Like a good zone workout, to read two books in tandem sharpens a reader’s perception muscles about the content of each like steel against steel.

Two titles I presently drink are John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany, given to me for rediscovery by a beloved Mommy friend as we departed There, and Ann Voskamp’s one thousand gifts, another send-off present that has blessed me 1,000+ times already. I binge-read both individually like a First Year gobbles a box of Spudnut donuts, and now savor them together, so that like tea, the ideas sweat, mingle, seep to diffuse me.

One of the Irving quotes that wags its finger at me like only my Beauty could is, “—and when however small a measure of jealousy is mixed with misunderstanding, there is going to be trouble,” (45). It partners Voskamp’s observation like a prom date, “(t)he liar defiantly scrawls his graffiti across God’s glory, and I heave to enjoy God… and Satan strangles, and I whiten knuckles to grasp real Truth and fix that beast to the floor,” (90).

Discovery gasps from the back of my throat like the first time I went to the Farmer’s Market in Boston.

So many bushels of fruit!

Fireworks burst behind my eyes as my synapses pop, Pop, POP!

The verb heave grunts Glory as it archives visceral memories of creation,

I heave to crown precious baby heads
all gush
and moist
with dark, wet hair
to Cocreate life.

I heave to press weight
up and down
breath in and out
hard like a locomotion
to Cocreate muscle.

I heave salty sobs
to wash despair
like bleach on
shower tiles
to Cocreate healing.

I heave
white-knuckled
warning to my girls
to focus their
worth lens
ever inward
as they etch
quality pictures
of beauty
to Cocreate esteem.

I heave,
Sojouner,
like you-
push,
grunt,
struggle,
pant,
press Up,
press Into,
and sometimes
pee my own pants
through sheer exertion
as my struggle
fixes the beast to
the floor.

Glory be to God!

The beast is a liar with many names. He shadows his presence through masks of despair, self-doubt, jealousy, so venal vanity clouds clarity and blurs my connection to our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.

Jealousy heaves heavier than kettle bells and is twice as slippery. Jealousy’s rancid core goes deeper than, “I want what you have,” and includes

“I want what I had,
I want what I expect,
I want ________ (fill in vice of choice)
I want _________ (fill in virtue desired devoid of personal behaviors that align)
I want it now!”

Going back to Irving’s quote: “–and when however small a measure of jealousy is mixed with misunderstanding, there is going to be trouble,” (45).

Jealousy can do more than maim our relationships with each other and self, it can amputate communion with our great God.

When we put our timing
expectations,
demands,
self-righteousness,
greedy-voracious,
selfish self-interest
before God,
do we not
operate with a small
measure of jealousy
mixed with misunderstanding?

How often have you heard a loved one opine, “That’s not the way I’d do it if I were in Charge.”

And that’s in Charge with a Capital C, Captain of all Creation Command.

We are not in Charge.
Thank God, we are not in Charge.
We confuse what we want
with what we need
to prosper.
I must entrust
my heart
to the Father.

 

I don’t have a Batphone. I am not a prophet. I am merely a Seeker.

My very heart’s desire is to see the Face of God.

That hope assigns me as much moral and behavioral responsibilities as this one life might muster. I am plenty busy doing my job as I am a fleshy, inconsistent, spiritual sterwart. I must not only be still and know He is God, I must hallow His Work in my life.

The sweet wine,
the bitter cup,
both His to draft
and mine to drink
as I Praise His name.

Yet we are born with a gag reflex.
Bitter tastes bad!
The tonge recoils
like a window shade,
as it stains the throat
with splatter paint
angst of acrid
after taste
more vile
than fish burps.

Our feelings get so big like air freight carriers on the high sea that we forget to be critical of them as they too often are real, but not true.

Oh, Lord, if it’s one relationship I need to get right, it’s my connect with You. Disconnect with You taints the supply I bring every interaction as you are my Portion Deliverer.

Psalm 121: 5-8 promises that You stand guard over my comings and goings

The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

I hold on to hope and the promise that You bring.
There will be a day Love wipes away all jealousy
and Hallelujah hails
the only things we heave.

That will be a day.

There was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!