Monday, March 05, 2007

Icarus


(Click to enlarge)


It’s been a long project. Wings are tricky things.

When I was five I was told we can do all things in Christ.

I pulled on that rope which connected me to the bell in the tower above, pulled hard. The rope coiled at my feet and the bell sang across our small town... “It’s time for church,” it sang; it rang.

I believed those words. "I can do all things."

I let the rope slide through my hands as the bell swung back above me. When the rope slowed, hesitated, I jumped as high as I could, grabbed the rope, held on, and my kindergarten-sized body pulled the bell above me harder, further.

I can do all things.

“Come to church. It’s time to come and sing, to hear about Jesus.” My 60 pounds were turned into a voice that rang down the street, past my house, past the library, clear to highway 99 in that small northern California town. “Come to church! Come to church! Come! Come!”

Mom told me to find out how many kids were in my kindergarten class and she would make cookies for us, one for every kid. At recess I asked my teacher. She told me, I raced outside.

I hadn’t noticed the fence before. I stood looking at the chain link and wondered how I was going to tell my mom how many kids were in the class.

“You can do all things in Christ.”

I closed my eyes and walked straight through the fence. Well, that was what I thought I would do. But I bumped into the fence, scraped my nose a little bit. I must not have had enough faith. I climbed the fence and ran home.

My walk of faith has been a strange one. From seeing a stained-glass Jesus smile at me when I was five, being told I was too young for communion, living in a Hindu ashram and claiming Jesus as my avatar, reading Bible stories, a "Jesus Freak" in high school... strange adventures, strange paths.

It’s been a tricky project. I’ve been working with wax and down, balsa wood frames and long white feathers. It’s been a long, tricky project.

These past few years I’ve been taking my faith very seriously. I’ve been praying, alone, in groups large and in groups small. I’ve been praying through writing and through painting. I’ve prayed in the solitude of snow-covered trails, in the darkness of early morns, and in walks around a paved track at work.

Each prayer has been a part of that project, a piece of wax tacking a hope or desire into place. I’ve been pressing the parts of my spiritual disciplines in the wax.

I’ve been taking my faith seriously. I’ve been confessing my weakness to friends. I’ve taken the surprisingly heavy plumage of my sins and stuck them to the ribbing of my faith.

I’ve gotten someone to mentor me. I’ve followed scripture reading programs. I’ve sung hymns and whispered and spoken and shouted words of praise. I’ve laid those disciplines beside each other with an eye to making them fit into a smooth aerodynamic shape to help me to glide higher anjd higher to my Lord.

I’ve take the sorrows of my life... I’ve taken the things which make my heart race, which terrify me, and turned them into threads to bind and reinforce these wings.

I have raced off cliffs with these wings and gliding into blue skies. I’ve flown high, reveling in the joy of drawing near to my Lord.

I have soared to such heights. I’ve looked down on the patchwork quilt of my life. I’ve seen the depths of my pain, far and distant. I’ve seen verdant fields of my successes, small in a landscape bordered by the roads leading to places of work and worship and family.

And suddenly...

Suddenly I’m afraid.

Feathers are coming off my long, tricky project, they drift below.

I’m afraid I’m going to fall...

I see an airport below me. I’m not sure how I can get to it safely.

I’m afraid.

17 comments:

Felisol said...

Dear Curious Servant,
if you were Icarus, you would have melted long time ago, flying so close to the sun.
If all your good will and praisworthy deeds were to save you, you would still face perdition. Jesus said, "It is fullfilled". He has saved us by his grace alone. St. Paul was told,"2 Kor. 12. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
But we are human. I hate to feel week and dependant. I like to achieve things, to be able to do what's right and good.
There's nothing glorious about being exhausted and getting severely depressed from overachieving. It's human, just like a broken leg or pneumonia.
You are a wonderful, honest and eager servant of God. Just you rest for awhile. May His face shine upon you and give you peace.

Lily said...

I wasn't sure if you'd ever seen this. Beyond that, know that I am praying for you, too.

gracie said...

This is such an honest post. Interesting too... I noticed that many sentences begin with 'I have..." or "I've"... and I could see what you meant about the wax.
Fall into grace... it will only ever be what "God has.."

Penless Thoughts said...

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love caseth out fear: because fear hath torment, He that feareth is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18

"There is no room for love in fear. Well -formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life - fear of death, fear of judgment - is one not yet fully formed in love." The Message

Rest in the Love of Jesus. HE'S done it all for us. That's why he went to the cross. We can't do it ourselves but He can.

Jada's Gigi said...

May He bear you up on His eagles wings for wings of our own making will surely fail us...but His never will

bjk said...

There's a theme in the blogosphere today.....praying for all of us....
just simply praying

curious servant said...

Thanks all.

Judas Hate said...

Pour yourself a half glass of beer (so it won't get too warm) and e-mail me if you like. I promise I won't be so long winded in my reply this time:-) Or, you can tell me to be quiet and I'll just listen.

Coco said...

Be not afraid,
I go before you
Come follow me...

So the words to the song go-
I need to go look for the name of the song... Be Not Afraid (?)
or Come Follow Me (?)

We all have those moments...
it's in our "nature".

Know that you are NOT alone...
Hugs & Blessings.

Take Care,
Coco

Ame said...

:)

perhaps that's what it's about ... taking the feathers of our lives and putting them where they belong ... and then God releases them ... us ...

perhaps it's not so much in the landing as in the flight. i picture a white bird gracefully, peacefully, floating on the winds provided, assuming the winds are there.

perhaps ... we need to close our eyes, open our wings, and be who God created us to be before the foundation of the world! so odd it is to those of us whose journey to get here has been long and treacherous, such hard work.

perhaps ... a time to rest and be, to glide in the freedom.

may the peace and tranquility of God wash over and through and in you. may you open your wings, close your eyes, and let the winds of God carry you. may you find rest and strength in your God. may you accept the beauty He gives you. may you continue to find deep love and acceptance in the woman He laid beside you. may His wisdom fill you and bring you confidence and peace. May He cause you to smile :)

Ame said...

:)

perhaps that's what it's about ... taking the feathers of our lives and putting them where they belong ... and then God releases them ... us ...

perhaps it's not so much in the landing as in the flight. i picture a white bird gracefully, peacefully, floating on the winds provided, assuming the winds are there.

perhaps ... we need to close our eyes, open our wings, and be who God created us to be before the foundation of the world! so odd it is to those of us whose journey to get here has been long and treacherous, such hard work.

perhaps ... a time to rest and be, to glide in the freedom.

may the peace and tranquility of God wash over and through and in you. may you open your wings, close your eyes, and let the winds of God carry you. may you find rest and strength in your God. may you accept the beauty He gives you. may you continue to find deep love and acceptance in the woman He laid beside you. may His wisdom fill you and bring you confidence and peace. May He cause you to smile :)

curious servant said...

Update:

I'm still somewhat depressed... I move back and forth in it.

I think my marriage needs work. I think my work needs less work. I saw my doctor yesterday... Blood pressure is up. I'm having a few other ailments I need to deal with and it's all still... tough.

I've been thinking about what I would write about mycurrent feelings and situations.

Wondering how I differ from those who are not Christ-followers...

But I should resist the impuls to blog all the time. It's another task that pulls me away from my family.

I've read through the above commentws carefully, and I appreciate all of them. I like the variety in them.

At any rate... I'm weary and tired and I haven't even really begun my day yet.

Met with a friend this morning and we prayed together. That's a good thing.

Well... later.

curious servant said...

I haven't posted a second time this week because I needed the time for other things.

But I thought I'd at least leave a note.

Still in a vascilating funk, still seeking a little peace.

Going to Springfield, OR this weekend for Jeremiah's Special Olympics basketball. Maybe I'll be able to write something then.

Been listening to Peter Gabriel's "Blood of Eden" and am finding inspiration for a post there.

I wish I had time to visit my favorite blogs, but I don't.

Gotta go!

Jim said...

Hi C.S. Well, just keep on keep'n on as they say. Life is tough but through Christ we can make it ok.
That is the answer but it still isn't easy.

I'm glad you have a mentor. That takes willingness to be vulnerable. At my age, I'm still not there.
My dad surprised me at his age of around 80 +/- when he announced that he had a prayer partner.
Dad didn't have a reputation with me as a prayer warrior although he did say the prayer at our wedding--he was 63 then.
It all came about because a young man asked him if he would be his prayer partner. Until then, Dad was a pretty private person. But he consented.

The young man considered Dad his mentor but acutally they were mentoring each other. God was with them and helped them both so immensely in their Christian walk.

BTW you might figure out I have cut back in my blogging, both writing a reading. My priorities needed to be adjusted.
..

Anonymous said...

Everyone's being tested right now.. and no one would be more ticked off about that than Padre Pio. He said long ago if anyone wanted to be his spiritual son or daughter, all they need do is think about it.. they will know, and he will know. Sometimes, we need to ask the intercession of someone who experienced both our times and the holy excruciating Stigmata.

Becky said...

CS

How are you doing? I know it is hard, I prayed for you today.

becky

bigwhitehat said...

Nice.

I did a sermon today.