A Forgotten Language

JMJ

I used to know how to pray. I used to talk freely with God. As easy as I talked with my mother, or a close friend. But that was before I was educated and now I feel pressure to prove that education? To you? To God? What have I lost my mind? Perhaps I am under the illusion that some one reads what I write and expects something. What madness is this? Lord who am I that I think I can speak of You?

So many people, quoting doctrines, debating ritual, defining terms, and not a single one can tell anyone about God. I know God. I know God only when I am not thinking “God.” I know God when I have lost all my, “God is likes. . .” and “You know it is God whens. . .” I know God best when I am frustrated because I think He is not listening, because it is in that moment I am truly angry with a person that I know exists. In that moment there are no mental gymnastics, no reasoning,

I remember a long time ago in early morning Baltimore, after the open air drug markets had closed and before the morning shifts began their rabid trudge toward the day’s money making, I would stand on the waterfront at the bottom of Wolfe Street in Fell’s Point looking out over the harbor toward the Francis Scott Keys Bridge and talk to You God. I was so miserable except at those moments when all was still and I was resigned to a lonely life in Your service. Oh, how I lost my way!

You promised me a road I would walk alone. How fearful I was! How I resisted you!

If only I would give up everything! If only I would offer You all that I was! You promised to reward me with nothing. I somehow could not appreciate the incomparable, immeasurable value of such a gift!

I was with You. Standing right before You. Hearing You speak to me from the breeze?

No.

From the water?

No.

It seemed you spoke to me from the chill in my bones.

I was with You and turned away!

Yet, You stayed with me.

In the ache of my heart.

In the confusion of my mind.

In the desecration of my body.

You were always there.

I ran from You.

Made myself a god.

I determined my needs.

I decided how to fulfill them.

I worked to achieve my goals.

I forgot You.

I broke myself.

I broke myself.

I broke myself.

I lost myself.

when

I lost you

Can you hear me God?

I am a voice crying out from a desert place, a barren wasteland of a man. “I REPENT! FORGIVE ME FATHER! I HAVE OFFENDED YOU! I SOUGHT TO MURDER YOU! I HATED YOU BECAUSE YOU WANTED TO TEACH ME THAT LOVE IS GIVING AND NOT TAKING! FORGIVE ME FATHER! I AM YOUR SON! PLEASE FORGIVE ME AND LET ME RETURN HOME!

That I may once again enjoin you in easy conversation.

That I may whisper to you on the edge of the dawn

and hear the thunder of your voice in the rising of the sun.

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