Journey

This is about my spiritual journey and trying to find what God is calling me to next.

Coming Out as a Post Structural Christian Mystic Poet

As we sat around the dinner table at my college reunion, one of my classmates told the story of a friend who left his wife. My classmate saw what might be described as the friend’s awakening to his sexual orientation. She told her friend and his estranged wife that she thought he was gay. Something both the friend and the estranged wife denied, but soon enough, the friend came out as gay.

Another classmate at the table talked about when he came out, only to find that his friends knew before he knew. It is easy to think about this in terms of concepts like ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ and ‘male’ or ‘female’ are social constructs. It is easy to think about this in terms of others knowing us better than we do.

So, I am struggling with my own identity, not along gender or sexual orientation lines, but more on philosophical and theological lines. We do I believe?

I’ve chosen the title of this post to be ‘Coming Out as a Post Structural Christian Mystic Poet’. A high school classmate of mine who is a writer looking for ideas to write about asked her friends on Facebook for topics, and I suggested Post Structuralist Christian Mysticism.

I don’t know if ‘Post Structural Christian Mystic Poet’’ is really a label that fits me. Each part of the phrase needs so much unpacking. Is my thinking post structuralist? I just participated in #rhizo15 where we explored Deleuze and Guattari. I’m not sure my thinking is any more clearer now than it was before #rhizo15 started, but I found the ideas appealing.

Of course the concept ‘Christian’ is also a social construct. People have been fighting for centuries about what it means to be ‘Christian’. I self-identify as ‘Christian’, even though it seems less as less popular to do so these days. The same can be said about mysticism.

As to being a poet, that is a similarly slippery slope. Who really is a poet? What really is poetry? Can I call myself a poet without being pretentious?

Of course the combination of these nebulous terms creates something even more nebulous. Can some of these terms even be used together or are they contradictory?

With this, I return to the idea of coming out. When my classmate talked about coming out as gay, many people already seemed to know. So, can I call myself a Post Structuralist Christian Mystic Poet? Will some of you say, “Well, of course. That’s what you are. We always knew it.” Will others say, “No, those ideas are contradictory.”

What do you think a ‘Post Structuralist Christian Mystic Poet’ really is, and do you think it applies to me?

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"Random Acts of Kindness"

At the bookstore checkout
I asked the manager
if there were any more copies
of Levertov’s
“Sands of The Well”.

He motioned to a young man
standing near the counter.
“He just bought the last one.”

The young looked at me and said,
“Here, take it.”
“But you’ve already paid the price”
I protested.
“It is a gift,” he said.

All eyes turned to me.
“I don’t deserve this gift”
I thought to myself.

Another customer explained
that Robbie always did stuff like that,
“random acts of kindness.”

I accepted the gift with thankfulness
and wondered,
“Is this how Peter felt when Jesus washed his feet?”

And at the final day
will I ask, “is there any more forgiveness?”
only to hear
the manager say,
“Jesus bought it all”

Will Jesus say,
“Here, take it.”
Will I protest
“But you’ve already paid the price”?
Only to hear
“It’s a gift”

Will the prayer of humble access come to mind
as others explain
that Jesus always did stuff like that,
“random acts of kindness”.

Monday's March

It is dark when I awake. The bed is warm, but the furnace is running and it must be cold outside. The cat is on the end of the bed. Running through my mind is a song from church yesterday, “Oh, Lord hear my prayer, Oh Lord hear my prayer. Answer me, when I call.”

I was in the middle of a dream about a trip up to Boston. I was on the train with some friends heading off to a meeting. Yet the details of my trip were not yet fully resolved. I do need to nail down plans for my upcoming trip to Boston. I hope it won’t get messed up by weather or technology issues at work.

My thoughts shift to these technology issues. I need to get up and get going. Monday’s are always busy for me at work, and today will most likely be even worse with some unresolved issues from last week.

I make my oatmeal, sit down to see what my friends have been up to online, write a little, and then hop in the shower and get on the road.

I don’t know how long a day it will be today, but the forecast is calling for light snow on top of it.

Yet through all of this, a different song from church yesterday comes to mind, “We are marching in the light of God. We are marching in the light of God.” It is a song of struggle, but also a song of victory. Perhaps it will carry me through the day.

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Pray Without Ceasing

Our Rector at Grace and St. Peter's is out on maternity leave, and various members of the congregation are filling in as guest preachers. Today was my turn. For my text, I used the Gospel lesson of the day, Luke 11:1-13, where Jesus give the disciples The Lord's Prayer. Below is the sermon I preached.

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