when at last you wake

Midnight has struck and the old year’s dust sleeps softly on the hearth, not recognizing the new ancientness by which it has been befallen. You, too, are asleep - but I think you have forgotten, for you cannot remember to wake up. This new year means little to you, so lost in the wandering depths of whatever far-away dreams have claimed your slumbering heart.

I see your soul sleeping gently there, ever so still, ever so fragile; and the sight of you—no, of the absence of you—leaves me broken somewhere deep within my own hollowness. I want to gather it into my arms, cradle the fluttering shell of you close to me and whisper things that will light my breath on fire in your ear—illuminate my words, penetrate your dreams at last with the dagger-sharpness of every hopeful thing I have within me.

This is every hopeful thing: 





I want you to know it, to remember as you wander through these caverns and halls so far away, where voices are convoluted into dream-shapes and my lonely arms cannot find you. You are not alone. You are not last year’s mistake. You are not this year’s redemption. You are here. You are now. You are this day. This hour. This moment. This heartbeat.







Love is now. You are now. Such a precious coincidence, don’t you think? I can sense your anticipation, the breathless edge upon which your heart is strung; for you are like me: your finity has longed for Forever. And though you have not known it yet, I assure you - the collision of the twain is more beautiful than anything you could ever dream.

So please, dear heart. Stop dreaming.

Open your eyes - won’t you do it, darling? I miss their gleaming beauty, those windows to your soul; but their shutters have been closed for so very long, and I do not remember the look of their laughter. Open them now. Brush the dust gently from your fitfully waking heart, and do not let the centuries of its slumber make you fear what you will see, as you gaze upon the dreamless world at last. It’s okay to take it slow. Don’t be afraid. Only remember - the first steps of waking are simple:

first you breathe.

You are new, dear one. Happy first day. I hope your first breath is as full of release and wonder as your last one will be. For there will be a last - our finity has not reached Forever quite yet, and these breaths are so transient and fleeting. But do not weep for the day when they end. Only treasure them while still they are yours. Someday - perhaps today - you will stop breathing. And when you do, your once-dreaming eyes will gaze into eternal eyes at last. Eyes that have cherished you since first they sketched the pages of your soul, since first they mapped the many-splendoured  pathways of your mind; eyes that have seen the birth of the greatest light and the death of the greatest darkness.

The eyes of your Jesus.

Someday, your waking eyes will look upon His dreamless beauty. But not yet. Not now. For now you hope. Now you live. Now, dear one, you breathe.

But even as you wait for that moment - that final moment, which is really the first of all—

breathing doesn’t mean you have to look away.

 *         *         *

Happy New Year, dear heart. You are so deeply loved.


Category: 0 missives

tonight it is hard

Tonight it is hard to look upon a loved one dying of cancer.

Tonight it is hard to stand in the vastness of the world and have no idea how to belong in it.

Tonight it is hard to have spent yet another birthday mostly-forgotten.

Tonight it is hard to ache with desires that feel too heavy to hold on to.

Tonight it is hard to want.

Tonight it is hard to be tired and hard to sleep and hard to wake up again and still be tired.

Tonight it is hard to be asked about plans for the future and realize they barely exist.

Tonight it is hard to never be able to stop thinking, and enduring, and feeling, and wanting, and losing, and wrestling, and being.

Tonight is the sort of night when you stand in the shower until the water turns cold because you realize the only thing waiting for you once you get out is falling asleep, but you know you won't be able to even if you try; so you linger as long as you can and dread lying awake in the dark with nothing but your tiredness to whisper to. Tonight is the sort of night when you don't want to be alone, but you don't know what you would say to another person if you weren't. Tonight is the sort of night when you dream, and dream badly, and as tired and sleepless as you are, feel grateful that you can at least put the bad dreams off for a little while. Tonight is the sort of night that ends the sort of day when you have not been able to focus on anything, create anything, make anything matter; when you have been able to do nothing but think and feel and grasp at nothing, and you wonder if you can endure another day like it.

tonight is hard

I do not often allow this blog to take on the nature of a journal. It is why, so often, time passes and I do not write — there are realms of my heart best kept between Jesus and me, and I am not always capable of wrestling my heart into word-shapes that mean something to anyone but myself. But there are some things I think it important for you to understand.

One of them is this: tonight is hard.

Tomorrow may be hard.

The day after that may be hard, too. And this year. And the next. And some more along the way.

Life will be hard. I promise you this. My whole heart assures you it shall be so. But I promise you something else, and this also with all my heart:  Life is hard.

but hope is tender
And no matter how deep we fall, it is hope, not despair, that has the longer grasp. From heaven to our hollowness and back again; on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on,

and always
Category: 1 missives

nobody said it was easy

Nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Life. Living is easy, right? Breathe in. Breathe out. You need not even think about it: your body does it for you. Those delicate, spider-webbing neural pathways in your brain, programmed down to the finest intricacies of the art of Living, keep your ventricles and atria pulsing in rhythm to the heartbeat that they create.

But nothing is ever as easy as it seems. 

Because even if you breathe, even if you possess health and vitality, even if you go so far as to be beautiful, there is so much more to living than just existing. There are choices and plans, relationships and community; there is pain and anger and hatred, purpose and failure. There are joy and sorrow and tears that are of both and neither, everything and nothing. And after you have endured all of them, when you have been shredded to pieces by pain and bound back together by hope a thousand times over, when you have had all of the tears wrung out of you yet somehow seem to have more left; when you have slept through hundreds of sunrises and every ounce of breathing your body has ever possessed has been wracked, wrung, stretched, spent... you die.

Death is simple, really. Life ends. The body wears out. The neurons grow tired. The laces that bind and balance the chemicals in the brain become fragile and tear. Bones grow brittle and bodies grow frail. Disease creeps in through the weak points, then ravages the life behind the barricades. It ends. Fades. Is over. The clockwork of us winds down to a stop, and as simply as that, we end. 

But nothing is ever as easy as it seems. 

Because there is more than a body, more than dust hollowed into a cavern of vessels and organs, that lives and breathes for a little while and then shall be dust again. There is a Soul. A Soul, crafted with more care than the dust that became the First Adam, a soul made in the image of the one who created it, made to love and choose and pursue and desire. Even that was simple, in the beginning. It was Fellowship—the creation of a second Living Thing, to be and experience and love. A thing to find precious and be found precious by. We were made for joy.

But nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Because what was made for joy turned itself to treachery. That pure and enduring construction, the Soul, bent itself to reach for the Living Death of lovelessness, and achieved it, scarring itself forever. Twisted with a deformity that would ever after be passed on through the flesh, the most precious and pure of creation became the most fallen. And in doing so, that which was ever only meant to be held by its Creator was thrust away from His arms, the nature of Perfection abhorring the nature of Imperfection by law of its existence. For one to embrace the other would be to erase their definitions, and both would become Imperfection, equally tainted and fallen.
The solution would have been easy—to destroy. To uncreate what was created, to paint the canvas over in black and start afresh. But he didn't. 

Becausepraise God—nothing is ever as easy as it seems. 

To counter the Curse, the Cross. 

Nothing is ever as easy as it seems. 

To quiet the Groaning, the Grave. 

Nothing is ever as easy as it seems. 

To restore the Rejected, the Resurrection.
Nothing is ever as easy as it seems. 

To gather the Lost, Love.

because, by some queer contortion of reason
(you will find most people call it Grace)
nothing is ever as easy as it seems.