There in that place…

The days rush by, and I think about my grandnephew, whose days are unending, his nights just long enough to remember the tilled fields of spring followed by the green expanse of crops pulsating in summer’s breezes, broken only by the creek winding through our land connecting farm to farm where family wait for his return.

There in that place where even subtle sins are noted, he is lost amidst the many who are watched day and night yet never known beyond surveillance screens that reveal everything yet nothing of the boy he was when he became a man when he was barely more that just a boy.

Like any child who looks for love, he found it in the gentle words of his grandfather, who taught him how to put together and take apart the toys of boyhood one block at a time. And, as he grew older, he watched and learned under the gaze of his almost-dad, who was not there when the judge handed down the ruling that took him away from everything he loved.

He had looked for love so many times in the circle of other wounded children grown up, who saw each other through the glazed eyes of alcohol-induced laughter that hardly hid the pain that roiled deep inside. And the alcohol that took him away from the pain tore the best friend he had ever had from his days and his nights where now the constant glare of prison lights robbed him of the dreams he longed for.

He made himself remember the fresh smell of rain on tilled fields, the familiar aroma of oil and grease in his grandpa’s shop, the joyous atmosphere of family dinners and the sound of his mom’s laughter, the combine’s roar and the sound of the grain swirling up the auger to the bins. He thought of the clicking sounds Grandpa would make as they waited for their plates of BBQ to come at noon and the nudges in greeting from friends and farmers who filled the room from 12 to 1.

He remembered so much and then could take no more and waited in the still dorm as snoring ceased and breaths were held, as the dreaded prospect of one more endless day began.

O, Holy Father, just as Your Son burst forth from the grave, invade that stark place with the reality of Your Presence. Break into hearts and flood them with Your Perfect Love. Shatter the walls that conceal the men you created them to be, and destroy the plans of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy their very lives. Birth hope in jaded hearts this day, and set them aflame for You.

It’s time to grow up…

How many more mornings do we have before the curtain drops and another ascends,
before life as we know it is no more, and things that are not are called into being?
How many sunny days are left before threatening clouds materialize on the horizon,
their advance as much a certainty as the Book lying here beside me foretells?
How many more nights before we have breathed our last on this good green earth
that has sheltered, nurtured, and given us much more than we ever dreamed?
How many mornings are left to praise Him for the beauty of the dawn?
How many days remain to love others as He loves us?
How many nights will there be before there are no more?

It’s time to grow up, I hear Him say,
to lay aside the video-game mentality and just grow up!
I wonder what the result would be if every Christ-follower
would work as diligently winning others to Christ,
as they do in playing meaningless games that do not add
but, instead, drain meaning from their lives.
I know what would happen.
They would bear the incorruptible fruit that no fire could touch.
Yes, it’s time to grow beyond the desensitizing appetites of this life
and mean it when we pray, “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done!”