Excuse Me… March 14, 2013

(1,820)

Tree drawing

Excuse me, Tree. When did you bloom? Hours earlier you were barren, devoid of bud, and now, in a full array of leaves.

Excuse me, Blackbird. How did you fly from that second branch skyward, perching on top of the wire dangling in the air?

Excuse me, Ma’am. How do you do it? Tend to your children’s whims, while pursuing womanly dreams?

Excuse me, Brother. I am so sorry for the hot-shots who are so busy discussing billions and billions that they didn’t notice that you were $83.14 shy on your rent this month.

Excuse me, Sun. Where did you go? It has been so cold for so long. Now the warmth gradually returns with renewed vigor.

Excuse me, Book. Would you tell me a story? Your words become feelings, transforming into ideas and projecting them in my mind as visions unimagined by Hollywood.

Excuse me, Rain. What a wonder you are! Somewhere between my head and the earth, you change from a nuisance to nourishment.

Excuse me, God. Where have You been? Much has happened. Did You notice? Is it a plan set before us or merely an atmosphere for human choice? We do welcome You, if You are still interested.

Excuse me, Tree, Blackbird, Ma’am, Brother, Sun, Book, Rain and God. I fear I have been a bit absent–in more than mind. I am back now. I will do my part. Watch me.

You will be proud.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Fairfield’s White Unto Harvest… November 12, 2012

(1,697)

Life is awkward.

Nothing of any significance will occur in the reading of this essay unless you understand this. Life is filled with moments of inconvenience which can either mount up in your mind and seem unconquerable, leaving you in despair, or can be taken on one at a time, with a tenacious sense of humor and be overcome.

It’s really that simple. Those who try to supersede the awkwardness of life by avoiding nervous encounters end up in a smaller and smaller world with fewer and fewer possibilities and more predictable friends and circumstances–which annoy them because of how bland they are.

Now, I had a fabulous Sunday morning in Fairfield, Ohio. It wasn’t fabulous because everything worked perfectly. It wasn’t astoundingly delightful because the cosmos came into synchronicity with my purpose. No–it was awkward.

Arriving at the gig, I discovered there were three big steps leading to the platform. Right now I don’t do steps. Sometimes I can successfully pull it off without looking like a worm ascending a plank–if there is a handrail available. You guessed it–no handrail.

Awkward.

On top of that, before we came on to share our bits and pieces, there was a march of children bringing in boxes of toys for the needy and a very well-produced salute to the military by the chancel choir, complete with veterans standing up in correlation to their particular armed services song.  Let’s review: marching children, a salute to supporting our troops.

Awkward.

Following the introduction by our dear sponsor, we received no greeting of welcoming applause, so I had to begin my show in total silence. It would be difficult to explain to you how awkward that feels without placing you in that position–which I mercifully do not desire to do.

Did I mention that life is awkward?

At the end of my program, during my final song, the ushers suddenly decided to start collecting the love offering used to defray our expenses. I have a particular hatred for this. It makes me feel like I’m either singing for my supper or I’m trying to drain the audience of finance by emotionally stimulating them with one of my musical selections. I gently requested that they stopped passing the plate, but they ignored me. It bothered me enough that I missed one of my lyrics, but then I shook it off and completed the song.

I want you to understand that this is not an indictment of Fairfield or an attempt to get you to feel sorry for me. This is life at its best–awkward as hell, waiting for me to bring a little heaven.

If you’re going to live on a planet that decides to rain whenever it wants to, using machines that have parts that break down, surrounded by fellow travelers who are convinced they have the right of way and subsisting in a body that is racing towards death, you might want to adjust your thinking and be prepared for a bit of evolution.

I loved those people yesterday–but what I want them to understand is that our country will never be what it was or become what it needs to be without them first learning to take awkward and change it into possibility. As long as you run away from awkward, you will run right into the arms of defeat.

Life is about overcoming awkward moments.

Take this morning: we are packing up our headquarters, loading it into a van, and driving down to Louisville, Kentucky, to unpack it and start another week. There are folks who would be convinced that is virtually impossible, and if not impossible, certainly a hassle– and henceforth unwarranted. As long as you maintain that mentality, you will be at the mercy of tribulation and under the control of those who have figured out a way to survive a moment’s fussiness.

Nothing is easy. I have been on a food regimen now for a month. So yesterday, I decided to go to the pot luck dinner provided by the church. It was lovely, generous and delicious, but NOT low-calorie. So the amount of food I was able to put on my plate and still maintain my regimen would have caused a hummingbird to complain to the restaurant management. It made me a little grumpy in the afternoon when I didn’t have any calories left to consume.

Awkward.

We as human beings have no way of gauging our success unless we can look back on how well we handle ourselves in awkward moments. I was hesitant to write about this today because I don’t want the folks I fell in love with yesterday in Fairfield to think I am complaining. Quite the contrary–I relish them. How will I ever get a chance to prove the value of my philosophy of life if what I believe and think isn’t challenged?

I feel good this morning–not because every aspect of my plan came off with utter precision. It’s because I devised a scheme through a series of well-placed chairs to mount the stage and get to my keyboard and off the stage and into the wheelchair, cruising on to my book table, without falling flat on my face. Glory be to God and praise the Lord and pass the ammunition (in honor of Veteran’s Day).

I am grateful that when the offering plates were passed, completely against my wishes, that my wilfulness did not win out, but instead, I went with the flow and the sun still shone and the earth revolved. Not everything has to be done my way in order to end up working out for my good.

I am overjoyed that I survived a church potluck and somehow or another made it to 5:15 that evening, where I was once again permitted to be a consumer and enjoy additional nutrition.

Life is awkward.

As Jesus said, the fields are white unto harvest but the laborers are few. Why are the laborers few?

Is it because people are lazy? Absolutely not.

Perhaps people are looking for a handout and don’t want to work? I don’t believe so.

I believe it’s because people are scared hopeless over the prospect of the shifting sands moving beneath their feet, changing their circumstances and creating an environment they were not prepared for. So they try to play it safe.

You have to decide–is life a shooting range where you stand at a distance and aim for paper targets, hoping to achieve a bull’s-eye? Or is it a forest where deer hunting season is in full progress and you’ve just discovered you’re a buck? Yes, the buck starts here.

Thank you, Fairfield. I am so grateful for you proving once again that love is not a confirmation of what we believe, but rather, an extremely awkward process wherein we continue to believe, often without ANY confirmation.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Early Morning Rain — October 14, 2011

(1,299)

4:13 A.M. 

I awoke.  Not sure why.  I’m not startled–my heart is not racing.  Just eyes fully reaching towards the ceiling.  Then a sound. Almost like a scratching.  Maybe better stated–a rustling. Very slight, right outside my door. I couldn’t imagine what it could be.  I suppose my initial instinct was to be nervous or concerned but maybe it’s the fact that the bed covers are warm and my pillow has found the perfect position for comfort and tenderness, but I have no instincts to rise and check out anything. Yet … the sound gets louder. Not a brash, blaring but rather, a gradual increase in intensity.  It is rhythmic and regular–so much so that I am sure it can’t be an intruder. Then all at once the mysterious “unknown” from beyond my door becomes quite obvious. 

It’s the falling of rain.  Early morning rain.

God, I love early morning rain–especially when it is so courteous and sweet, arriving without thunder or lightning–just the pelting of rain against the door and sidewalk beyond. I think what I like most about it is that it offers the benefits without the actual intrusion. In other words, the earth receives its moisture but I don’t have to walk in it, struggle through it, decide on clothing for it or drive in it. Yes, wouldn’t it be wonderful if all rain came before dawn and finished as the sun rose, gradually drying up by the noon-day meal?

But rain is rain. And I am me. And life is life. It’s a pretty good system when I don’t choose to be grouchy. But on this particular day it was absolutely marvelous to be in my bed, rubbing a blanket against my cheek, listening to the rain do its business and bidding without any need for my involvement or intervention.

As quickly as it came, it began to dissipate, eventually going back to its original slight rustle…and then it was gone. It reminded me of an old lady coming out into her front yard with a decrepit, metal can to sprinkle water on her flowers, only to disappear back into the house to never be seen again for the rest of the day. So sweet and simple.  So easy.

It got me thinking.  (Well, perhaps you don’t actually think that early in the morning.  Rather, you allow the better self of your sleepy emotions to muse great truths in a childlike way. I giggled … because I suddenly figured something out. It was so fragile and simple that I was afraid to think about it too long because some objection might come into my mind to destroy the kind reasoning.

Life was easy; life was logical. 

And here it is: Mother Nature takes care of earth, I take care of me, granting you mercy to do the same for yourself. You take care of you, giving me the equality I so desperately require, and Father God shall supply the need according to His riches in glory. 

Wow.

***************

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

Published in: on October 14, 2011 at 11:32 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: