The Inner Voice of Who Knows What

the pilgrimage: Henri Nouwen and my own topsy-turvy little heart

Archive for the month “April, 2008”

Does this make anyone else cry?

Gimme Shelter.
The Rolling Stones.

I can’t tell if it’s the mournful guitar intro, or Merry Clayton’s powerful pleading voice, or simply the word children… All this destruction is just a shot away, if we don’t pay attention to it and keep it from happening.

It always makes me cry, but I never really listened to the lyrics until tonight.
And somehow they drove it home.

Mick Jagger in a Rolling Stone interview:
“Well, it’s a very rough, very violent era. The Vietnam War. Violence on the screens, pillage and burning. And Vietnam was not war as we knew it in the conventional sense… That’s a kind of end-of-the-world song, really. It’s apocalypse.”

It is this tangible apocalypse that makes me cry. It happens more than we know.

Oh, a storm is threat’ning
My very life today
If I don’t get some shelter
Oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away

War, children
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

War, children
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

Ooh, see the fire is sweepin’
Our very street today
Burns like a red coal carpet
Mad bull lost its way

War, children
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

War, children
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

Rape, murder!
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

Rape, murder!
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

Rape, murder!
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

The floods is threat’ning
My very life today
Gimme, gimme shelter
Or I’m gonna fade away

War, children
it’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away
It’s just a shot away

I tell you love, sister
It’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
It’s just a kiss away
Kiss away, kiss away

Love, sister, it’s just a kiss away
Kiss away, kiss away

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who i am minus the exegesis

I feel like recently I’ve been trying to figure out who I am apart from my theology…
It’s weird.

My theology is such an immense, powerful, driving, catalystic part of who I am, but one day I realized that if my beliefs are my only source of identity, I am missing out on something.

If you ask me who I am, I might answer that I am a person who wants desperately to work for social justice, a person who finds joy in reading the Bible as a narrative and not as a rulebook, a person who believes that salvation is so much more than we give it credit for.

But what about the parts of me that aren’t defined by my theology?
I am also a person who wants desperately to become a better singer and dancer, a person who finds joy in the promise of revolution, in the late 1960s and the freedom that is expressed in living counterculturally with a group of people that you love, a person who believes that a bit of jazz, a dash of wilderness, and a spot of tea are very good remedies for mundane life.

Maybe it’s self-indulgent. But I have certainly enjoyed getting to know myself better.

Of course my theology is behind so much of what I do, how I think, and who I am.
But maybe I don’t have to rationalize it all out, and instead just embrace the surface of me. If you know me at all, you know that I despise staying at the surface of things… but perhaps it’s good to learn how to live at the surface and see just glimpses of what’s beneath.

All this to say – apologies if I haven’t been too theological lately, I’ve been preoccupied with discovering what my theology means for me in everyday life.

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