Fragile: Haiku 9/16/16

The following was inspired by today's daily post:  Fragile
(my stab at haiku)

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Glorious beauty

Seen only through fragile eyes

The way:  Death alone

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Grace is Found in Hues of Gray

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Recently, I had a family member express concern for my soul.  Their reason?  I’m a lesbian.

Now, first of all, I realize their concern is an expression of love, but I also know, they fear if they fail to warn me, then my blood will stain their hands, at the great white throne of God’s judgement.  I know this because, I too, once held to such belief.  I am aware of the almost unbearable pain this causes, and it makes me sad.

After a lifetime of being taught this, it ceases to be an opinion, and becomes a way of life, which is extremely hard to escape.  Everything in life, is governed by the philosophy of black and white, cut and dry, leaving no room for debate. There are no hues of grays, it’s either wrong or right, irregardless of what modern technology or science proves different.

For example, I Corinthians 6:9-10 names a long list of characters who have no hope of heaven.  Listed among these, of course, are homosexuals, but also listed are people who covet, adulterers, thieves and drunkards.  There’s a significantly longer list, found in Romans chapter 1, and it contains, people who envy, people who gossip, people who are proud, and even people who are disobedient to their parents.

May I be so bold as to say, everyone in the world, falls somewhere within these categories.  So, if taken literally, no one, it seems, should ever make it to the pearly gates, but that, my friends, is the point; and this point, is often missed because the reader becomes side tracked by the mention of the “sin” of homosexuality.

The point is, no one, absolutely no one, is worthy of Gods Kingdom.  To stress this, Paul in the same book writes, “There is no one righteous, no, not one…for all have sinned…”

Thankfully, the book of Romans doesn’t end upon this dire note, but instead it points the reader to one person:  Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ, and what he means to all of mankind, is the sole emphasis of the whole book of Romans.  If you read the whole book, instead of picking scripture here and there, the conclusion is made that we are all “… justified freely by God’s grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith without the deed of the law.”

Now, having written all of the above, I am aware there are arguments to be made.  My fundamental and evangelical friends pose some valid questions about homosexuality and sin in general.  I truly want to address these; however, that is another blog for another time.  To be honest, more than a blog post…a series.

In closing, I just want to say, as a gay-christian, (no oxymoron) I choose to live by grace.  Grace is a world of unanswered questions; a world full of wonder that drives us to seek answers. We become scrappy Christians, who wrestle and grapple to find answers, but at the end of the day, we still have to say, “I don’t know” and because of grace, that is okay.  Grace is, not knowing the answers while resting in peace.

In the past, the accusations, from well-meaning Christians-family and friends-would anger me and set me on the defensive.  I would think, “How dare they judge my relationship with God?”  That’s not, so much, my reaction anymore, instead, I am saddened by the fear, I know they feel.  I wish, there were a way, to draw back the curtains of my soul, so all concerned, could witness my relationship with God.  This, I know, is the only thing that would lay such fears to rest.

 

Melody of the Soul

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Photo borrowed from Along the Banks by Camille Eide

 

Sometimes I shiver with the thought of getting old.  This shiver, like a wave of panic, reminds me:  Time marches on and stops for no one.  Logically, I knew this all along; however, now that I’m over fifty, it’s beginning to really sink in. It’s quite the paradox, for as I gaze into the mirror, I see a body consistently aging, but my soul seems to remain young.  I ask myself, how can this be?  When did my body catch up and pass my soul?  My body descends into frailty, but my soul remains a kid of yesteryear.

I have come to the conclusion, that the soul never ages.  Bear in mind, I have no scientific proof to backup this theory; it is just that…a theory…or simply put, reflections from my redhead.  I hold to this logic because, as I said before, my body is beginning to feel its age-parts of me hurt that I never knew I had; and, all the while, as this daily decline marches on, my soul, on the other hand, desires to frolic like a freckle-faced kid running barefoot, and climbing trees.  Could this mean, I’m still a kid at heart?  I’m not sure, but this I know: The melody of my soul, still plays an energetic tune.

I further, believe it possible, that at the moment our soul entered our body, whether in the womb or upon birth, it came to us fully whole and fully competent.    The soul, the essence of us, came to us “ready to roll,” and was only limited by our lack of cognitive development.

In theory (mine of course), as our mind matured, we became aware of our soul, and this awareness, was the key,  that unlocked the knowledge and power held within.  Our “soul power” has always been inside, waiting patiently to be released.  The more we tap into its power, through thought, prayers or meditation, the more spiritual we become. And so, this continues, until we reach a point in our life, where our soul grows stronger, as our bodies grow weaker.  I think this true, regardless of one’s religion or lack thereof.  It’s a matter of tapping into the soul and everyone has a soul.

Often, when I think about getting old, I liken it to a bird, captured within her cage.  My soul, of course, is the bird, and my aging body, the cage.  Like the bird, I presume, the soul will be agile, still yearning to play; but my body will be too tired-too old-to satisfy her cravings.

I am reminded of Maya Angelou’s words, from her poem Caged Bird:

“But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams   
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream   
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied   
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.”
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And so, when I’ve come to the end, as stand upon my own “grave of dreams,” will my soul, like Maya’s caged bird, still sing and fly free upon the melodies of her song?    I hope so.
 As a Christian, I believe God lives in my soul.  Many years ago, by faith, I invited Him into my soul, and I believe He put His Spirit inside.  He promised He would, if only I’d ask, and I take Him at his word:  “For His Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am the child of God.”  (Romans 8:16)
And so, my hope is in God, and I know when I reach the valley of the shadow of death, God will be there, in my soul, so I will not have to face death, alone.  And when, death has come, and my last breath expired, the cage door will open, and this soul of mine will fly away and into a beautiful place, that my God has prepared for me.
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“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:  for thou art with me…”  Psalms 23:4

“In my Father’s house are many mansions:  if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.”  John 14:2

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