Monthly Archives: March 2012

Why It Matters

Sit with me and tell me once again
Of the story that’s been told us
Of the power that will hold us
Of the beauty, of the beauty
Why it matters

Speak to me until I understand
Why our thinking and creating
Why our efforts of narrating
About the beauty, of the beauty
And why it matters

Like the statue in the park
Of this war torn town
And it’s protest of the darkness
And the chaos all around
With its beauty, how it matters
How it matters

Show me the love that never fails
The compassion and attention
Midst confusion and dissention
Like small ramparts for the soul
How it matters

Like a single cup of water
How it matters

(Why It Matters, Sara Groves)

Sounds


. . . and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. . . And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. . .Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled. . .

I went to see an orchestra playing, and this passage surged through my mind. Even advanced sound systems cannot compare to every instrument coming from it’s own unique location. The urgency of the music is amplified by half a dozen violin bows, in synchrony, jerking through the air. Tension in the sound is further emphasized by more than a dozen musicians preparing to play on the same note. The eye of the drummer is not fixed on his own drum, but rather fastened unwaveringly at the conductor, the drummer’s whole body poised to act. Parts of whole.

There is no background. There is no ignoring. The music must be heard. Not just heard, listened too.

This, from a community orchestra.

What, then, when the Son of God returns in all His glory?

Joy. Victory. Completion; resolution.

The voice of the angels, ten thousand times ten thousand, singing out.

“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

Amen.

To learn, to live; to live, to learn

The thing about choosing to learn–choosing to seek someone to teach you–is in that many ways you are deliberately seeking out a form of humiliation. We we decide “to learn” something, it sounds so splendid and accomplished. We think of the final effort of doing something well. But the process? The process is messy.

The process of learning to walk is about repeatedly falling down–on your behind, with a loud thud–not about gracefully strolling about with people watching you admiringly. The process of seeking someone to teach you is essentially about willingly seeking an audience to watch you fail, repeatedly and without style, until maybe you scramble enough to kind of sort of do it.

It can be uncomfortable having an audience, even if having a teacher can speed the process of learning. The thing is, this is life. Life is learning to talk, learning to walk, learning to get food up and into your mouth, learning to clean yourself and dress yourself. . .learning, learning, learning.

Yet we must chose to learn certain things. And in choosing, we find ourselves counting the cost. Is it worth it? The cost? The time? The effort? The witnesses to everything we don’t already know? To learn, we have to first admit how much we do not know. This is the first part.

Once one has become steeled to the circumstance of having to admit to ignorance and failure, we can seek to learn.

And after getting over that one big awful mountain, one becomes at least somewhat jaded to all the other incredulous inquiries to the honesty of your ignorance.

“You didn’t know how to do that?!” Your simpleness is so quaint! “Good for you for learning!” I’m glad you’ve decided to catch up to the rest of us!

You didn’t know how?

You didn’t know?

Oh, my goodness gracious!

But–now–the journey is already begun. Hopefully we will find the perseverance to finish with grace.