the Gospel according to John

galilee

The Gospel of John is like the gift that keeps on giving.  This came out last year on a Holy Saturday afternoon (I changed/added one line).  I think it will always be one of my favorites.  

~~~

It might have been possible then.

But not anymore.  Now he’s ruined.  Yes, even after all these years.  The blood.  The screams.  All the bloody times he fell asleep.  He’ll never forgive himself for that.  How he stood there with nothing to say.  If only he hadn’t been such a coward.

He drinks himself drunk with the memories of Cana.  My Lord and my God, my friend.  He’s dead.  A mind swirls with miracles and storms and beautiful words heard reclined by the bread and the wine. Times like this he wonders if it was all a dream.

He vomits the alcohol in remembrance of Him.  He can’t stomach the thought, how the grapes of wrath churned out their victim, how the Son became a silent nightmare.  He holds the pen but can’t get the words out of his head.  He can’t get it out of his head.

“Write this down…”

He first told him while they sat on the shore by the fire.  After the waves had settled on their way to Capernum, when he’d caught his breath again–Jesus looked him in the eye and whispered words grown men don’t say to one another.

“John, I’ll hold your hand.”

He didn’t know what it meant back then.  He wasn’t sure if he even knew now.  He wasn’t the same man.  He wasn’t the young fisher of men anymore.

But his heart–he followed his heart back to the days of Peter and James—he took a deep sea of Galilee Breath.

He wiped away the tears.

And he figured if Moses could do it then he could too.

O holy night

DSC_0699

On the night he was betrayed we went to church.

When we got home there were a few things I wanted to do.

I wanted to run from the upper room, toward the son of perdition, and beg Judas not to do it, please Judas, please don’t do it, not to kiss the Lord, not like that, and not to kill himself after he did.

I wanted to hug Peter when the rooster crowed and tell him he told you so.  Satan demanded to have you, remember?  But the Lord has prayed for you.  Jesus loves you, Peter.  He won’t forsake you now.

I wanted to follow John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, and stay with Jesus til the end, to ask him what it was, what made the Son of God so love the son of Zebedee so much, hoping God could love me like that too.

I wanted to stay up and pray and think about such things.

But I couldn’t stay awake.

 

a year ago

 

It’s Friday night and you’re rehearsing
the young lovers’ wedding for tomorrow
so I just told the kids to put on a movie
cause I could feel myself fading under
the light of their laughter.

Sometimes it just hurts too much
to be present so much.

So I’m thinking of you and waiting for you
to walk across the grass and tell me it’s time
for another shared meal with the ones
we call sheep and God calls sons.
another long weekend living
everyone else’s lives.

faithful this day

DSC_0877

“Lord, grant that I be faithful this day.”
~a personal prayer~

The world revolves around the sun like days revolve around the table.

As we settle into our new groove I’ve been thinking about the new responsibilities I have.  With a husband working in the next room over and all the kids home throughout the day there is a need to pay more attention to food.   I’m a little ashamed to admit this, for I feel like it makes me a little more less of a woman to say it, but cooking meals has never been my joy or strength.  Yet, whether I like it or not, meal preparation remains one of my primary responsibilities as a wife and mother.

What I’m finding though, is that as the meals become a priority not just in theory, but in my own heart and practice, I actually enjoy it so much more, have less stress and more time to do a few more things I love doing, even if it’s just a little bit.   It kind of reminds me of the famous object lesson with the rocks in the jar.  If you put the big rocks in first, which represent the most important things, then you have room for pebbles and sand and water.  But if you fill the jar with pebbles and sand and water first, there is no room left for the rocks.

It’s always nice to learn an old lesson in a new way.

DSC_0897

DSC_0902

DSC_0896

School is now my other main priority.

I want to be a good steward of what God has given me.  I have dreamed of a chance to homeschool for so long.  I feel like God has granted me an outlet for my passions.   It’s going to take work though, hard and honest work, just like marriage or motherhood or school or any other job.  As much as I love to play around and wing things, school is not something I want to get into the habit of winging.  There is more room for play and spontaneity for everyone involved when we have a plan and purpose.

First and foremost I’m committed to being fully there.

DSC_0882

DSC_0895

“Lord, grant that I be faithful this day.”

This is the latest prayer of my heart.  It helps me through the times that are less than picture perfect, those multi-daily patience practices when the needs around me seem to bottleneck into the realm of impossible.  Someone is grouchy, someone is crying, someone is hungry, children are fighting, supper is burning, I can’t find the can opener, and inside, my head is spinning out of control.

Thankfully I really don’t mind doing laundry.

DSC_0904

The world revolves around the sun, which means, there’s always a bright side.

the crooked path

DSC_0885

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do. I will not forsake them.”
~Isaiah 42:16~

He’d been dead for four days.

Four days is four days too long to be dead if you ask me.  I didn’t get it.  If this man was their friend, if he really cared, why hadn’t he come sooner?  Now their brother was dead.  The women, so many women, took turns traveling their own trail of tears.  It was clear no man could help them now.

That’s what was going through my head when I saw Jesus.  There was nothing to him.  He looked weak, like he hadn’t had a decent meal in days, maybe weeks.  Everyone–Jesus, his disciples, the sisters, the women, the children, whatever men had made it home by then, they all were headed for the tomb.

I figured I might as well follow along.  I didn’t have much of a choice.  My cynicism drove me like a madman to the gallows.  Not by my will, but his.  His demise was imminent and I wasn’t about to miss this.  I wanted to see, to hear, how Jesus the teacher would dig himself out of this hole.

His humanity shocked the heart of the hillside.

I believed him then.  I had to.  Even the stones broke down at the groans of a grown man crying, like God himself had lost his first love, or was about to.  “Father!” he shouted.   I looked over at Mary, his mother.  Tears rolled down the widow’s cheeks. Joseph had been dead for years.

He’d saved others but he couldn’t even save his friend.

He couldn’t help himself.

Jesus wept.