The land of Remember When
reminds me of what used to be.
midnight meanderings on the railroad tracks,
sunrises after sleepless, heart-felt nights,
cold noses beneath clear, star-speckled skies,
campfires on couches in the snow,
that pool ball in the wall.
her mother's calling hours, his funeral, his funeral, his funeral.
living the line between heaven
and hell. begging, pleading for a thinner veil,
an unleashing, a drenching..
with dozens and dozens
of naive, ignorant, passionate,
over-zealous, hungry kids
just like me.
kids who said they would do anything.
kids who said they would go anywhere.
kids who said this was it, this was forever.
I look around now, here in the land of Remember When, and very little is as it once was. I don't understand, save this one thing:
This life is a war.
(There are no short-cuts.There are no easy-way-outs.We fight. Every single one of us, every single day. As for why some make it and some don't, I've been at a loss. We grew up in the same thing, the same rediculous move of God that we all, all 80.. 90 of us, took for granted.)
I rarely have visions, but the other night God gave me a look inside my heart. It was so real that I clutched my chest almost instantly, as if to somehow protect or preserve what was burning inside.. there were coals.. bright, bright, burning coals. Just coals. The kind that are almost impossible to extinguish. At first I was disappointed - no flames. No big bon-fire. No beautiful little teepee with the perfect number of pine-cones and the perfect amount of paper and pine needles.
[but] anything can produce a flame. [but] flames die.
Coals take time. They take tending. The coals aren't nearly as exciting as the flames; they aren't big nor do they produce much of a sense of exhileration. They might not draw the same crowd, but they last.
It's a new season, and when all the excitement and movement and flame dies down, how long will your coals last? how is the fire, really? It's one thing to be on fire, it's a whole other thing to burn forever.
I still don't understand.
I don't understand how one can say "nevermind" to something so life-changing, so real, so inside of us, so consuming, so wonderful, so undeserving, but I do understand that while the last three and a half years all but completely destroyed me, they were also the best years of my life thus far, and hard as they were, I would live them all over again to know what I know now: the perfectly tender love, the constantly attentive eyes of a Father who has never once left me hanging, will never leave me to wipe my own tears or fight my demons alone, and knows exactly what to do with this wrecked, ruined, fragile life. That changes everything; I'll never be the same.