The Great Pause

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Adversity. Restraint. Community. Three words that have absorbed new depths that challenge us during The Great Pause. Although independent in meaning they combine in an unfamiliar, or at best, forgotten triune mystery leading our hearts and/or minds to envision reality as it emerges from the paralyzing grip of the Covid19 pandemic. I say hearts and/or minds because it appears to me we are being led to a fork in the road opportunity.  To resume what history and science has deemed an impossible fight against limited resources or to continue by encouraging a new way of life afforded by the hidden grace imbued by this pandemic’s new normal. To resume disconnects the heart from the mind while to continue engages a childlike fellowship between the heart and mind. Like the tired argument against faith and works, transformation occurs when hearts housing an Image awaken to its divinely invested goodness and dignity that would better serve us as stewards of the human family and the gift of this planet we call Earth.

The Great Pause

A chorus of excitement filling misty air,
Cool and thick with joyous birdsong,
Awaiting the miracle of warmth and light,
Praising The Giver of sun to whom they belong.

The invisible assembly of unrivaled echoes,
Rise higher and pierce sharper than the day before,
Growing aware of newfound inheritance,
Grateful praise from feathered bodies increase in vigor.

The white dawn breaks quietly,
Piercing the horizon in glittering light,
The days pass by namelessly,
Whilst a vast solitude imposes its invisible fight.

This peculiar adversity,
Restraining exploitation into private Lent,
Yet the Earth breathes cleaner in respite,
The pillager fasts from consuming Natures willing ferment.

The predator grows lean and ever anxious,
Yearning to rejoin its hunt with the pack,
Still…Paralyzed in profound hesitation,
The sullen hunted awaits planning its counterattack.

Repentance drawn by contemplative breath,
Unwelcome at first by dawn’s first blush,
Yet the comforting sounds of Nature’s delight,
Awakened childhood memories replacing their scouring rush.

Like a shoot blossoming from a dry, dead limb,
Miraculous prospects haunt repentant minds within,
Hoarding gives away to communal needs,
Realizing less is more gazing upon Nature’s healing skin.

Childhood’s idealism seeds a new uprising,
Preparing for war against pedantic wants,
Thoughtful discussions fill conversation’s sandbox,
Proposing a new hope like a baptismal font.

A decision awaits the marauder’s fork in the road,
An ancient choice between an old and new will,
Submission beckons both to slavery,
One is kenotic… the other lonely and downhill.

The wondrous orb sinks quietly into dusk,
Returning with birdsong’s grateful delight,
Hoping tomorrow brings rise to new daylight,
Dreaming that the predator is gone from their sight,
Praising The Giver who changes hearts to contrite.

by Chris Clody
5/23/20

Another Victim Of Mercy

What I’ve Become

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I cannot undo what I’ve become,
As if changed by a fire’s rage,
Dare I betray God’s begotten Son,
The One whom angels praise,
When Grace has left me awed and amazed?

I cannot forget the wonders I’ve seen,
As if it was some lost, blank page,
How can I leave love alone and demeaned,
Realizing it’s despair’s only vaccine.

I will not tempt the foretaste of Hell,
Chancing misery void of Mercy,
For action is the new story I must tell,
And love whatever Christ compels.

For without love all is lost,
Like liberty without its vict’ry bell,
or silence in the choir loft.

Faith in action is what I must become,
A mender to my sister’s broken net,
A brother in arms when need awaits,
An honest discussion without regrets,
A forgiver to fallen human traits,
Knowing when I forgive my God forgets,

No, I cannot undo what I’ve become,
Now that I’m fearless to return to where I’ve came from.

…Merciful Father accept this sinner saved through Your Son.

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By Chris Clody 11/4/14

FAITH IS A HAMMER

While working outside, I pulled a nail from a pocket of my old pair of work jeans.  As I continued to attack my weekend chores, I’d stop every now and then to pull out that nail.  With memories still fresh from attending Sunday morning church, the nail now laying in the palm of my hand sent my imagination reeling back to a rocky hill over 2000 years ago.  With each hammer strike matched by a painful moan, I stood paralyzed contemplating the invisible while more blood was shed that day…shed for me.   Love was redefining itself in front of my eyes as it held tight to the nails of every sin. 

I put the nail back in my pocket and thought about that hammer.  Realizing the bittersweet necessity of pegging this innocent victim to open the floodgates of Christianity.  Sometime after church, the words “Faith is a hammer” found a restless home in my heart.   I didn’t read these four words but were given them in a way I can’t explain.   As a these four words became surrounded in poetry, a sense of humility grasped me – like the innocent hands that held those nails so long ago.  Understanding the accomplished work atop of Calvary by Jesus was like a lamp to the works that still await my efforts.   Confronting the necessity of perfect love so that sacrifice is complete stirs my restless heart and broken pride to regard a faith without works is really no faith at all.  However the hammer once used to destroy the innocent life of Jesus, has now become my humble tool of faith used to build another up in hope and love.  If faith is a hammer, then it must transfer its energy in humility, in gratitude, and above all – in love.

His Peace,

Chris

FAITH IS A HAMMER

Faith is a hammer,
Until the Perfect comes.
Nails of my remorse,
Plunge through palms of God’s Son.
Perfect Love completes –
What I have left undone.

Faith is a hammer,
That shatters through my fear.
Pounding out rhythms,
Where love and hope appear.
His song soon unfolds,
My heart beats loud and clear.

Faith is a hammer,
That bangs a grateful drum.
Fear flees from its sound
And cowers under thumb.
Yeah…Faith is a hammer,
Until the Perfect comes.

 

©2011 By Chris Clody 9/19/11

 

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Envy of Another’s Life

“I wish I had his life,”

I caught myself muttering knowing there were more hours on a clock that kept me prisoner from my home.  I think we’ve all been there gawking in assumption and wanting the blatant and carefree lifestyles the fortunate parade before those struggling with life’s difficulties.  As bills pile higher and something new suddenly needs repair, while the single mom races towards her second job or an anxious father stands by his child’s first chemo treatment, my prayers for relief are reduced to groans that well from the pit of sadness deep within my gut.  Obviously, life is not fair in our ability to enjoy it and asking “Why” may be even more frustrating.  But, if I am absolutely honest, I really don’t want their life…actually I want something much more – immeasurably more.   I want to know a life free of pain and sorrow that fears nothing and rests in a state of incorruptible love.   I know that this type of life cannot be bought by even the wealthiest yet ironically comes at a price all are capable of giving.  The cost you ask? It costs us everything we are capable of expressing in humble gratitude when we discover the mercy of being forgiven.  It is realizing the wisdom of obedience that allows true freedom in God’s will as we set our eyes towards sainthood.  Still our eyes are drawn to grass that’s always greener and we desperately beg God for some relief from our physical, emotional, and/or financial concerns.  Maybe the greatest mystery of becoming Christian is the kenotic concept to further empty ourselves even if we feel we have come to the end of ourself.  Still we must empty, not only to reflect how Christ abandoned His mighty throne to become a fragile human embryo, but so we may truly accept our forgiveness won for us through His death.  As time marches on and another’s once green grass soon browns, it is not their life I envy but that which Christ offers.  As possibly confusing and broad the Christian road may be towards obtaining salvific life in Christ, narrow is the way through obedience.  In order to obtain a gift one must accept it – even with little faith.  Obedience is our expression of love and humility towards a merciful Savior not a taskmaster.  His commands are the footprints we follow while perfectly yoked to His strength and guidance.  Allowing us to carry our burden with Christ is the opportunity to work in the very shadow of the very cross we carry.  Sometimes unknowingly, as hard as we work, Jesus bears the heavier portion which is sufficient for our humility while abiding in His promise and true presence. Grace abounds in our opportunities to labor in God’s fields and stand thunderstruck in the joy of the harvest.  Work is not a commodity applied to Grace, it is reflection of our true purpose and capacity to glorify God.  It is here in our most difficult times of work that our cross is absorbed into His and the narrow road before us becomes the Kingdom at hand.  So..no I don’t want another’s life – just give me Jesus because He alone is Life.

Pick up your cross,

Chris

How do you express your gratitude of being forgiven through Christ’s saving work at Calvary?