The modern Christian man’s delight in a 9 year-old child’s “decision for Christ” and the associated “baptism”—and I claim this, not as theology; nor any other kind of “-ology;” I only claim it as a human being—is a feeling less like delight and more like relief. The relief of something finally finished rather than finally begun. The relief of catching a child just before he tumbles out of the golden arms of paradise into the painful rationality of adulthood, rather than the delight of letting a child go; of watching him fly brightly on his own; plotting his course courageously and with spirit across a jagged landscape. There seems a desperate relief in this strange “decision”—a finality. It reveals something about us, below what we can see. Perhaps it is a last ditch effort to trap the child in the sinless land we long for, having lost it and so long ago walked away from. Perhaps, although too frightening to ponder maybe, perhaps we are welcoming him with open arms into the trap in which we ourselves stepped. Or perhaps it is a vain, blind, inverted attempt to catch the last of his golden light and stow it in his pocket; maybe one day to use again and find his way back. Relief. Delight. “Enjoy your cake!”
In reality, a freezing of the child just as he steps from the Kingdom of God rather than into it. All the concerned and anxious adults ply the child with axioms written on an ancient door that separates them. Axioms written in runes they themselves no longer understand and no longer speak. This door at which they all have gathered yet none understand—the child on one side, the adults on the other— enters the broken kingdom of religious rationality, rather than the Kingdom of God. The adults—the parents, the grandparents, the prophets, and the priests—lean close, whispering to the child on the other side, “Can you hear me? I know you’re in there! I can feel you just about to come out! Do you trust me? You do? Then, just say the words. Did you say the words? You did? Well then, you made it!” And as the child, now “accountable,” steps into their dusty and fearful arms, the exit from Paradise clangs shut. And the words “NO WAY BACK” glow briefly in the moonlight before fading into inexplicable symbols once again. With a strange and hopeful relief, the family turns and walks away.
The truth walks into a crowd and disappears.
Because when the egoist asks, “What do you think?” he is actually asking “What do I think?”
Just because Betsy told me how I was behaving terribly toward her and my children...
Didn’t result in Me seeing myself that Way. In fact, I specifically, and in direct proportion, wouldn’t and didn’t look at myself in the mirror she held in front of me. A detestable mirror which I called “accusations.” I did not have ears to hear or eyes to see.
It was only on the day (which, it turns out, is judgement day—the Lord’s day) I really saw myself for exactly what I was, that everything changed. An infinitely clear mirror was held up to me in the exact moment of my massive collision with myself and with something else— Christ or God or Existence itself. It was only when I had ears to hear and eyes to see, all her truths became true.
Those who mourn and repent will be saved. Those who don’t will be destroyed.
Those who mourn and repent for all the detestable things going on inside the temple will be saved.
The one out of seven—the writer—the marker—will mark the foreheads of those who mourn. And they will be spared. The rest of the seven are warriors who will pursue and destroy everyone else.
Similar to Cain’s mark, in a way. Tied to Seven and Multiples of seven.
It also connects to Paul’s Road to Damascus/ lightening bolt experience. A question lurks within: Is it a curse or a blessing to be spared? To see. To see your blindness. To be blind. To live knowing of your murderous heart. It is to be Cain. “Why did I live?” It is to be Paul and suddenly know, as if struck in the head with one of Stephen’s stones, of the detestable practices in your own temple.
It is to be marked in the head with a lightening scar. To be the boy who lived. To be this thing that cannot be killed from the outside. The mark brings with it seven-fold mayhem and seven hoarcruxes of death. The blood soaking in the earth moans and screams in your ears.
What is this mark then?
Is it a mark for life or a mark for death?
Both, in a way. The ego, my divine mark, as such, can not be killed from the outside. Yet my strange invincibility also chains me to Death; brings death to the world; both the Death I cause and the Death I escape. What to do with this marked thing? This monstrosity of consciousness. Touched by hate, and love and choice. Marked in a place visible to myself in a mirror only. What now? This mark! What to do about it? What now?!
There is only one solution: Death.
Death to the ego.
But since the almighty God himself has protected the bearer of this mark, like Job, from outside asphyxiation by Satan, the only possible death left to me is a voluntary one.
Only by laying down, only in letting go, only by a Way hidden in the pattern of flaming blades swirling over Eden, may the marked one become finally and forever accessible to his Savior—Breaking the chains of death. Bringing Life in the Savior. Bringing life to the world.
What is the mark?
It is a mark for redemption.
That is how forgiveness works.
Like life, the past is something you can choose to give away instead of keep.
To forgive is to give away a closely held past in the present moment. In a real sense, it is to walk into the past and release the poisonous link from the chain of your existence before it ever happened. And miraculously when you look down at the infected wound on your flank, it is healed. Just an old scar with the echo of something forgotten. The negative meaning, the pain, somehow unobtainable because you have finally chosen to let it go in the swift river. The injury and the wound set free to be spoken aloud with the tongues of angels in the mouths of man.
“On every high hill, every mountaintop; and under ever spreading tree...I found idols.”
Your goals; which are places of highest vision on one end, and places of rest and leisure on the other, are scattered with idols. Where is God? He both grants and is your highest vision. He both grants and is your place of rest.
And when the true God discovers evidence of false gods throughout your life, from top to bottom—complete destruction ensues. Or another way to say the same thing: when reality discovers itself falsified throughout your life—destruction results. I don’t have to be a prophet to tell you this. I have lived it.
Money is not real.
401k’s are not real.
Your success is not real.
A degree is not real.
What you know and think about is not real.
Politics is not real.
Laws are not real.
Color is not real.
Matter is not real.
Your interpretation is not real.
Your idea is not real.
Your ego is not real.
Your identity is not real.
A thing is not real.
The ark is not real.
None of these are sacred.
The ark is not sacred.
He speaks. We are to listen and obey.
“I know what God said, but it doesn’t really make sense when you think about it...”
Uzza never saw it coming. Too late.
What was more sacred:
God’s ark or God’s decree?
The relationship with God, or with the ark, or with ourselves?
The external, or the internal?
What we think, or what we don’t think?
What we know, or what we don’t?
I love it when a sudden flip comes along. I think Jesus is the great inverter. He reaches into your mouth, which never shuts up—and into the throat of the universe—grabs your soul and pulls it up and turns everything inside out. And he says, “See, you’ve been looking at everything the wrong way.” Christ not only turns it opposite, he turns it inside out as well, “You think you’re looking through a hole, but the hole is actually looking through you.”
The flip for me this week was your interpretation of “…do not throw your pearls to pigs.”
You said, “I don’t think we read that correctly. We always turn the focus onto the stupid pigs. But I think Jesus is saying it’s not the pigs that are stupid. It’s you.”
Why would you give pearls to a pig?
Why would you give others what YOU want? Why would you give anyone else what YOU want? It’s what YOU want, not them. You’re the one that likes pearls, not them. It’s like giving your wife a new basketball and then being hurt that she doesn’t like it. Or like working all day cleaning the pool and getting the backyard ready for this great thing you're going to give your nephew and his teenage friends—and then no one ever even goes back there. And then you sit around nursing your hurt and trampled feelings while everybody does something else and has a great time. Maybe its because you wanted to be upset and martyred? Hmm?
I like church. So should you. I like heaven. So should you. You should like this. Don’t you understand what I am giving you? Why don’t you like what I like? Why don't you like what I am giving you?
Why is it I don’t know what others want?
Maybe it’s because I never asked.
Maybe I never asked—I just told. Maybe it’s because I never knocked—I just kicked in. Maybe it’s because I never sought—I already knew.
And by the way, do I even know what I want? Or even better, do I even know who I am? How do I like to be approached, talked to, and treated?
What if everything outside of where you are aiming is the bullseye?