Thursday, January 26, 2006

cereal reality

i love playing with words. just using them to say what i want in a new way. a friend asked me yesterday, so what happened with "the guy"? and i said, you'll have to tune in tomorrow. same bat time, same bat channel. i would like to write a line like that, that comes to you when you need a line and stays with you for life. yes. i'd like to write a line like that.

on to my story:

i was reading thomas merton (in his book, contemplation in a world of action) yesterday morning and he responded to the question i posed about the old guard and what am i to do. here's a quote:

The monastic movement needs leaders who must come from the new generation. These must have the patience to undergo the testing and formation without which their ability cannot be proved. No one will entrust himself to the guidance of men who have never had to suffer anything and have never really faced the problems of life in all their bitter seriousness. The young must not be too ready to give up in despair. They have work to do! Fortuantely there are creative forces at work. ...Tradition is not a passive submission to the obsessions of former generations but a living assent to a current of uninterrupted vitality. What was once real in other times and places becomes real in us today. And its reality is not an official parade of externals. It is a living spirit marked by freedom and by a certain originality. Fidelity to tradition does not mean the renunciation of all initiative, but a new initiative that is faithful to a certain spirit of freedom and of vision which demands to be incarnated in a new and unique situation. True monasticism is nothing if not creative.

i'll spare you any more. but this really slammed me. sure the passage is about the rethinking of monasticism, but it applies to my struggle entirely. this is the greatest kind of writing. the kind quickened with the Spirit of God that transcends time and space. that speaks in season, a timely word from the Heart of God. yes, that is the kind of writing i want to produce. i praise God for merton's faithfulness. some have faulted him for not being "silent" enough. but i am grateful for his willingness to pen the words God put upon his heart, as they are my light of earendil.

i hadn't planned on being an armorbearer to this "guy", but i guess that is what i am supposed to do. bob dylan and all. Lord have mercy. (on him and me.)

this morning during my daily prayers, this passage of scripture, from the infamous david and bathsheba passage revealed Uriah the Hittite to have been Joab's armorbearer. a fact i did not know until today. interesting. here is what got me:

The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab which he sent by Uriah. In it he directed: "Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce. Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead." So while Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew the defenders were strong. When the men of the city made a sortie against Joab, some officers of David's army fell, and among them Uriah the Hittite died. (i samuel 11:14-17)

it makes me wonder what kind of armorbearer i would be. what kind have i been? if the king called me from battle, i'd likely go up and rest a bit. in doors. thinking not about the men i'd just left. but not uriah. perhaps war does that, forges such alliances that men (like c.s. lewis and his boot camp buddy) take vows and fulfill them. i've never been to war or boot camp, i do not know.

i like to think the Lord can use anything to teach us the lessons we need to learn. i don't have to be an assistant pastor to learn the armorbearer lesson, merely a servant to my husband and those the Lord calls me to serve. these lessons then translate. i would hope, to all ensuing scenarios.

that uriah carried his own death decree troubles me. he was faithful unto death and died an innocent, just like Jesus. i'd never thought of that connection before and it grieves me. there is more here for me to learn but my brain cannot wrap around it right now. i have to let uriah sit in my head for a while and speak his truths.

what kind of armorbearer will i be? what kind will you be?

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