Four Quarts

 

img_2393 (1)

I am
crushed
in the depths
of the winepress,
skin-split and oozing,
the best of the season’s fruit.
I am
much
trodden into
little,
four quarts.

Pour me out
as a free-will offering,
a sacrifice of faith.

I am
a wild olive vine,
sprung from flinty soil,
grafted into growth
I had nothing to do with.
Seven years
to firstfruits,
then:
bough-beaten, berry-gleaned,
the mill is a stone rolled,
both to crush
and to resurrect.
This oil press,
my gethsemane.

Pour me out
unendingly
like the jar of the widow.

I am
an alabastron
of spikenard–
your covenant of peace poured
on me,
poured back on you.
Broken seal, beheaded spout,
the anointing
of a husband,
the preparation
for burial
of all the loves I have kept
in my Samaria.

Pour me out
in consecration
of your desire,
in consummation
of your broken-rib-
and-poured-out-blood,
a free-will offering of love.

 

Advertisements

The Life I Think I Want to Live

the_bridge_of_aspiration_by_kharashov-d33599b

Photo Credit: Stewart Hardy

There’s a construct in my heart.

It’s a spiral staircase, with pristine hardwood and gleaming banisters.

Nailed into the floor of Reality, it coils through Dreams, beyond Aspirations, into tendrils of Glory like tufts of burnt-edge cloud.

It has a name: The Life I Think I Want to Live.

In my heart, it looks like driving through Wyoming as dawn breaks, the sun an egg yolk broken all over a horizon of tabletops mountains.

This is the glory, God says, this is the Golden Shore, referring to the place of rest and satisfaction he promised me last April.

In my head, it looks like living on the road, blowing with the Spirit to ordained places and people who need rescue. It looks like heroism, like rescue, like broken hearts bound and shackled feet set free.

It looks like living in a house with perpetually-open doors–a haven of rest for young women in transit–an anointed hub in the middle of a city, with a brother house for young men growing into leadership. Between the two, a growing community of Jesus-lovers with faces set toward the four winds.

It looks like writing only the things I love to write, and making enough of an income to stay on mission and fuel my caffeine addiction.

It looks like intimacy with the man I love that is deeper and more fiery than the core of the earth, a rich soil for planting seeds with roots stronger than weeds, a wide open space with recyclable potential for an Eden.

In my head, it looks like perfection.

Which is why it is a construct. Everything in reality is a little more lopsided than that, and there is nothing man-made that isn’t structurally unsound.

Daily, little things occur that trigger frustration because life reveals a smudge on the banister, a crack in the wood, a dissimilarity in the grain.

In reality, I am back to work scraping hardened soup from a pan with a butterknife.

In reality, the dream house has a clogged sink and I don’t know how to use the drain snake.

In reality, freelancing looks like writing what is available at a rate that someone else decides, on a deadline.

In reality, intimacy is the painful process of locating my constructs and yielding to Jesus deconstructing them–generally in a backward, measureless, structureless way–so I can love the man he has given me with the purity of self-sacrifice.

In reality, I am walking the length of the Stone Arch bridge after dark–smoking, because I can’t seem to approach my own father without some kind of guard–and wrestling with his Spirit because I told him what I want when he asked, and now he’s telling me I only want the version in my head.

Which, apparently, is not his reality. And his reality is the only one that offers life.

I am confronted with this reality: I can’t have both the life I think I want to live and the life God offers.

But I don’t know how to abandon my staircase.