Friday, June 13, 2014
Out of the blue, out of nowhere comes life. I was speaking to the inmates last night where I go for prison ministry and one thing that hit them is when I said ‘No one lives forever and no one gets out of this life alive’. I received an email from perhaps the dearest friend I have. The word was not good…one word: cancer. Some profiles of the work done to remove what they saw and then some. Clear. Thank God. It is at times like this life takes you down like the descent of a Georgia Cyclone. You hold your breath and hope…pray… there is an upside. We grew up together had our disagreements and such but you never lose a friend like that. They stay with you…they are part of you. After decades, we connected again. It was at his Dad’s funeral. I went because they meant so much to me. I was so glad to be there. His momma was saying goodbye and she looked at me and said perhaps the greatest compliment I will ever receive in this life ‘Now both my boys are here…’ Together we supported her small frame through the crowd to the waiting lead car for the procession. I looked at him, embraced him and kissed him on the cheek and said ‘I love you man…’ I didn’t care if it was manly or if people would misunderstand. I didn’t care. My twin from a different mother was hurting and all I could do is hug his neck and offer what I could. There was no miracle, there was no drama but a quiet passing…the whisper of sands piling at the bottom of the glass….never to be flying in the space between birth and death. I realized what a small space between the top and bottom of that hour-shaped glass called life is. Barely a breath.
We cannot hold it back. Some are under the illusion that the immediate is important and are told to march in a certain way and all the way, their lives silently collect at the bottom. This is the greatest sin. It is the star-eater all over again. How do you know when something is unwholesome and not in a sense evil? It monopolizes all your time with nothing but cadence and industry. You are so busy, people you should not forget are…brushed aside to make way for what someone else told you is more important…more important…hmmm…more important than what? This is what dysfunctional religious groups do best…take over your life, tell you how to live and dictate life’s conditions masquerading as Jesus Himself…in the greek, anti-christ is not Satan, it simply means…replacement. All the way eating your life like Slubgob on the Screwtape Letters, relishing the crackle and crunch of the souls they have consumed. Make no mistake about it: this is the face of evil dressed in deceptive light.
I grow older, my foot slows but the compensation for the loss is experience. I know what is important more than my children do. They said they left to follow Jesus… All I can say to them is ‘You better be completely and utterly right! For what it is costing you’ We will see. I am now a pile of sand in the bottom of their hourglass buried over by useless activities for the ‘Kingdom’. I ask you , what is the Kingdom of God built with? Doctrine?…how foolish to think so. It is built with flesh and blood and cemented with love. What have you traded for that? I will tell you…doctrine. So go ahead approach the vat and drink to the full…it does not change the truth. The carrot of ministry is the seduction. Be careful. It is the oldest trick. One I fell for and so lost all…you are making the same mistake.
So, I am praying for my friend. We cannot recover the time lost. We only have what is left in the top. It is not much but that makes the remaining so much more precious. I intend to make it count. I hope my children do the same.