated, and like a mutant whose powers have only just begun to show – I’m more than a little excited. Not because it helps me get A’s, (though those are each worth free tokens at Chuck E. Cheese), but because it’s legitimately improving the wealth of wisdom, understanding, and academia I draw from in the moment to moment serving who I serve where I serve. I’m loving it.
Looking forward to the year ahead. Throughout my spiritual formation course lately, I’m reminded of my extroversion, and desire to craft words together in a way that connects with others. So be watching out for plenty more posts, and spoken words in the months to come. Thanks for reading!
What is something you’re looking forward to/hoping for 2016?
There is a stifling silence in carrying a burden, a weight so uncertain and hurting,
In search of a balm, we check the Psalms, and we learn that in turn,
these struggles that rock our home
Can become our megaphone.
Because it’s hard, and we’re not alone.
Our scars run deep, and to the bone. It seems like evil is on the throne,
runs the show, and even though we know there’s something greater,
it always seems like later – never now.
Never knowing how we’ll make it to tomorrow, but the sun comes up again.
And I guess that means we’re doing well, even though sometimes it just feels like we’re surviving.
For some, that’s the extent of thriving.
When driving rain comes faster than the wipers can clear a path.
The aftermath, sometimes silent, can come in violent waves unexpected
Of hope rejected, knowing sometimes there’s more dark before the dawn.
And if this was a song, it’d go on for sometime, before the key would change.
If an honest poem, more turning of the page, before the stage were reset,
The dim lights begin to raise, because there are better days ahead,
the field is not dead,
In fact, there is wheat growing among the weeds, some seeds of hope that cannot be rejected.
Knowing what’s expected, is not etched in stone, evil is not on the throne,
no matter how much sway it may seem to hold. Our whispers grow bold,
as we gather our broken bones, and cry out to the throne –
Lord Come. We need you.
Our arms are growing weary, and we need you.
Our eyes have grown bleary from the tears, over years and Lord we need you.
The blisters on our road-scarred feet scream for us to retreat, and we need you.
Our children look to us for answers we cannot provide,
and so with arms stretched wide we confide – Lord – we need you.
There is no other ear that even comes near to hearing our stifled voices,
choices all around us for ways to avoid this feeling of burden
A burden so certain and so heavy we want to find relief,
yet so infused to our hearts that we cannot put it down.
Clever words fail, and so we wet sail on uncharted waters
Praying the one who walks on water, the one who saves,
will be with us to calm the waves.
Okay friends & family, it’s finally that time again. I can’t give all the details in a public post, but if you’d like to know more please give me a call. (And no, in case you’re trolling here, we’re not preparing to go around the DRC Government in ANY way. We love and respect the people of hte DRC, and look forward to a life of our family being invested in their future.) In any case, we’ve hit a point in our adoption where we need to raise more funds.
Yes, the country is still not issuing “Exit Letters”, until new laws/processes are in place to better protect the children. We are continuing to move forward within the country, through the parts of the process still allowed, believing that we want to be as ready as possible when those doors open once again. This also means providing for her care in the meantime.
Even in the midst of significant wait and what seems to be a hopeless road, there have been great steps moving toward us bringing home this child we’ve been praying over 2 years for. We are so thankful for the generosity and prayers of so many of you. We’ve even added something new for your fundraising enjoyment!!
1. Wick’s BandCamp Page – Trying something new! Here you will be able to buy individual spoken words, as well as a couple songs I threw on there for fun. 100% of every dollar goes toward our adoption fund! I’ve plenty more spoken words that will eventually be uploaded if ya’ll like these. If I only sell a couple, I’ll just tell my mom thanks and move on. 🙂
2. Amazon Books – Both my self-published parenting book and the Children’s Book we created with our kids are available for digital purchase on Amazon.com. A large chunk of every sale comes right to me, and goes directly into our adoption fund!
3. Giving through “Both Hands” – Since the very beginning with our first service project, they’ve been our most popular method of giving/receiving funds for this adoption. Donations are tax deductible, and you can mail them a check or simply give online!!
As you’re preparing for the Holidays, we hope & pray you’ll consider one of these options. Even in place of sending us a Christmas card, just download an mp3 and send me a video of you laughing at it. 🙂 Or in place of a gift, throw a few bucks out to “Both Hands”, and e-mail me a Merry Christmas. But above all, please continue to pray. Not just for our family or our children, but pray for the entire DRC. Pray for their government and their leaders, as their senate continues to meet. Pray for the areas where rebels continue to break out in fighting. Pray for those who are overlooked in the shuffle and quest for power and influence. Pray for the stability and future of these beautiful people, and the preservation of their rich heritage in the midst of a world that is realizing more and more, the value of their nation.