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Friday

The Day of Great Silence

There is really

Only one question

That matters. 


What do you want? 


Not, what do you think

You want. 


Not, what do you want

For Christmas. 


But underneath

It all, when you are 

Laid naked, 


When all distraction

Fades away

And you face

The Great Silence


And you are unwrapped

Like a gift, or a mummy.


What is the answer

To the question

That you are 

Wrapped around

And around

A billion times?


What do you want?

What do you really 

Want? 


To be fair, 

It’s a very difficult

Question. 


That’s why God

Gives us an entire

Lifetime

To answer. 


And we will all

Answer. 


We are all

Answering

Right now. 


What are we 

Wrapped around? 


Close your eyes. 

Feel down deep

To that burning

Coal in the depths

Of your furnace. 


Feel it burning

In the womb

Of your chest. 


Cradle it in 

Your hands.


Turn it over 

And over again

Like a fierce 

Diamond. 


Or a piece 

Of roughened 

Coal. 


Prepare for the day

When you will be

Naked before God. 


And I mean naked

Like you have

Never been. 


Mind and heart

And soul laid bare, 


Scattered,

Like when 

As kids we’d

Grab a handful 

Of dirt, and 

Scatter it on 

A slab, looking

For the bug

We were trying

To catch. 


He will sort 

Through you. 


And in that moment

You will finally see


What you really

Wanted,


Either sparkling

Or rotting

There in the

Scattered dust

Of all you thought

You were. 


Better to know it now

Before the day

Of Great Silence. 


Many will be unprepared

For what they find. 


And so I ask again, 

What do you want?


We may say things

Like love, or to be loved, 

Or goodness, or peace, 

Or justice, 

Or to make a difference, 

Or to be happy. Or to 

No longer be in pain. 


Go deeper. 


We all say those things. 

But what do we mean? 

What lies beneath?


Animal instinct? 

Chemistry? Biology? 

Are you just a function

Of time and chance? 


Just another squirrel 

Trying to get a nut? 


What if the Ancient Book

Is right? What if we

Are eternity wrapped

In skin? What if, one day

We are unwrapped,

Set free to float

Or fall forever?


What if we are born

Running home,

Whether up

Or down?


And what if God

Is love, like He says? 

What if He is peace? 

What if He is goodness?

What if He is joy? 

What if He is justice?

Purpose?

What if He is, Himself,

One day, 

The end of suffering? 


If you really wanted

Those things, 

Would you run

From Him

All your life?


And if He is 

All of those things,

What do you think 

You will find 

At the end of the road

That leads away 

From Him? 


Is eternal misery

So strange a fate

For those who 

Look Life, and Love

And Joy and Justice 

In the face


With eyes He made

And mind He made


And say, a million times,

A lifetime of times,


“I don’t want you.


I prefer happiness

Without you. 


I’ll take my joy

And leave.


I’ll take breathing

Without breath. 


I’ll take living

Without life.


I will go 

Where you are not

And find

My dream.”


Beloved, this is hell. 

The place where God

Is not with you.  


And so I ask again, 

Who do you want? 


There are only

Two to choices:


Life 

Or death.


Yourself

Or Him. 


And herein

Is our tragedy.


Show me the one

Who loves virtue

More than convenience;


Who has

Forged himself

A heart 

Of truth.


There is none righteous.

No, not one. 


We are wise

To despair.


We are all 

Born running

Away. 


Coal, not diamond.


Goat, not sheep.


But here is

Good News:


I am told

There is One,

Who is glorious,

Whose appearance is

Like unto a son 

Of man.


I am told

He once made

Water into wine. 


And long before that,

Nothing into

Everything.


He makes coal 

Into diamonds. 


Sinners

Into saints. 


How he loves

The crooked ones,

Like us.


How he gives

And gives 

And gives 

Himself


To all 

Who ask. 


And how 

He longs for you

To long for Him. 


Alone.


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