My Question: Mark

So I learned to play guitar starting at 12…the first guitar hurt my fingers but by my senior year in high school I had callouses on my left finger-tips that remain until this day.

I went through a very strange 13 year period where I did not really play guitar, it is so odd to me now, but for my entire marriage I never really picked it up…after my divorce I recovered my senses and still play writing tunes, doodling and just entertaining myself creatively.

Even a christian marriage has the capacity to change your core identity in ways you do not notice until you come to your senses much later…what was I thinking?

I wasn’t…I was trying desperately to love someone who would not accept the kind of love that accepted her in spite of herself.

Divorce…the most painful way to amputate your heart known to humanity…been there and I am not sure anyone ever fully recovers because parts get mixed up like photos and histories get traded until you and they who were once other, become together, and then once again completely other, but now other than you were to begin with.

I have shopped for more prom dresses than most men I know, probably because all four of my daughters are stunningly beautiful and my job as a single parent was to remind them everyday of how powerful they were. Three of the four were home-coming queens the second would have been but threatened all of her peers so they would not vote for her, she remains beautifully independent and knows it.

They all demonstrate a maturing beauty now, independant, intelligent, full of joy and determined, the oldest is a DA, two others are on path to be educators, the youngest unmarried and full of life is re-imagning her future and volunteers as a foster mom for kids from the Congo…social work her academic pursuit, but fiercely determined to change the world.

My one son who is between the two sets of sisters shares my odd sense of humor, we basically get together to enjoy a U of A basketball game, a movie or some rather bizarre comedy at times…and like all men should, he has gravitated to his wife’s household and spends more time there, with me defending him to his sisters…he works as an engineer for a company you would recognize, even though he has not yet finished his degree…hard work and a winning attitude pay more than degrees anyway.

My greatest achievement by far is the unusual and intense relationship they ALL have with the Father, Son and laughing Holy Spirit, a combination of mystics and pragmatics they all move into their world with confidence, faith and love unlike anything I could have dreamed for them.

Me, I was raised as a preachers kid, Pentecostal in Oklahoma, so my naturally inquisitive bent and drive for knowledge was seen as a handicap by my spiritual elders, I was to shy to notice and just kept reading everything I could get my hands on, even though college was a waste of my time…bored out of my mind by shallow higher education that never got around to the kinds of questions I have always been asking.

I served in churches for most of my life…giving money, time, talent, depth, prophecy, teaching, fixing everything that was broken and driving everyone to the future, my core “Strength Finder” is strategy…so I always managed to be in leadership somewhere…worship leader, pastor, youth pastor, deliverance ministry, prayer warrior, etc…for most all of my life even before I was in my teens as a PK I was leading children s church..sheesh!

I am grateful for all I have gotten to do and be in the machine we call church but now find most of it rather shallow, and deeply depending on making sure we all are reminded of our distance and delay…the two metrics that keep churches in power…we need one another since God is so distant, and we need to try harder since it has been delayed…both false ideas but essential to keep the wheels stable and turning…what would happen if one day everyone realized God was IN us and nothing had been delayed?

And still no one was willing to answer the questions I carried from my childhood…

So now divorced for nearly 20 years, I have remained single primarily because I was raising my kids and then got rather distracted by church empire, my heart beats for humanity.

I know lonely.

I know marginalized.

I know broken.

I know raw and desperate and deeply passionate and I know love.

At this point I am enjoying my grand-kids, who are the most spectacular specimens of humanity God has ever created, clever, brilliant, beautiful and loving they give my life a engine to change the future…and my natural inclination to make strategies keeps getting in the way…so I pluck out a few tunes on the guitar…and write…

To connect…

To inform…

To create words that explore new places…

To travel…

And finally to ask those pesky questions no one ever seems to get around to…this is my life now…I am enjoying it…

I don’t need no stinking answers…I just need better questions…because each question leads me deeper into the one constant that has been part of my life since before I was birthed…

God…

His image in me…His likeness my deepest desire…I care not to be powerful except as someone who loves…someone who is tender when he could be brutal, someone who is kind when shame demands a penalty, someone who slows down to hear the voice in the margin…the widow…the fatherless…those who have no power of their own.

My desire now to encourage the weary heart, long in the trenches…

To lay a gentle hand into the parched hands making bricks in exile, or on the shoulder of a shepherd tending some distant flock alone in the desert…

My questions get me in trouble…trouble with those who say “No questions”…and I don’t really care, I see us as all equal, all important, all measured by the Creator as fit for His habitation, so titles and designations of men have no real impact on me…the pauper or the President carry the same weight in my world…

My hope…simply to find others and another to adore as the Father does me…

I do not believe anyone is successful this side of sleep who does not see His makers image in the other…so success is informed by what you see…beauty is truly in the eye of the Beholder…His eye determines beauty not ours.

We are all Gods art, His poetry, His symphony…

So my questions all point to the Conductor, the Composer, the Artist who has signed His work…where is He in us?

This is who…I am…just a kid on a quest…to leave his Mark in the world…

My Question Mark

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