Wandering In The Thin Place
So What Is A Mystic Anyway?
“Does your dad live there too?”
Its an ordinary question. The pickle it puts me in has become ordinary too. I can answer honestly – “My father passed away” – and put this stranger in the uncomfortable position of realizing he just innocently brought up far too intimate a subject for individuals who just met over a conference dinner. Or I could simply answer, “Yes, he’s in Connecticut as well,” which, when I stop to think about it, wouldn’t really be a lie. Because we did bury him in Connecticut and his physical body remains there now, fourteen years later.
I am still super adverse to labels these days. I have a feeling this might be a permanent change in status. But I’ve thought that before about many things and have been proven wrong, so who really knows.
In the interest of sharing my work with y’all, it seems like it might be important to get on the same page about a few things. So in the coming weeks we’re going to spend some times making sure that we all have the same baseline understanding about what I mean when I use certain words.
Today, lets talk about what I mean when I talk about being a mystic.
What Would Jesus Do?
“Jesus said ‘I am the way, the truth and the light, no man cometh unto the father but my me’ Gospel of John” [sic]
I knew it was coming, but I still did a tiny double take when John 14:6 popped up as an unrelated comment on an Instagram post of mine from a few weeks back. That post was of a three card Goddess pull I had made – no God or divinity related hashtags, no reference to Christ or Christianity. I still can’t figure out why this was the place the comments began. It was an interesting choice. Maybe it was selected because in some ways it offered one of those extra layers of anonymity that the Internet allows.
But I got the point.
Losing My Religion
“What do you need to feel ready?” she asked me.
It was almost exactly a year before the cancer diagnosis I didn’t yet know was looming so close. In the Skype window reflecting my image I could see row after row of purple bordered diplomas and certifications behind me. A law degree and a master’s degree. Admissions to the bars of four states. Papers conferring on me the readiness required to carry out certain tasks.
Healing Trip #6 - Ojai, California
“Describe your past and current relationship with Christianity.”
The interviewer is pulling out the big guns straight from the gate, and it takes me several days to figure out how to even begin to respond to her in less than a short memoir, never mind the 100 word limit she has prescribed. It’s a difficult question, but a good one. Largely because it’s a question I have been turning over in my own mind for the last handful of months.
Do You Want To Continue Leading Your Life?
“When did you fall?”
My head swivels from his gorgeous wife to meet his eyes. “Excuse me?”
“The fall. How old were you?”
Check, One, Two . . .
“I’m a pastor, and God doesn’t talk to me. Do you really think He talks to you?”
Its no longer a novel question, so my response has become a touch rote.
“Yes, I do,” I respond, squeezing the words out through a tiny space in the barrier keeping my exasperation at bay.
On The Celebration Of The Resurrection
Is this thing on?
* * *
I needed some time. Some space. I had to learn the hard way that when you take to painting your emotions all over the internet – when you crack your heart wide open and provide whoever wishes one an inside view at the goriest year of your life – you can create a false sense of intimacy and a level of expectation that you weren’t really planning on.
The Vocabulary of Prayer
“What is the standard of review applicable to a motion for summary judgment?”
I am afraid to try to answer because I am certain that I will throw up if I open my mouth. I didn’t review this. What were the odds they would ask this – rather than something related to the applicable facts or the pertinent cases?
“Check this out.”
Anytime his name pops up on my phone I have to smile. He is something akin to my baby brother in recovery. A human I have never encountered in “real life” but who I am bound to by our shared experience of surrender.