Monday, March 21, 2011

Devil's best advice

Satan tells Jesus that he can have unlimited resources to solve the disasters in Japan. Tells him that the world’s arsenal is at his disposal to protect the freedom fighters in Libya. All he has to do is give credit where it belongs. Tell people “that’s the way things work. That’s the real world.”

Instead J trusts in something much deeper. Trusts in a power unseen. From a deep womb place. He goes and tells people “take another look – there’s a world within this world. A power deeper and stronger.”

Forty days in the desert had taken him to that place of trust. Matthew uses the forty days to remind us of the forty years the children of god wandered in search of their promised land – figuring out how to be a people apart. My buddy Mike, the basement poet preacher, reminded me of another significant forty this week. How many weeks does a baby gestate inside its mother? Forty.

That’s what we’re talking about here. That kind of connection between mother and baby; that kind of communication; that kind of wordless sense of belonging, trust, knowing…

These are concepts below the radar, beneath the waters, beneath where heart and mind can go. J says in response to S that instead you are to love the LORD your GOD with heart mind and soul (or something like that). Well, we know how to love the LORD with heart and mind, but where do we get that Soul instruction?

Heart is like Plotkin’s Spirit. The high emotion of good and holy times. The high emotion of sad and sacred moments. The events that take us closer to our Maker we celebrate with ceremony, parties, worship services that lift us up to that higher plane.

Ego is all about how we operate in the world. We love GOD by making the right choices and living rightly. We teach respect and kindness and hard work and – all so important.

Yet there is a part of us that doesn’t get talked about. Mostly because it isn’t a place of words. It’s a place of colour and image where dreams and metaphors attempt to capture the deep underwater fishiness of what it is to be soul-full.

I’ve been listening to soul music with son david. You know that heart-wrenching stuff with a driving beat? It’s like the blues with a gospel stand-up-and-move rhythm. David and I are working on some new vocabulary. We’re starting with “Yeeowwww” - the perfect expression of a man in the midst of the torture of love. How else to put it?

Soul talk is wordless.

Which is why Jesus tells stories. His disciples ask him about all these stories. They complain that they’re hard to figure out. He tells them that most people can’t “see” and can’t “hear” what the soul is about. A few, like them, get that gift of inner vision – can “hear” what is really going on below the surface. But most, he explains, are hardened to see only what’s on the surface. (Matthew 13) And so he tells stories to soften them up and point towards the soul of the matter.

Same with the miracles. They are meant to point to something deeper. Something even more precious than a physical healing – an attention getter if you will. “Look deeper. Dig deeper. Fish.”

And it is territory within us all. Jesus reaches out to the ordinary guys of Galilee. Guys of the earth and sea. Guys who read nature like a book. Who watch and learn for what the seasons and creatures and winds can tell. He calls those guys to help him fish for people’s souls. Help them meet others soul to soul and gather them to the table where unconditional love can slowly pull from them their soul’s calling.

Which is what Jesus knows as his one life’s purpose. Not to solve the world’s problems with the world’s means – but to free souls one at a time. His purpose, that he was willing to die for – to show us that nothing can stop a soul’s calling…is that call to freedom…

If you personally are not in the midst of transformation I’m guessing you probably know someone who’s life is.

What advice do you give them?

Is it parental? Does it go like “do the right thing. Do the safe thing. Do the secure thing.” We tell our children “Get an education. Get a job. Get a mortgage…”

Or do you encourage them to listen deep and follow freedom’s calling?

Parents are all about security. That’s their job. That’s what they know. And that’s why in tribal societies and earth societies, at some point, the child is handed over to the uncles, the aunts, the grandparents - whose job it is to teach the child how to fish in their souls and pull up from the depths their purpose, their gift to the world. Often those gifts are presented at some sacrifice to security and a settled life.  

A child can become a safe and secure credit to the family and never become who GOD intended them to be. Made in the image of their parents, or their society, instead of made in the image of GOD.

It’s a recipe for a deep unhappiness that unfortunately can get expressed in all kinds of sad and negative ways. Maybe its just an itch that will never go away. Maybe it’s a source of pain that gets drowned out by addiction and emotional afflictions … until the soul gets to speak.

What is my calling?

Joy Kagawa in an interview about the current disasters in Japan tells a story about a raging forest fire. It drives all of the forest’s creatures to the water’s edge. They stand and watch except for the sparrow. The sparrow fills its tiny beak with water and flies into the fire’s heat to spit those drops into the furnace. Again and again and again. The great eagle asks what the sparrow thinks its doing? And the sparrow replies “I’m doing what I can.”

And that’s your soul’s call.

And the devil is anything or anyone who tries to dissuade you. 

Jesus in prison cartoon is from

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