Rewrite: Tragedy to Comedy

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From where I stand, a tragedy is an unfinished story.

No matter how long, no matter how many pages . . . if the happy ending has not been reached, it is an unfinished story. It requires editing. Rewriting.

I realize how offensive this may sound to those thoroughly addicted to a miserable life validated by their favorite literary pessimists. But, lest you forget . . . a pearl is made through an offense embraced by its hosting oyster. And so, I wish you many, many pearls in the days to come!

To end a story prematurely is much like ending life in the womb, killing a caterpillar in its cocoon, or interrupting Easter mid-tomb. It simply ought not be done. It’s a disgrace!

On the other hand, pain is given so much more worth and value when one does not seek to cut it off early. Don’t be so ridiculous as to off yourself in the midst of the doctor resetting your broken bone; I do assure you: there’s good to come! Some things—after being broken—actually grow back stronger.

 

 

Not So Jaded

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I am not looking for love.

That might sound a bit odd to some of you. How many different posts and articles out there are giving tips on “finding love”?

I stopped looking for love when I realized how absolutely silly that is. I don’t need to find love because I already have love. Or, more accurately, love already has me. It’s the very fabric that holds together my being. I cannot function without it. I would fall apart without it. It is the very substance that I breathe. The image in Whom I was made. It’s just . . . there.  Kinda like that dog in “Up” that just won’t go away. He keeps following Carl around no matter how many times he is rejected. That’s a tiny glimpse of what love looks like. Tiny glimpse, mind you. Tiny! Tiny! Tiny!

Now . . . I am looking for love.

????

Actually, I habitually enjoy looking around and appreciating what I have been blessed with. So, yeah, I look around to see what I already have. Sometimes, I look around for the air. Sometimes, I look at my toes and think, “Nice! I have toes.” I love to go on treasure hunts because I always expect to find a treasure. It’s just out there, waiting for me. Set up for me to find.

Now, as the argument goes, “You just don’t live in the ‘real’ world.” I am sure that anyone with that argument has sources and experiences ready to be quoted. They may do so to their hearts’ content, and when they are done feeling tired and weary and depressed and weighed down by the worries of the world, perhaps they will come and consider Someone different.

I did not mistype.

That word-choice was quite intentional. Capitalization and all. I said “Someone” instead of “something.” Truth, for me, is not merely a list of facts and figures subjectively manipulated to support whatever is morbidly trendy. Truth is a Person. “Truth is Life is Love is Jesus Christ in relationship in the Trinity.”

And if you can say that five times fast, I salute you!

I really, really like being alive. It’s awesome. The thing about seeing the Christ everywhere is that it’s like perpetually being surrounded by a hug. You can have a miserable day, but in the end, you are held in the arms of love! The misery fades, but the love lasts—because love is faithful, and misery is such a cheater!

I define “love” or rather “Love” by Jesus Christ (and—for that matter—the whole Trinity) because I can’t find a better definition out there. Everything else just seems selfish and sad in comparison.

I say that knowing that people have all sorts of ideas as to who Jesus Christ and the whole rest of the Trinity is/are. (LOL, language limitations!!!) I say that knowing it’s not always the best communicated, and people get confused about it all the time. It just can’t stop me from falling head-over-heels and stumbling around like a really, really happy drunk.

Feel free to message me if you would like to taste the Source of the Bliss.

Until Next Time,

The Joy Detective

Clary & Watts

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This poem was inspired by a video I recently watched featuring an interview with Johnny Lee Clary. He recalls some of his most hilarious and memorable interactions with one Reverend Wade Watts. The then KKK leader didn’t know how to handle this bold man— full of love and a great sense of humor! I write this in tribute to their story. 

I—

I can’t keep up

with this drama;

someone is dissing

my mama,

and what did you

just call

my llama?

I

—haha—

I take it

so seriously

every time

you get all up

in my face

—haha, oh, man!!!—

and hate on me

because of my race!

(Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, boo!)

Yo!

This is high-comedy;

what do you

want to be?

I see you staring

in the mirror,

but you looking

at me!

And I ain’t

quite insulted

as you’d like

me to be,

but wait—

would you

really

like me to be?

I can put on

that front; yeah,

I can go on

the hunt, yeah!

But I ain’t diggin’

for dirt, man;

I’m looking for gold.

You see the pan?

Look,

I know you’ve been

cast down;

I see them chains

and them rats around,

but that don’t conceal

to me your crown;

I see it hiding

behind that frown.

Now,

don’t you go sayin’

“I’m too lost to be found”!

I love ya, bro.

See you ’round.

 

 

A Love Letter to the Spirit of Might

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Dear Holy Spirit,

Thank You that You are not dead. That would be very sad. Thank You that You have not stopped playing and dancing and acting and participating with all of humanity. I really like You. There have been many wonderful, wonderful things that You have worked in my life. For instance, I can breathe—which is very much to Your credit.

I want to apologize for the times that I have backed away from Your displays of power because I have seen and experienced power misused. Thank You that You are kind as well as mighty. I apologize for doubting Your goodness when I read things in scripture that I did not understand and heard other people get offended by who they thought You were. I also apologize for the times that I acted proud and tried to defend myself instead of allowing You to defend me.

Thank You that You are very sweet. You remind me of a kind older brother who will not stand for anyone dishonoring or beating up on his sister. You also remind me of a mother who is very nurturing and gives good hugs.

You are strong and tender all at once.

You are also very forgiving. I can feel Your love and compassion radiating out to the hardest of hearts. There is not a single one who You would see lost. You treasure all of your children. You are extremely patient with us. Thank You.

I want to cuddle with You and be Your Bestest Friend.

Love,

Your Dear One

 

 

 

Too Far Gone? Oh, Really?

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I would like to dedicate this blog post to calling some crap for what it is.

Did you know that saying, “I am too far gone” is one of the most prideful and arrogant things a person can say?

You heard me.

With your very own limited cranial capacity, you have decided that you are doomed. Multiple resources are available. Information that you are not aware of. And yet . . . and yet, you have decided that you are basically as good as yesterday’s trash.

That’s just a mess of crazy right there!

One of my favorite bible verses is found in the Book of Revelation, which I actually believe to be one incredibly hopeful book—despite how I get the sense it has been radically misinterpreted by those determined to see an angry, vengeful god bent on whooping some butt. Revelation 22 talks about who’s inside the walls of Heaven’s gates and who’s outside. But Revelation 21 happens to mention this one very key fact: the gates are always open. What you got here is a walled city—with gates. Open gates. The walls are there to stop anyone who wants to ruin the party from ruining the party. But, let me reiterate: it’s got open gates.

The book closes with an invitation to come!

Come! Eat! Drink!

You want inside? Let go of that sad little declaration of self-rejection. Let go of crappy self-identifiers that totally under-describe how chock full of glory you are. Put on that new outfit of what God has to say about you! It’s basically a massive hug-tackle. Acceptance. A declaration of how completely legit you are in God’s eyes. Waves and waves of love that ever crash upon you.

Don’t be a petulant, whiny little thing with a stick up your rear. Come join the party!

 

 

Release From Shame

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This article is written or anyone dealing with that one secret that keeps your head bowed. That one memory that keeps you feeling like you are not worthy.

“Jesus sees you.”

For some, that is a terrifying phrase. Why? Because they have been taught a Jesus whose character is more akin to the devil.  A Jesus who accuses and is keen to call out sin. Not a Jesus who sees the beauty in a person and seeks to call it out.

People run away from a God who looks down upon them. No one wants to feel condemned. No one wants to feel ashamed. For some people, it’s even just easier on their consciences to claim that they believe that God doesn’t even exist or that God’s existence is highly doubtful.

Oh, but you are so beautiful! You were not meant to be kept in the dark. You were created to dance in the light and know love!

I remember reading a story about a man who lived in a graveyard and had a legion of demons inside of him. Did Jesus look at him and say, “Too far gone?” No. Jesus loved that man who was tormented. He cast those spirits out. The very presence of love cast torment out. Jesus saw past the blasphemous muttering to the man. He knew of the man’s pain and had compassion on him.

May you know love and no longer hide.

Hugs,

The Joy Detective

On the Subject of Things That Go Bump

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IMG_0820Fear. An intriguing topic. A strange topic.

Fear. It’s been accepted as a norm. People are expected to be afraid. It’s the only reasonable sort of thing to do when faced with certain things. Certain things like the dark, the unknown, things outside your control, mysterious supernatural happenings, that one cockroach that just jumps out at you, those people who dare think differently, eschatological theories, immigrants, Donald Trump, Democrats, Republicans . . . and—most frightening of all—YOUR OWN REFLECTION!

But, why?

Are we simply going to accept that this is the sort of way we must live our lives? Just believe it because we were told this is just the way it is? Frankly, I find this bothersome.

I once heard a story about this one man from a favorite preacher of mine, John Crowder. Crowder said there was this fellow who was being martyred for his faith. (I think it might have been St. Lawrence.) Burned to death, to be precise. But was he doing as the “end” drew near? Joking with his persecutors. Dude was so full of joy that he didn’t flippin’ care he was being burned to death.

Now, that is what I call living!

I remember the first time I had an open vision of “the forces of darkness,” if you will. I was inside this magnificent old church. St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, I believe. Huge dome. Beautiful pipe organ music and incense. My first visit to an Anglican church. Everything had been going wonderfully. I was feeling so sensitive to God’s presence. So peaceful.

Then, out of nowhere, we switch from that ambience to the pipe organ playing something akin to “Phantom of the Opera.” It was so random. I see these two sizable shadows moving up on the ceiling. I look around to see what they could belong to, but there was nothing. They just kept flitting around on the ceiling while this music played.

I laughed.

I realized something then. God is very big and very real and very good. These things are like a joke. Their presence (or lack thereof) couldn’t drown out the awe and the majesty of the imminent and transcendent one. I didn’t have to be afraid of them.