Nothing Ever Dies.

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Nothing ever truly dies…ever.
Eventually, our earth suits fail. Reality’s lottery that cuts short time together with loved ones is devastating. For the eyes dim to what awaits beyond the precipice of our mortality gains my greatest of sorrows. Even in the waning moments before the heart fails, the shadow of grief gleans a silver-lining to see past unbelief, knowledge, and distractions. The veil thins as our breathing becomes shallow and labored allowing a new transparency to an unknown hope.
One must wonder while simultaneously galled at the factors that keep hope away from a precious life.  If nothing ever dies and Christ freely offers Himself as ‘life itself’, then what part of Pascal’s gamble (at the least) keeps His light from drawing the curious mind like a moth to a light? Jesus allowed the Gospel free reign to spread to the four corners of the world. Surely He knew that the recipients of this ‘Good News’ would domesticate what should be wild for the sake of building an empire. However, all empires are built upon sifting sand. Only Kingdoms are built upon solid rock. Despite the unsavory history of dolling out salvation, the Savior sent His Spirit to continue what Jesus began allowing hope to transcend what was never meant to be imprisoned.
Nothing, especially hope, ever dies. Nevertheless, the patience exhibited by the Creator to spoon-feed His joy endures even now. Watching His baby grow into the awareness of His love, regardless of wobbly first steps, falls, and tantrums. Yet Torah found some rich soil to dive deep down and drink and feed a healthy shoot. The discussions allowed plenty of shade for the best attempts to define the ever-present light that warmed the outside of their broadening leaves. When time came for sending an obedient and compassionate Messiah, He sent His only Son, Jesus. Obedient even unto death to fulfill the immeasurable concept of a Creator’s love.
Thankfully, power, hatred, ignorance, and inequality do die. Mortality makes short work of any man who is convinced he is more than what he was meant to be. Mortality quiets every rogue and savage heart to frightened children shivering in the dark. The dark they face is their greatest regret when eternity makes them aware of the True Light that could warm their goosebumps into a soft, golden glow while chasing away the cold and damp darkness stiffening their joints. Eternity offers no escape for the prideful to review their tragic missteps along a path seen through humble and hopeful eyes.
The food, the Bread of God, is an irresistible will we are given to digest. With the hope of Christ aflame within, the sorrow, the mourning, the oppressed, and marginalized is transformed within the white-hot, crucible of True Love. The dross rises, leaving behind what is amazing and beautiful. This freedom cannot die for it is fearless. The spoon-feeding through the power of man, reduces a chance to savor the viaticum. Instead, stagnant traditions are ritualized, as if frozen in fear unwilling to release the string holding a kite from rising. Hesitant pastors offer milk to a babe instead of meat for discipleship. Nevertheless, the Creator loves and pours mercy, the very gift of a Father’s soul, to especially those who need it most. Some crawl and never learn to walk. Some begin to walk and never run. Some simply fly. Each servant is offered equality of God’s treasury. Love will draw even the slowest movements towards hope with abundant reward.
You see we cannot truly die because God’s love holds us all.
Move towards what cannot be resisted.
Christ, by our light.

One Day In His Court

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Within the everglow of God,
When humility begs consent,
Where the soul barely sees,
How mercy bears our grievous offense,
Forgiveness, not violence, only makes our choices free.

Vanity tethers away all charity,
Corrupting once pure hearts,
Contently Numb to Poverty’s mourn,
Selfishly sculpting themselves as art,
Leaving faith, hope, and love cold and stillborn.

Nevertheless, God waits,
Patiently, dry day after day,
Vigils for the vast unknowing,
Beckoning that love find its way,
Choking ordained springs from overflowing.

Soon the thrashing floor will clear,
Mighty is the Lord’s winnowing fork,
Chaff engulfed by wrath’s unquenchable fire,
As Judgment holds its only court,
Illumined by the glow that love required.

By Chris Clody
2/19/17

Will You Spare Some Time For Me?

Who I Am

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What else can I do,
To prove to you,
I am who I said I am?

What more could you ask,
From Me, for you,
Don’t you see My feet and hands?

Please come back to Me,
Listen to Me;
Your heart will understand.

Love is the reason,
Love sets you free,
Love is all that I command.

Mercy never fails,
To see your best,
Unveiling hope is My plan.

Rest in Me awhile,
And soon you’ll see,
The Way, Life, Truth – is Who I AM.

By Chris Clody
12/30/16

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

My All

I could complain and empty my anguish regarding war and its consequence of the unnecessary sufferings of poverty and sickness. My rage towards humanity’s grabs for power and pleasure instead of honest, loving, vibrant communities. Thankfully, my faith rudders my contemplation away from this imploding darkness towards the hopeful glow of finding some way to love my God through my neighbor. Yet before I can prayerfully think towards mercy, I am drawn to first hallow The Ineffable Name* of Mercy itself.

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YOU Are

YOU are my endless epiphany,
My eternal morning glory,
Breathtaking yet life-giving,
My soul’s majestic sunrise,
One man’s hope for brotherhood.

YOU’re wild and uncontainable,
My swirl of curiosity,
Man’s DNA for mercy.
My horizon of glory,
And newfound purpose to love.

YOU are my wonderland of tomorrow’s hope,
For eye has not seen,
nor ear has heard,
nor heart imagined,
all YOU have prepared,
for those who love YOU. (1 Cor 2:9)

By Chris Clody
8/21/16

*Inspired by Abraham Joshua Heschel and his poetry in The Ineffable Name of God: Man: Poems. 2004. ISBN 0-8264-1632-2

Seeing More Clearly Now…

Normally I realize the presence of God by looking in the rear-view mirror with awe and a smile. However, lately I don’t feel I’ll be waiting for that hindsight. Spending another Sunday with teaching and friends that lift my awareness beyond my normal religious experience. My thirst for intimacy with the Divine is an incessant hunger and restlessness. The beauty of deep teaching does not push me away from the familiar but rather expands one’s joyous radar of the One in our midst. Thanks Don and friends and Dust Covenant (http://www.dustchurch.com/). Shine on

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Brighten My Eyes

Remove this heavy darkness,
That dims Your kingdom from my sight,
Still me with eternal prayer,
That holds me in your holy light.

Brighten my eyes, oh Lord,
and heal my soul,
brighten my eyes oh Lord,
and heal my soul.

Wash my vision with your Truth,
Magnify your increase in me,
Make visible your image,
To cherish You through Charity.

Brighten my eyes, oh Lord,
and heal my soul,
Brighten my eyes, oh Lord
and heal my soul.

by Chris Clody
8/8/2016

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)

The Human Solution

Spoiler alert! There is no one politician that is going to solve our problems. One of my mentors, Richard Rohr, offers the following “solution”:
Those who agree to carry and love what God loves, both the good and the bad of human history, and to pay the price for its reconciliation within themselves–these are the followers of Jesus. They are the leaven, the salt, the remnant, the mustard seed that God can use to transform the world.
The answer is left to the ways of forgiveness, hospitality, and enough compassion to embrace the whole imperfection (sigh) of humankind.

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The Guest

It shines in hospitality’s welcome,
The unlocked door that leads to rest,
Exhaled it rises like cool breath at dawn,
Love offers warm drink and bread for our guest.

Resuming his journey towards life’s end,
Suffering at times from dim hearts and minds,
Find security in only their own reflection,
Demonizing instead of embracing humankind

False piety teach scripture as the Word passes by,
Yet welcome by homeless pushed outside town,
Encouraged by their new brother’s light and warm voice,
The sing and dance at the great pearl they have found!

His eyes beckon all thirsty into God’s ocean,
His words like water that drench dry souls,
His journey to reach the frightened with hope
His touch heals broken hearts joyfully whole.

Only love of neighbor can recognize love of God,
Not words spewed justifying isolation,
Only mercy received knows the grace of mercy given,
Not hearts abandoned to fear and desperation.

Spare us perfection’s reckless anxiety,
The haughty discernment that offers no rest,
Instead we welcome the “unwashed” and “unblessed”
To dine and sleep in our hearts as a guest.

By Chris Clody
7/30/2016