Something Risky and Hard. A Prayer.

Jesus,
I thank you for your weirdo, my brother, Todd White.
He says that “to believe” means “to be convinced completely.”
He wants his life to be so saturated with the Gospel
that even when he is squeezed by life, You come out.

He heals the sick with you, Jesus. You would know
better than I would!

He says, So much media is full of things that Jesus
paid a price for, to heal.
Yet we are willing to feed them into our minds,
to establish mindsets that control our thinking.

Why would I feed anything in, he asks,
that doesn’t feed my desire for the Kingdom of God?

***

I want to be an academic.
I want to be someone who can discern Your grace and favour
in the broken places, who can see
the Kingdom shoots of green and purple
amid the muck and steel and concrete that everyone
thinks stops growth and life and peace.

But there is something in my soul that responds to Todd’s question,
Jesus, and wonders if it is, as he says, a key and not a rule,
a narrow gate into your incredible spaciousness.

***

So, Lord, I pray this way, in public,
knowing that your people are watching, and even
some people who might consider themselves your enemy,
because I want you to show me how to only
feed my desire for Your Kingdom–the time and place
where your justice and peace kiss each other.

I wonder what only feeding the Kingdom mindset would mean in my life.
What would be the impact on my views (and viewing) of movies, of porn,
of news, of TV, of Facebook? Would I spend my money the same way? How
would my relationships shift? How would I inhabit time and space differently
than I do now? How would my writing (and what I write about) morph and unfold?

I can’t make you heal the sick with me, Jesus. But I want to, so bad!
I want to glow so bright and warm that diseases
of all kinds–body, soul, and spirit–have trouble
sticking around:
in me, or anyone else around me.
Renew in me an appreciation of your beauty,
a joy that’s not afraid to say, with a deep and flaming humour,
“I am in love with a Man!”

***

I fear that this will be much, much
harder, something much riskier, than I would like it to be.
And yet if Your will is findable, doable, and enjoyable,
Jesus, then: why so downcast, oh my soul? Why are your teeth
set on edge?

Make me willing, Lord, to give up everything,
even if I never heal the sick.
Wasting time with you–
inhabiting your spaciousness–
would be enough:
I just want to spend so much time
with you inside and wrapped around me
that I smell like You
everywhere I go.

I wouldn’t even have to say anything,
but people would just know:
He belongs to his Rabbi, the Lover.

***

Make me Your kind of weirdo, Jesus:
like my brother, Todd White.

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