Saturday, November 28, 2009


I am sitting in the living room of my new palace here in Berkeley California. My deck has a view out over the rest of the city, the bay, and all the way to San Francisco. In the distance is the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge. All morning and afternoon as we have been here eating breakfast, practicing, planning the cover of our new cd, the clouds, fog and sun have been putting on a graceful and dynamic show. When I awoke the bay was a bowl for an immense cloud of fog, hiding everything but the closest trees. Later it burned away, revealing the pristine city, bridges, barges, and silhouettes of the land like the backs of great animals. Now the great sun is shining through clouds, causing the whole panorama to appear to be made of gray steel – cold and hard in the shadows, brilliant, burning white in the open light.

As we spend night after night in different locations, homes, communities I am struck by the fact that we have been received gently, affluently, and beautifully without fail.

I am sitting in a home that is nicer than one I could ever own (unless I sell A LOT more cds…) and yet, I get to sit here. I am given this beautiful affluence, not because I have a lot of money, but because the idea upon which I am trying to build my life, is able to support that life. A few days ago we were up in the mountains of northern California, motor biking around the golden hills. The sun was raking across them, causing the great black cows to blink their beautiful eyes, filling the sky with pink. And we sped through it all, our scarves trailing and flapping behind us, tears of speed making trails on our cheeks. I thought I might burst with the beauty of it all, and in that moment I realized with amazement that I live in a world where glory is a concept. Enough of us have had this feeling of glory to give it a name and understand it together as a concept. It is very likely that I will never own a motor bike, or a ranch in northern California, yet, I do not go without the glorious experience of that joy, the eyes to see that beauty. Though I have been given a career in which people are more often spoken of as "starving" than as rich, I do not lack the joy of glory, or even the beautiful views, motorcycle rides, or delicious meals. What does it matter if we experience these things by buying them with money, or providing folks with a vision of beauty and joy that causes them to want to give it to you? Life is experiences, and God gives experiences broadly.

The thought that comes to mind now, is that Life is affluent. God causes us to take on his work – the work of blessing, forgiving, inspiring, and opening doors for others. This work causes us to do things that are "risky" or unusual, or simply surprising. But it is Life, God, itself who is affluent, and it is Life, God who has brought this "risky" work into being. The "risky" work, in as much as it brings redemption, clears the glass of vision, and causes us to understand God better, has affluence, safety, and joy stitched naturally into its fabric.

the view from our beautiful Berkeley pad

Tough guy, motor biking in the wilds of northern california

No comments:

Post a Comment