When we learn to speak we don’t always get the words quite right. It’s fun to remember the words kids use as they are figuring out language. Likewise, as we walk through our faith journey, we also don’t always get the words and ideas and images “right”, but we keep on trying because there is something that compels us to seek the life and breath of God in the world around us - AND in ourselves.
I shared a poem on Sunday by John Roedel. He is a husband, father of 3, comedian, writer and an advocate for children with autism. And he has a book out about his struggles with God and Faith called “Hey God, Hey John: What Happens When God Writes Back”. The following is a poem by John that I shared on Sunday and I used it as a reminder that we have the spirit of God in our on breath (and understanding) - the letters of YAWEH from the hebrew scriptures (we add extra letters in English) are a form of an inhale and exhale - Yod, He, Va, He - Listen to your own breath as you read this poem…
My brain and heart divorced a decade ago over who was to blame about how big of a mess I have become.
Eventually, they couldn’t be in the same room with each other.
Now my head and heart share custody of me.
I stay with my brain during the week and my heart gets me on weekends.
They never speak to one another.
Instead, they give me the same note to pass to each other every week and their notes they send to one another always says the same thing:
“This is all your fault”
On Sundays, my heart complains about how my head has let me down in the past.
And on Wednesday, my head lists all of the times my heart has screwed things up for me in the future.
They blame each other for the state of my life there’s been a lot of yelling – and crying.
So lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my gut who serves as my unofficial therapist.
Most nights, I sneak out of the window in my ribcage and slide down my spine and collapse on my gut’s plush leather chair that’s always open for me
And I just sit sit sit sit until the sun comes up.
Last evening, my gut asked me if I was having a hard time being caught between my heart and my head.
I said I didn’t know if I could live with either of them anymore.
“My heart is always sad about something that happened yesterday while my head is always worried about something that may happen tomorrow,” I lamented.
My gut squeezed my hand.
“I just can’t live with my mistakes of the past or my anxiety about the future,” I sighed.
My gut smiled and said:
“In that case, you should go stay with your lungs for a while.”
I was confused.
The look on my face gave it away.
“If you are exhausted about your heart’s obsession with the fixed past and your mind’s focus on the uncertain future, your lungs are the perfect place for you.
There is no yesterday in your lungs.
There is no tomorrow there either.
There is only now.
There is only inhale.
There is only exhale.
There is only this moment.
There is only breath.
And in that breath, you can rest while your heart and head work their relationship out.”
This morning, while my brain was busy reading tea leaves and while my heart was staring at old photographs, I packed a little bag and walked to the door of my lungs.
Before I could even knock, she opened the door with a smile and as a gust of air embraced me she said:
“What took you so long?”