continually fascinated by the contradictions which coexist within me. from surface to deep.
too many superficial aspects [titles//reputations//etc.] don't match my inner experience.
much of the external feedback i receive puzzles me.
we have odd eyes. we see the world in tiny details and complexities,
in patterns and inconsistencies.
can't help but wonder... in what ways we're all accidentally [mis]perceived.
summer is nearing, and though san diego has never felt more like home, there is one thing i miss the most about living the desert.
i ache for that warm huuuug i’m overcome with when i walk outside. i miss having friends come over without calling and watching them play music in the livingroom. i miss the slower pace of desert living, the fact that you run into five people you know whenever you leave the house, and having church in the middle of an epic garden… i miss the desert and am so happy that T and i are heading back soon.. i’m ready to share all the beauty it has to offer… even in the summertime.
On Sunday, I headed to The Commons church in Flagstaff, Arizona. I had spent the weekend in town visiting Caroline and Andie, meeting their friends and getting a true sense of the home and community they were building in that forest town. We took communion and closed with a prayer, but before we left the pastor read this poem and said, “Food for thought.”
“In Hell there grew a Judas Tree
Where Judas hanged and died
Because he could not bear to see
His master crucified
Our Lord descended into Hell
And found his Judas there
For ever hanging on the tree
Grown from his own despair
So Jesus cut his Judas down
And took him in his arms
“It was for this I came” he said
“And not to do you harm
My Father gave me twelve good men
And all of them I kept
Though one betrayed and one denied
Some fled and others slept
In three days’ time I must return
To make the others glad
But first I had to come to Hell
And share the death you had
My tree will grow in place of yours
Its roots lie here as well
There is no final victory
Without this soul from Hell”
So when we all condemned him
As of every traitor worst
Remember that of all his men
Our Lord forgave him first”
- D. Ruth Etchells
Beirut, January 20, 1987
When I heard this poem read aloud, I was humbled at the idea. The author not only expresses the Lord’s forgiveness, mercy and unconditional love, but the redemption found in Jesus Christ.
There have been times when I have doubted that the Lord could forgive me for all the mistakes I’ve made, but through this poem, though it may not hold any biblical weight, I am confident that I have been R E D E E M E D .
me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you, unless you abide in me."
separation equals death.
but dawn only lasts so long.
oh, my God, graft and still me.
to be brethren with Your branches.
even when the dark is near.
that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”
- Khalil Gibran