UPDATE: I have edited this a little…because I always had to force it to make the other one a part of it…truthfully, he ghosted, present by proxy but I never ever saw him walking in the crucible…he was an outside lurker, a skulker, and too shamed and hangdog to enter in…and skert too. Skert that he was so bad that there would be nuffin’ left of him once the cleansing fires got their way…and maybe even more skert that there WOULD be sumfin left…
I think of you…nearly every moment of the day while I am fully functioning, doing other things…I can smell the burning singing smell that is so acrid to the natural nose, and is the sweet incense of devotion unto the One who walks the Heavens and searches the earth.
“Precious in the Eyes of the Lord is the Death of Their Saints” said the prophet of old…he knew his shit, that dude…
But you are there…deep inside me, in those lonely caverns that I have wandered, those places of the soul that the force and floods of horror, of rage, of desolation, and of utter defeat have worn so smooth over such a long time.
You are there…and it may seem so utterly dislocated and strange to you that you sometimes are bewildered, sometimes bemused, and always befuddled that the failure of humanity and the fucked-upness of specific humans can simultaneously be so powerless and so crushing.
I have not seen anyone else in these places. I say this to you to encourage you…and also to disabuse you of the notion that there is any exit except death…there isn’t. And that is such a good thing. I am dead-living proof!! No, you do NOT want to have come this far only to have some small parts of yourself left alive to be like “trichinosis of the heart”, just parasitically causing you to vomit up the food that God gives, the bread from heaven.
There is a company that forms in each generation…it is the company of the dead-living and it is the opposite of the living-dead. There are not a lot of beings in it at any one time? And yet there are whole halls of heaven that are full of nuffin but these royal noble cavaliers! Hebrews 11 is the way they are described in the bible, but I prefer to see them for what they are: anti-zombies.
You have figured out why zombies are such an attractive modern myth, have you not? I mean, think about it: dead people, who ambulate, and are compelled to bite other people and infect them with the exact death they shamble in…or, given whatever mythos you subscribe to, they may even eat the brains, or consume the flesh, whatever…the point is, they take other healthy people and reproduce their death in those people and enslave them to the same doom.
Well “anti-zombies” do just the opposite.
But how is it that the dead-living can accomplish this work?
You know…now. You know.
We must die…die the death of the One who has gone before, and be resurrected in that One now dead to ourselves and alive in the Living One’s life…and there is nothing that can come thru that except thru the gate of death…thru the Eye of the Needle…nothing else but you can get thru.
Thus the layers…thus the experience of getting burned, thinking okay this is the last level…then a new level of sorrow, thinking okay that was it…and a new level…and so on and so one.
My love…do not lose hope or feel sorry for yourself. Behold what manner of Love the Father has given unto you! Turn! Look around, see who is remaining, and look into their eyes, deep! LOOK!!!
*Charissa stops typing, waits*
Who else do you really want? You have been thru the fires! You have seen the worst, and the best thing about that is it is so ridiculously benign and dorky…it is now ready to become lovable and precious and your absolute best asset. We are promised that Their Perfect Strength is perfected in our weakness, and thus it is that we begin to literally and honestly boast in weakness so that Their strength may be made perfect!
Anyway, as I was saying, I am aware that myriads of our company has been formed in a manner like unto the same one as I have endured…but I have never seen anyone else wandering the particular halls that have been mine to both haunt and inhabit in grace…and there you are.
I think perhaps it is because Mama has given me to be the “Virgil” to your “Dante”? Weak Metaphor, but the notion of one who has been in the crucible, died a few times in the crucible, and been raised/risen after these deaths and now ready, willing, and able to encourage, exhort and edify you as you make your way along the path of losing all to gain Hearts Like Theirs.
I wish I could do more…I wish I could give you sumfin, grant sumfin, wave my wand and holler out some magic word that would “get er dun” and release you into the freedom found only under the mercy…but that would leave the work incomplete, and your faith and trust would be in me rather than in the only One who can grant that very thing but in the form which lasts eternally and transforms wholly other into that New Creation of which Immanuel is the first fruits and older brother.
What I can do is leave you lil packs of food…leave you canteens…make my slash marks on the barren tree-trunks and scratch my hieroglyphics on the walls of limestone so smooth, so implacable…they look a bit like bones, don’t they? Cool to the touch, smooth, lacking flesh or any hint that there was ever any life in them…and yet…
…and yet, place your fingertips upon their surface…see how they shimmer when you do!! See how they pulse with promise and throb with anticipation of the coming flames that are the Phoenix-Flames.This morning, I was remembering a particularly difficult stretch, waaaay back in the 80s…it was so strange back then, to be so young and feel so old and weary…and there were the oddest collection of souls that came my way in various places and times and ways and means. One of the best was the New Wave groups that became somewhat popular during these days…Talking Heads, The Clash (yes, I call them New Wave and Not Punk), Joy Division, Public Image LTD (the implosion of the Sex Pistols birthed that group)…and one of my very faves Echo and the Bunnymen. Their music got me thru so much.
Take a listen to these tunes…and you can turn the music up and SCREAM THE LYRICS AT THE TOP OF YOUR FRIKKIN LUNGS!!! Giggles…it is soooo freaking freeing. And as you listen, think about young Charissa, wandering the halls even back then, and now a topsider who walks among zombies uninfected tho not unbitten.
When your head pop out of the ground, it will be to spring, for you will see no shadows.
In the meantime, know that you are never alone…not for a moment, because I am thinking of you, carrying you like a beloved book-bag, holding you like a precious journal that must be written in everyday, and scrawling my prayers onto the Face of God like I desperately scratched my thoughts onto the livres of that long ago tome.
I have just re-read this…there are whole outlines inside each sentence…if you want them, they fall vertically from the words, and are hyperlinked to your shut eyes and open inner vision as you think, as you listen, as you weep…and know that the tears shall be sweet and cleansing, and you will be glad in the Lord for every single ounce of suffering.
I am not blowing smoke…I am not giving you platitudes. This shit is real, and you are gonna lose all things…except for the things that are you and are the flesh and blood gifts of the Goodness of God. But all the things that need to go because they keep you allergic to zombie-venom and thus vulnerable to becoming one of them? They are gonna go…up in flames, thru your fingers, gone.
And you will find yourself still here. And pretty soon, it will be time for the gathering of stones (now is the time for casting them away). And it will be time to light the grill, and cook some fish, some turkey, whatever…and beyond that? I don’t see anything.
Wanna know why? Because there is no beyond that!! That is the whole point! It is then that the what-you-do’s and the things-you-say’s are so ordinary to you, and so extra-ordinary to those who need medicine in the soul!
In the meantime…here are a couple of songs from one of the cadre that kept me alive in the 80s, and the knowledge that other feet have trod the paths of the dead…and emerged laffing our fool heads off!
I love you…and JD…what can I say to you that we did not already say before we knew we knew one another?