Forever good.

Gustave_Dore_Inferno32one sun will set forever a day unwarm to the name called you no hints will warm the hearts of those with shared blood gone     and then Forever

my name is a disease cured by resurrection fooled by all that my momentary hand holds i am immortal today immune from extinction brave until i fall again then i spy the small that i am

and know i am getting older. slower.        prouder. more attuned to Forever, to the sky whispering joy divorced again to the day once fought for when i matter to those i don’t know

a nameless man     is no better known     than the moment he disappears into today     and then Forever

Always larger than your to-do lists and calendar notes and goals is a question nestled deep within your chest, urging every effort toward accomplishment and begging you toward success.  In the stillest of night and the quiet of morning I think of it, of myself in years ahead and the measure of meaning then, of me then.  Even in days I soar with success, I feel the nibbling of needing more and wanting more than what I have now.  And when I’m not careful, I’m convinced to run erratically into the day and turn over conversations and tasks for evidence of worth and acceptance - sometimes to convince myself that I am enough.  I am not.  I know this in my head, but it’s my heart that echoes empty wants. I am inconsistent at my best.  They know - my friends, my family - yes, they know well just how inconsistent I can be.  I am the only one still unconvinced, sure I can make it on my own and measure good enough.

Every time we strain against grace and reach back for good, we frame faith in the past, as if all that God has redeemed was us then.  And so begins our wrestle with good and grace rooted in a myopic attempt to save ourselves and be gods.  Grace is so much heavier than good, outweighing all attempts that will always fall short no matter the equation we follow or figure.

This is the Gospel: if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Our aim is to belong to this Truth, not betroth ourselves to any image of a better us that is good at good.  There is not one good other than Christ.  We are no more than moralists when our good attempts at following Christ is confined to categories of dos and don’ts and acceptable and not.  The Gospel swallows us whole, all of us; our yesterday, today and forever.

And then so what is the result?

The result of the Gospel’s work in my life means me as a husband who learns to love as Christ loves us, a father who learns grace and to accept his children independent of their bucking, a friend who gives all without measure and a neighbor who’s light never wanes in the dark.  I admit, I am not this man fully, but I belong in Forever by Grace’s strong embrace.  And it is Grace’s doing that keeps changing me.

Friend, what happened then on the cross, before you knew, before you began stretching for good and name and accomplishment, has been indeed done, Forever.  May our strain to be cease in our belonging.