The cyclical nature of our own brokenness (@nedlunn)

For me, Judges is about the cyclical nature of our own brokenness. We are all caught in the cycles of sin; turning away from God through our actions, thoughts and words, repenting, returning to God through confession and receiving His mercy only to go out and do it again. Paul articulates this in Romans 7:14-27.

Grace through Christ is the only thing that will enable us to break this cycle. As we grasp increasingly the scope and vision of God’s grace we are transformed into the likeness of Christ, the pure character of God who is without sin, eternally indwelling with the Father.

This month I’d like to wheel out some old writing. There’s some beautiful aptness, when talking about cycles, in returning to some thought you had nearly two years ago.

What follows is an excerpt from ‘Explorations: a stream of poetic consciousness‘ (shameless self promotion there for which I apologise!)

A bell tolls a third time;
Peter,
in the courtyard denying his Lord.
A flickering light luminates
my fall.
My pledge relinquished,
forgotten.

I renounce Him when I reject them.
When I leave them to wile away
every waking hour with ‘wasteful’ work,
which detaches,
disengages and dissociates
them from Him.
I watch them whilst wishing they wouldn’t
but not actually wording it
or willingly working out a way to intervene.

Deep down I know
that I too am judged
just as I judge,
journaling and jotting down
every juvenile step on their jolting journey,
Justice looks on me
and the law locks on me,
hypocritically hiding behind
a simulation of holiness.

“Oh let my lying lips be stilled,
the lips that lash out
lamentable lines of learned lectures
like a lawful lawyer
legitimizing my lofty morals
when I am equally lawless.
Let your face be fixed on me
for I have failed
and I fittingly fear you my Lawful Father.
Let your face flash
unfleetingly upon your laughable follower;
save me in your steadfast love.
O Lord,
I call on you.
Let me not be forever shamed.
I shelter in your refuge for there I am safe.”

He wondrously shows his love to me
even when I am beset
as a city under siege by self-affliction.
Sheol set up in my soul;
a hell of my own making.

Like Peter, the Lord, later,
supplies a three time
forgiveness and commissioning;
redeeming his desertion
replacing it with devotion,
dedication.

I have looked in the mirror
and can paint myself
both as a victor and as a villain
and my various veneers
only voice my insurmountable confusion
as to a verified identity.
I am ultimately lost
when I look and explore my self,
languishing in self-examination
for it is but a reflection
of a reflection
of a projection
coming from an external direction.

Disorientated and dislocated
I dizzily reel,
looking back at where I began.
Living right has been left
and I stroll aimlessly oblivious
to my mistake of mislaying
the lane to the Lord;
the highway to wholeness.

Delving deeper into the divine life
has, seemingly, failed
and been found fruitless and futile
but my thoughts return
to that lucid allusion of a metropolis.

Simplicity stands
where it’s always stood,
a statue of serenity and peace.
His face is familiar
and I fall again at His feet.
He lifts me up and looks into my eyes.

Slowly He speaks,

“Listen.
In life, you’ll stumble and tumble.
You’ll mumble some grumble
and finally fumble towards a humble
handle on who you’re called to be.
It is then you’ll recall my loving light
that’s available to you
when you willingly look for it.

You are more than a conqueror
if you continue in me,
following my example,
participating in my creative life.

Humility is not about
looking lamentably at yourself
or building a bold idol in your own likeness.
Humility is about looking at others
and seeking to serve them
and doing so striving
to be transformed into me.”

It all seems so easy,
no complications,
no elaborate embellishments,
straightforward.
All that I have felt, true.
All I’ve thought,
tying together into a totality but…

This feeling of a finale,
finishing off
and finally finding some frame of reference
is familiar.

My explorations have been cyclical,
recurring,
revolving to face the Lord and finding
I’m still looking away.

Try as I might to muster
the mental muscles
to calmly lay in his company,
I can’t seem to accomplish it.
He seemingly asks me
to do something simple
but it’s so complex;
a labyrinth of ideals
floating around flying
to altitudes impossible to reach…

prodigalson

He holds my face again
as the anxiety
and stuttering excuses kick in.
Flustered,
hysterical and alarmed
I fling my arms in the air
and he looks,
laughing at me
like a tolerating father.

He shakes his head
and summons up a small share of strength
from His universe flinging supply
and subdues me.

As soon as placidity is replaced
He leaves,
or I do.

I am a perpetual pilgrim
alerted to my location in solitude
looking out across the world and,
like last time,
I’m longing to blazon
the beautiful broadcast boldly
across the blue sky.

A bell tolls in the distant sky,
rings out the call to stop,

wait,
have courage and wait on the Lord
who sends in His own time.

Stop.

Sit like the saints.

Stop.

The stillness silences
the incessant stream of consciousness;

so I sit sighing
unspeakable supplications
to my Saviour,
singing
inexpressible Psalms,
songs of celestial resplendence;
my strength too small to speak.

Yes. I’ve said so many words
saying so much
and yet so little.

Centuries shake
with similar experiences;
saints who’ve surveyed
the Servant
who ushered salvation in
and who now rest
encircled by His Spirit.

For now,

I can sleep
in safety,

consumed,

encompassed,

secure in the presence
of the Risen Son.

The rest…

is..

Silence..

About nedlunn

Ned Lunn is a minister in the Church of England. Before this he ran a theatre company, el mono theatre, for seven years. He now writes on spirituality, philosophy, poetry and arts and is a member of a community called, 'Burning Fences', in York which explores art, spirituality and philosophy. He's married to Sarah and lives in York.