Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Well and the Lighthouse

(last part of "the Well and the Lighthouse" by Arcade Fire)

Living in a lighthouse
If you leave the ships are gonna wreck
Living in a lighthouse
The lions and the lambs ain't sleeping yet

I'm not a big fan of the movie Gladiator, but another line comes into my mind in association with these words. In the last scene of the movie after Maximus has killed Commodus, Juba a fellow gladiator says to the dead Maximus, " we are Free. I will see you again... but not yet... Not yet!"

For Juba there is life yet to live, work left to do; he has hope of more, but for now he must live. In a very similar way, we might do well to say 'not yet...Not yet" every once in a while to remind ourselves that there remains life left yet to live and work to be done despite the hope of more. We must not forget we are meant to live in lighthouses, lighting the way for others because the kingdom is coming but it has not completely arrived yet.

Can I Break the Spell of the Typical?

I frequently find myself falling into a set routine of attending classes, doing homework, and eating in the cafeteria without much thought of what I’m doing. And if anyone asked me what was up, I might just say the “typical.” But recently the music of Mute Math has reminded me that the typical is a spell. It sits on us where we are comfortable, so that we don’t grow but move along to the typical patterns of life. I’m learning more and more that I need to break out of this place, to break out of the typical, to seek the extraordinary, (I don't think any of us are being called just to live "normal" lives). I find myself thinking of Chesterton, and that as I have gotten older I have lost the inquisitive way of seeing the world. I have lost the magical quality of this world to the impinging typicality of life. But what if I was to break out of the typical then I should find myself with new growth and a very new way of seeing. What if I could see every day as extraordinary, and everyone as immortal? That would be a beautiful way of living.

What Is This Ponderous Thing Called My Heart?

My heart pulses, my heart beats
In short, it moves and that is all
but movement does not indicate life.
A watch can tick all it wants
yet it is no more alive than a stone.

Only a heart that feels is a heart that is alive
but my heart just beats, just beats
its callous tune, beating, thrumming, drumming
Like a machine it sounds and pulses but does not feel
Dear God, I should feel for them
Why do I not? Am I so dead of heart?
Must I force myself to care? Is that the only way?
I need my manhood shaken thus
would that my heart would move, would jump
not with the forced movement that a machine will make
but with the redemptive rythyms of grace
So take my heart Lord and make it break.