“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” – Eph. 5:15, 16.
Kairos interrupts tallied Chronos. A precise moment where Truth slices time in two, anew, the clock stills at 11:11 Chronos: finite numbers Kairos: eternal destiny Choose the interruption of Kairos; And leave behind the Chronos clock that enslaves. Time wasted with foolishness, He redeems time forever lost in Chronos. His clock, he sets to stand still at the perfect time. It's the eleventh hour...Kairos.
Chronos: fleeting time
chronologically measured, ticking, quantitative time.
Kairos: the fullness of time
God’s time, the right, critical opportune moment, permanent time.
Fish and Chips Day
“Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Fish and Chips Day In the midst of the beauty of Spring, on a religious day of lament was our fish and chips day. I remember my dad’s cuss words as he blew out dozens of eggs to hang painted shells on a freshly cut pussy willow tree. We ate a lot of scrambled eggs and went through crates of farm fresh Mennonite eggs. It was also the long church day that I dreaded and all I wanted to do was ride my bike and listen for the sounds of Spring and see the robin’s arrival. I did not want to go to church. But off we went, cuss words and all, in my newly stitched dress by a Nana who was nimble with her thimble. For a few days the annual Easter church dress masked the scabbed knee and concussion tom boy who always seemed to be up the wrong neighbour’s tree at the wrong time. This year’s Easter dress was white and covered in blue flowers. But the flowers quickly wilted with the showered holy water from the man of God who prowled the aisles. I made the mistake of sitting by my dad on the end of the pew. After the holy water shower, the holy man came back with his holy smoke. Waving around the thurible was trouble for a little girl with asthma at the end of a pew where the smoke billowed and the funeral incense dust blew up my nose and a-a-a-chew, I sneezed all over my little blue flowers. I inherited by Dad's sneeze and its a good thing he always had a hanky in his pocket for the kid who always seem to need it most. “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” I earnestly listened to the word of God, but I was hopelessly lost as to why God the Dad did not grab his son off the cross and just take him home. I assumed there would come an understanding when I became a grown up. The painted ancient white-haired God on the church ceiling looking down on his son surrounded by his holy angels put a deep fear in me. The holy man of church was not a very friendly one either especially when he went behind the heavy velvet purple drapes in the back that closeted the darkness called the confessional. I learned how to sin in there. I simply made up sins I did not do so I would make a rather grand first confessional. No, I did not find comfort and joy at church, nor a God I could know. I found fear there. After church, we piled into our worn-out station wagon to pick up fish and chips, wrapped in yesterday’s news. The sweet smell of ketchup and malt vinegar covered the funeral stench of the blue flowers, and I felt safe back at home on our front porch munching fish and chips. I saw my bike out on the front lawn and looked longingly at my Mom. Mom nodded, knowing full well she wished she could also escape her adult fears for a while. As I pedalled under the budding trees that would soon canopy the sidewalk, the dusk sky suddenly darkened. As I watched the swirling clouds, the sky turned a deep indigo and thunder rumbled as the deep blue blurred the line into purple. A shiver ran through me and a deep sense of awe overcame me as I watched the infinite sky change colour. The creator God of this sky filled me with longing to know him. The fear of the church God drained out of me and puddled beneath my feet. In my soiled blue flowered dress, I bowed my head on my bike’s little white basket and felt his stillness. ‘Truly, this man is the son of God.' Peace flooded over me as the sky released holy drops of rain. I raced home on my bike as real holy water gushed from the lit purple sky. A baptism of joy washed and cleansed the stench of the holy man’s incense renewing the blue flower. It was on that fish and chips day that I met a God I could know. The God of this sky, the creator of the beauty of Spring, the God who put his longing in the blue flower was the God I wanted to know. And on this fish and chips day I know him. I pray you know him too. Happy Good Friday!
“When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Truly, this man was the Son of God.”
Votary of the Blue Flower: “They taught me longing–Sehnsucht; made me for good or ill, and before I was six years old, a votary of the Blue Flower.” ~ C.S. Lewis
“Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner.” Number 15:38
Hallowed hands stitch the silken thread Quietly the master weaver repairs the broken blue His indigo promise now hidden by the lure of the deceit tree The glamoured fruit clouds vision to see his majestic indigo that hugs the thin line in the genesis sign Jewelled indigo sullied with dirt-stained hearts cheapen the blue Purity less dignified, masked filters hide the truth of who, we have become We contaminate the sapphire treasure purposed with care so lovingly seeded deep within The solitary tree stands sentinel, rooted in its own strength The wood bends in honour from the burden of the one he carries Upon his limbs, bloodied see-through palms sew the mercy stitch The needle nails rust from bloody salted tears he weeps for his tarnished blue formed in him, through him, for him Lapis cries out for the gild of the Lamb The broken host bleats in compassion for his treasure The veiled gold vein reflects the bloodied blue spilled from the lance we shield Hardened hearts thirst for the glory to heal the exposed blue The blue blood sovereign king humbly offers cura through the blood of the lamb CURA! CURA! CURA! Imago Dei, now shattered glass mirrors who he formed from the dirt His image bearers hammer the healing hands deep into the humility tree carving both the limb and He, who mends our fractured clay hands Bloodied fists smooth the weaponed shards with fired gold Holy blue stained palms absorb and heal his splattered indigo HOLY! HOLY! HOLY! In brokenness, we still High above the rooted tree, redemption carefully lingers in his rise The canopied sky reflects the resurrected glory now pregnant with the rich indigo that drips down as rained dew magnifying the dust from which we came The risen heart overflows and bursts open with the sacred indigo blood restoring both sky and sea a mirrored reflection of the blue we were created to be Azure blows his kiss from high as the few kneel below And the wisdom of indigo opens vision to see anew the purity of his blue
Blue: the sacred, holy colour
“There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself.” Exodus 24:10
Cura: latin – to care – Our hearts put effort into who & what we care about. Our effort is where we find cura, our treasure.
“For where our treasure is; there our heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
“Let it rest, and lie fallow.” Exodus 23:11
Parading through the tombs Osteon cries out, “dead man walking!” my stoic step trudges the graveyard path quietly echoing the dormant season of the hallowed dirt Fallow settles white dust blankets the plotted land of dry bones a cocooned season the earth must still Kairos quiets for the fruitfulness to renew the idle land sleeps for the dry bones to ready for the Word Fallow seeps deep into the bones unveiling the shadowed fruit that must be pruned, plowed under to nourish and renew my weary spirit A life’s foundation bulldozed, flattened exposes the rubble and becomes a public spectacle of broken skeletal remains The fallow season is upon and I too must sleep with the earth until his breath waters the dry bones awake that only He can renew I slumber in dreams that long for his breath to resurrect my spirit Kairos returns with the mist of his kiss that gently wakes the fallow His hand steadies as we survey the dormant mess of scattered dry bones that he created, living to house His home I see afresh, the burden of the dry bones so agape deep, I moan under the weight of his love for those he mourns awkwardly, I lift them high to see his love come down I mimic the ass that journeyed the bones from which I came the donkey was birthed a burden bearer I was born to see, but not to bear a gift of vision to point but not to carry home My heart could not hold their footing and buckled under the weight I had forgotten the husbandry yoke needed and collapsed at the dung gate scattering the dry bones He gently maneuvers through the graveyard of dry bones and brings us to the crossroad tree to behold, afresh the marker that gives life to the dry bones He visions me from the lens of his longing and asks, “can these bones live?” “only you know,” I whisper eyes wet, my vision darkly clouds of knowing the words to speak but not to bear He motions to see him bear the burden of the tree to know that he carries more weight than the ass his hands created to carry his own bones home He gives his living marrow in exchange for the dry bones that lie fallow "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani!" He breathes his last I inhale the fragrance of his exhale and drink in his perfumed sweat that moistens the fertility of the parched fruit seeds His naked skeleton resurrects the fallowed dry bones a new sound rattles as the army clumsily rises the fallowed dirt mingles with his spit He gently soothes the manna paste over my eyes to see His Kairos Word I must leave the burden bearing to Him to carry the dry bones home
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to Life. Ezekiel 37:4
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army. Ezekiel 37:10
“I loved you, at your darkest.” Romans 5:8
My Coffin Confessional what boxed secrets lay hidden buried deep within the grave I pause, reflecting on my own heart's coffin buried deep above the grave Zephyr's breath exhales His words echo through the tombs "nothing is covered that won't be revealed or hidden that will not be made known..." convicted, I genuflect in the dirt with empty, open hands I lay down my offering of plastic flowers at the weathered cross a cracked marker for a broken life Zephyr whispers his word that rips the veiled box in two kneeling at the foot of the memorial stone I whisper my confessional tears wash the stone's plastic flowers communion breaks consecrating my coffin confessional that heals the stone's crack His Mercy whispers: "Forgiven, now go in Peace."
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” Proverbs 28:13
“Forgiven, now go in peace.” Luke 7:48-50
“And looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply and said, “Ephphatha, which means be opened.”” Mark 7:34
In the night hush, zephyr lingers caressing the boy awake sleepily, he peers through the invisible stained glass longing to hear the hymn of the sea that echoes amidst the tree's canopy The tree aches to give what the boy must choose wooden limbs cocoon the seed for the-one-not-yet-of-age quietly, waiting in anticipation for the boy's conception of painted hands that reflect the hands that formed them Seeds planted long ago with dirt fingernails the gardener's hands fashioned the boy and wood from dust and dirt the soul and earth's womb tenderly tilled in anticipation for the boy and tree's inception of his fruit The weathered hands gently cup the two seeds the-artist-of-every-creature softly breathes on them sealing his longing with a signet kiss the mist germinates the seeds, giving life to the boy and the tree and the dew of ephphatha imprints home The tree knows, he carries the weight of the-artist-who-formed-him from dirt the roots ache with the knowledge his limbs will be dragged to Golgotha to bear the nails of the bloodied hands that gave him life But the twofold promise of the tree also shadows the seed of the boy's longing for the-one-he-longs-for the father's exhaled promise for the boy shelters in the tree cradling the inhaled revelation of the artist's hands Ring upon ring, the tree strengthens fired sap coursing through its veins giving sweet delight to those who remain still to hear the sound of the honey and taste the tree's manna Season after season, the tree inches to heaven waiting for the-boy-who-longs-to-paint to see the tree carved by the carpenter with enough wood to carry both the father and the son, home Zephyr curls off the water, collecting the boy's salted tears discarded along the shore each sorrow gently placed in his sacred bottle the tears mix with the son's fired blood a holy water baptism compressed in each drop of the father's mercy too deep to know The tree stands sentinel, the appointed time has come his limbs gently lift the boy, holding him near, to hear heaven's roar of the sea zephyr opens the ear to hear the painted-spit whisper: ephphatha The son opens his hands to receive the father's brush who painted him with the same stick that stirs the paint within him the veiled canvas gently reveals vision, to see the three The artist spills his painted blood colour streams into the boy who receives the very paint that turns the season of the tree into kairos with a deep sigh, the boy inhales the artist's exhaled ephphatha zephyr opens the boy's longing to paint home With the imprint of his father's hands line upon line he pours out the paint the reservoir of colour overflows from deep within with the father's stick, he paints each line wooing him to the space, he stills Borderland, the space between where longings meet the father's waiting room where he quietly lingers with arms open The sabbath space the gift of borderland where in communion with the son, zephyr rests as the father longingly waits for his son to paint his way home
“While the son was a long way off, the father ran to his son, and threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8
The Middle Space of Time
And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. – Matthew 24:31.
The trumpeters stand poised, on the edge of the field, waiting for his commissioning. The birthed few linger in anticipation for the Holy One’s nod to release the sound.
“Who are they?” I inquire.
Gabriel whispers, “They are the messengers.”
The sent ones wait patiently for the Ephphatha dew that opens the ones to behold. The restrained alarm waits for the few who ready for what is to become. The middle space of temporal time transitions into the fullness of unity and the tick-tock of waiting from one to the other prepares the ear to hear the new sound.
Those who contend in the waiting of time are those prepared to stay awake on His battlefield.
The wind hovers waiting to seize and carry the messages of the trumpeters to those, who in the waiting, have trained their ear for war. The trumpeters stand ready, to tap out Heaven’s Morse code to the earth’s few who hear the wind’s whispered call of Ephphatha.
The enemy takes aim at the trumpeters, hoping to silence the signallers on the edge of the battlefield. He quietly waits to intercept and deflect the new sound so that those who slumber miss the trumpeter’s plea.
For without the trumpeters who will hear Heaven’s battle cry for war?
The Christmas Truce, 1914
“All the lands are at rest and at peace, they break into singing. Isaiah 14:7”
The Christmas Truce of 1914 during the First World War is a profound legacy of Peace, as foe greeted friend with hymns of Silent Night, Holy Night.
Hosanna rang out from the sacred trumpet as the Star of Bethlehem hovered over no-man’s land beckoning comrades to follow it. Laying down their weapons, they arose from the trenches bearing gifts of food, trench art, and smokes. In holy silence, brothers marched towards the space that once divided them.
“Peace, be with you!” “And also with you!”
Halleluiah! Halleluiah! A hallowed night indeed as good will toward men echoed in the trenches. The Christmas Truce of 1914; a holy reminder of our Canadian Forces as we pray, “Thank you for our nations Peace.” Halleluiah!
Peace my friends, Merry Christmas! Jane.
Called to stand with those who serve.
The sack-clothed glory readies in the womb as wailing women give voice to its imminent arrival.
“EX INTIMIS VISCERIBUS MISERICORDIA COMMOVEOR!”
His womb aches for a resting place but there is no room in the sanctuary. The marketplace hustles and bustles in anticipation of the Harvest Census but buyers and sellers dismiss the value of the fertilized seed. The merchants know there is no margin in a fruit freely given.
There is movement in the womb. The fruit is ripe, saturated for birth, and the midwifery stones wail in anticipation. His eyes dart to and fro longing for labourers empty enough to bear the olive-pressed fruit.
It is the ninth hour.
Splagchnon makes room for the ache of His womb. The cry of Nineveh transitions through the blue penciled line between the seen and the unseen. The membrane of silence shatters with the final push:
The divine dew pink with the blood spews forth. A longing so deep, it overflows from the heart of Him into the humble who long to give. The ring of fire sears those who bear the Gethsemane twinned fruit. Compassion and mercy are named. The swaddled fruit whimper, still tender from the birth. Incubated in the shadow, they wait for the Father to make room. The Lord of Hosts raises his sword and cries out:
The yielded sword, sever unholy alliances that stop the flow. The beloved is pruned and those who do not succumb to the sword are driven from the sanctuary. The Father of Mercy reclaims His key and unlocks Sanctum Sanctorum; its counterfeit is hurled into the fire. A tear trickles down his cheek as He surveys the lost multitude huddled in the secret place. Moved with compassion, He raises his sickle and whispers:
“I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,
I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
The eyes of the heart reveal the wisdom of His fruit. Travailing at Gethsemane precedes the entrusting of the precious multitude. Ichabod remains constipated but humility opens loins that long to be moved. Compassion pushes out judgement and mercy boomerangs back blessing those who bless. The twinned fruit bear more fruit. Preaching, teaching and healing become the heirs of compassion; kindness and forgiveness are begotten of mercy.
Compassion and mercy restore the breach that wall the cubed ember. The repaired rampart protects the flame and the newly polished pearl illuminates the way. Hand in hand, nations return to the square drawn by the brilliance of the Lamb. On bended knee, they drink from the chalice of the river that roars from the fire. Ha’etz is shared and in communion, they eat the fullness of the fruit tree. The agony of the garden that birthed the fruit, blossoms into leaves that heal Gethsemane. Glory and honour take their place; the rear guard fruits of compassion and mercy.
The root rises to kiss the star as the twelve watchmen position at the gates. At the sound of the trumpet, in unity the Sentinel Host cries out for Nineveh:
Holy, Holy, Holy,
Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
“But when he saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them…” Matthew 9:36
The feast of the seagulls hovers over no-man’s land waiting for the unprepared to strike the first blow.
Foolish men of war help themselves to heavens armoury and with unknown arrogance they assume the knowledge of instruction on how to wield them. They sharpen tools for the vintage wrath of the King while the humble quietly empty their hands.
The meek know the power of the sword and who bears the weight of it.
The visible bride veils the true bride as she readies in the sanctuary. A purity set apart prepares her while the foolish flaunt the tools of their destruction.
In peace, the humble shall inherit borderland because they go forth not. They wait in the shadow of the King as heaven releases the almighty host for war.
At the sound of the trumpet, God’s army thunders across borderland while men of war charge into the enemy’s ambush. The angelic host cries out:
Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dominus Deus sabbaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in Excelsis.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini. Hosanna in Excelsis.
With shield and sickle, the harvest begins; and in peace, the meek inherit borderland.
…the birds will feed on those who die in the country. 1 Kings 21:24