Heaven Can’t Wait

There’s a world I’m not part of and I’d bet if your playing facebook right now, then neither are you. There is a coldness my bones have never felt, a hunger I’ve never known, and a loneliness I cannot comprehend.

Then there is a young girl I’ve come to know.

I’ve yet to see her face but my prayers are soaked by her tears. Maybe someday I’ll share the extraordinary particulars about a woman’s impossible triumph against her slavery and brutality forced upon her innocence. Maybe. Yet something strongly tells me I can’t even go there. Now a source of maternal light and hope, this woman is also a mother. It is the ache within her heart that holds Heaven – her daughter. My prayers are stretching and now my clock ticks ever more slowly throughout the night wondering of Heaven. She knows nothing of me. I’ve only been mercifully tasked to pray for both of these incredible and valuable woman. Everything in my world has lost its shine except love. Heaven’s weight and wait extends beyond ceaseless thoughts of charity and mercy that I can’t reach. My world must be deconstructed to enter Heaven’s Kingdom. I’m grateful my eyes have not dimmed nor my heart weakened to approach whatever steps love will lead me. For now, I’ll simply send her a warm, soft blanket to let her know she is profoundly loved by the same Who salts my tears.

Heaven on Earth

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Heaven on Earth is not what she expected…

Sirens blaze throughout the night,
Angry words crash outside her door,
Clinging to a dirty pillow,
Dirty clothes carpet floors.

Beer cans kicked on cracked sidewalks,
By high-heeled shoes in tiger print,
Momma vanishes inside a car,
Smelling soon of cologne and gum mint.

Heaven must wait till midnight,
To eat the cold pizza Momma brings,
Her belly grumbles at the thought,
Distracted; she hears a cricket sing.

She falls asleep within blue and red rays,
Just the faintest of hue dancing on waves,
The beams cross to form a warm purple,
Singing a song, to be brave…

Be patient my little one,
I am the wind in your dreams,
I hold your heart so close to mine,
I direct the warmth of all sunbeams.
You are not alone Bakhita,
You name is ‘favored one’.
I’ll take the fear within you now,
And burn it in the sun.
Know that I am with you always,
In songs little things sing,
Be brave my little child…”
Heaven awakes – when her cell phone rings.

“Momma’s comin’ home, Heavy baby, you hungry?”
A sleepy whisper, “Yes, Momma, I’zz soooo hungry,”
“Sounds like your singing Heavy?”
“I dream happy Momma. I dream happy.”

Momma enters her dirty room,
Smelling of cologne and mint,
Purple glints from neon lights,
Heaven’s eyes sparkles Momma’s lament.

Momma begins to hum Heaven’s song,
She gathers Heaven to her breast,
“No more baby, I’ve done you wrong,”
A cricket sings as Heaven’s blessed.

By Chris Clody
12/6/16

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Outside Looking In

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Soulcrushed…

Soulcrushed…
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Godshocked,
I glimpse sweet destiny
Flaming Swords cut quickly and severe
Eden’s Gate alive with fire chasing steel
Awaits my servant’s test or unreconciled fear
Suddenly,
Brightness explodes as flying steel disappears
Reaching arms followed this Brother of Love
released are my stains dissipation
That rise like smoke into clouds above

Together we stand outside of time,
Colors and sounds enjoy new dimension
We examine my life instantly
And His…without question.
For He…
This God-Christ born from time before
yet striped by our iniquities
A sacrifice I could never ignore,
Hearing Him scream, “Why have You forsaken me?!”

I feel Simeon’s sword pierce its mark
(Outside The Gardner replaces stolen fruit back onto a tree)
The ground shakes and day turns to dark
It is accomplished,” whispers a final gasp
A mother stands strong as others flee
This hem of a rabbi only she could grasp
(Outside a dragon snorts in victory)
Unaware perfect love finally set sinners free

By Chris Clody
3/6/16

The Tug of War

Choices

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The tension between Good and Evil,
Is taut by energies of love and hate,
Sliding between life-giving and lethal,
Muddy grounds determine fates,
Lest traction finds ground to pull its weight.

Even the whole of Hell shall not advance,
Nor Heaven’s glory can abate,
Choice alone heaves from its determined stance,
Giving sin or sacrifice its rightful chance.

Every tug honors God or pleases Satan,
Life compiles of little choices not happenstance,
Leaving souls raised in glory or left forsaken;

Is faith really a gift to those awakened?
Knowing those left behind if I’m taken?
Will Christ hold my heart that’s breaking,
And catch tears falling through hands still shaking?
Faith is hard on the heart and not worth faking,
With crosses bearing backs misshapened,
Trudging narrow roads Christ straightened.

This tug of war of choices,
Accounting the cost of gains and losses,
For fragile lives only hope rejoices…

The question remains, before all time and still,
How will each heart, each mind, each body, and soul use free will?

By Chris Clody 9/13/15

The Supremacy of Christ
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.… (Colossians 1:15-17,ESV)

The Full Armor of God
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.…(Ephesians 6:11-13,ESV)

The Beginning of Home

Home

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Has my heart slipped from my hands,
To drown in puddles of lost compassion.
My hourglass to love now drops its last sand,
Have I squandered my life to become…
The willing hands and feet of Christ to some,
Will my last meal be despair’s miserable crumb?

Save me Jesus from myself,
Carry me brother from my fall,
Lift me into your Father’s light,
Wash this sin that me crawl.

One last tear wiped from my face,
Kneeling before this Lamb of Light,
He cloaks me in mercy, love and grace,

I stand presented burning bright,
The name I’m given I see in myself,
Virtues like organs transparent within,
In a moments glance I see my true wealth,
Where prosperity of old was burned with sin,
I rejoice with the angels as my Lord walks in.

The whole of Heaven is lit by the One,
Who offered his life to live through our hope,
Praise You Jesus, blessed begotten Son,
Praise You Father, for sending Your loving Son.

Joy like Christ’s light fills the rooms,
Singing praise becomes our breathing,
Love of Three gathers us soon,
Before a banquet spread in blessing,
The lamb of honor, the beautiful Groom,
Welcomes His Bride by the song He sings

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By Chris Clody 3/28/14

Divine Ascent

imagesfrdsI’m truly grateful for the friends that steady my vision and encourage me to see beyond the pale.  Unlike opinions to politics, the spiritual life offers a simple choice as if stepping onto a ladder.  The love of God or our repulsion to His irrational invitation awaits our response regardless of our state in life.  Gratitude abounds in the knowledge of a patient God whether this deeply personal choice is made hastily or through long contemplation. Despite our incredible human capacity to make this gift of divine love complicated, exclusive, and unreachable, a remnant of hopeful hearts within the friends we can’t live without remain to offer enough light for the next step up that ladder.  Today I was blessed to be given the chance to contemplate the inspiration in the following illustration of a 12th century icon called the “Ladder of Divine Ascent” :

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Note: In this icon we have Christ in the upper right hand corner receiving pilgrims into heaven. On the bottom, left of center, we have the mouth of hell open to those who abandon the ladder and chose the easy open-air path to destruction. One of the many reasons that this icon is so effective is that it makes very clear that there are only two trajectories. Each pilgrim is either moving up, or headed down.

If this depiction showing life offering two fearful trajectories, in which neither look “fun”, then that’s a shallow interpretation of this illustration and certainly the vision Our Creator has for each and every one of us.  I believe the deeper inspiration is our numbness or respect towards fear and more importantly, either our indifference or reverence in returning the effort of love freely offered to us in sublime forgiveness.  What do you see?

Seek Love,

Chris

The Divine Ascent

Rung by Rung, hand over hand,
Focused eyes stare heaven bound,
The ladder of one’s divine ascent,
Seeks to only to cast its crown,
While teetering above Hell’s hounds.

Unreasonable and humble,
Uncomfortable and quiet,
Unsatisfied with progress,
For Love is an action that cannot sit –
For an inconsumable fire has been lit…
The heart must remain restless,
To pull upon that final rung,
This work is hard and unpopular,
Yet at peace from a victory won,
From whence their sins quietly hung…

Pray pierced hands pull us past that final rung,
Knowing just the good and faithful hear “well done.”

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By Chris Clody 2/6/2014

Whom Have You Seen, O Shepherds?

incarnation2Awe.  Wonder. Fear.  Regardless of the order or if felt all at once, the shepherds and possibly unknown others awakened by the supernatural events coinciding with the birth of Christ, certainly stood mesmerized casting shadows in the night.   Surely if God felt people did not love Him because they couldn’t see Him then they would have no excuse now.   There are seven words that continue to still me:  “Word made flesh for love of us.” Ironically, His very name, “Word”, given to the now visible Son of God, was intentionally born hidden as a small, needful, and inarticulate babe.  However the shallow blush of irony that thinly veils this indescribable charity now awakens our contemplation with awe, wonder, and fear.  The brightest of Heaven’s glory shown in the tangible charity of a newborn allowing God’s depthless love to speak infinite volumes through the now resting silence of the Word.  There is a sweetness in silence… to be still and know He is God. Find a moment to hold that silence in your heart and allow the awe, wonder, and fear that same shining moment when it split the night sky over 2000 years ago.

Merry Christmas friends,
Chris

O Shepherds

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Shadows hide from Glory’s light,
Hillsides splashed by Heaven’s glow,
A burning star splits the night,
Fearful eyes gaze from below,
God made flesh to few that know…

O Shepherds, whom have you seen?
What did your hearts undergo?
Has God now stepped in between,
Laws of men and Love supreme?

Tell me what the angels said,
and of these glorious streams?
Why have tears of joy been shed?
O Shepherds, whom have you seen?

Emmanuel has lit the night,
Has proved His Love to be with us!
Hiding Heaven within a babe,
Awaking hearts to newfound trust.

God is Love and lives with us.

by Chris Clody 12/24/2013

Beyond The Pale

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Without fail, like a waiting friend, I am gratefully led to experience the wisdom of a saint during my morning ritual reading of Divine Intimacy.  It is in the quiet solitude of the morning, a cup of coffee, and my warmth-seeking Yorkie-poo, Missy, that rounds out the beauty of the moment.  I would like to share the following words of St. John of the Cross:

“It is true that you were created to enjoy, but to enjoy God. However, God is not present to your senses, while your “self” and the things of earth are so close to you.  Hence instead of looking beyond yourself and all creation in order to reach God, instead of making use of creatures to help you rise toward the Creator, you pause and seek your happiness in them.  You pause with an inordinate affection, and for this grain of satisfaction, you blind your heart to earth and become incapable of union with God, the only source of real happiness.  This inordinate desire for pleasure is the thing which turns your desires and affections towards creatures, instead of fixing them on God.  This is the root of every attachment, no matter how slight.”

It is this stream of clarity that helps me grow closer in understanding myself and others – especially when passions seem at odds and choices seem indiscernible.  I find refuge in a sense of re-calibration in my approach towards another’s very human tendency and personal reasoning.  Life is a complicated picture that often distills from its extremes some workable balance and perspective.  The question I pose for St. John of the Cross which I hope to ask over a heavenly cup a coffee with Missy by my side, is God really not present to our senses.  If we are blinded by the Creator’s creation, surely His handiwork would tug at one of our five senses.  Yet God, this omnipresent, all-powerful, invisible Spirit is no doubt out of sight and at first blush – out of mind.   Yet… I feel His call.  I am constantly warmed by His invitation to raise my perspective to an eternal one and see beyond the pale beauty of selfish wants and into His beckoning embrace.  I am convinced I am not alone and therefore have never even feared death itself.  The wisdom of this saint speaks volumes of dying to the things that, in the long run, really don’t matter.  Death to anything may bring insecurity within our visible radar, but the invisible reality is eternal and awaits our every choice.

New Sight

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Invisible, ineffable Beauty,
Gift of everlasting grace,
Endless is Your invitation,
That calls my inner-space.
Supreme is your handiwork,
Mysterious are Your ways,
Countless divine embraces,
Fill my beautiful days.
Yet beyond the pale awaits,
An eternal day of love,
Detachment is my lens to life,
Seeing what vice once deprived me of.

by Chris Clody 10/26/13