Saturday, August 27, 2005


in response to a thing on another blog, shandi said... sculpture was done in a different technique... coil method of building up from the groundfloor rather than taking away unnecessary clay. So... in essence... I was nothing until built up in stages. But... as you astutely pointed out... I should have been left on my own to solidify my personality before being put to the kiln. And.. yes I did crack.


yeah, tragically our churches can become kilnlike, can't they?

i mean, fledgling sculpture subjected to all that heat and intensity? i'm not sure that this is what Jesus had in mind when he said to a few everyday people 'come, follow me.'

shandi's description of the technique used to create that bust is beautiful and, if allowed to also stand as metaphor, is one that shines light into who we are: raw material built around an integral core becomes the realization of that which the scultor envisioned in the first place...

i have, a number of times over the last five years, wondered why God waited so long to remind me of the call to ministry that i heard when i was seventeen. i mean, sure, i got it all wrong the first time around, thinking that i was supposed to be a rockstar for Jesus or something... but why did he choose to wait until i was, like, thirty-five or whatever before suggesting we try this one again?

my eventually agreed-upon answer: because there were still more layers of the raw material that makes a person a person (relationships, experiences, learnings, pain etc) needed to be added before the intended form was realized and ready to be used in the way intended for now.

clearly, i don't have a clue about working in three dimensional mediums like clay and such, but i've got to ask: what happens to said sculpture if you never fire it? is there some way to keep adding more on there?

reason i'm asking is because i don't think i ever want to be fired alive.

i never want to have some sense of complete realization because from there you kinda go 'okay, now what?' small affirmations along the way, acknowledging the artistry of the one at work forming me i think... sure. just nothing that says 'my work here is done.'

i think that being fired may very well be (in this metaphor that naturally goes way beyond my own depth and ability to recognize logical comparisons) death itself. only then can the final form be considered and assessed.

also, once something is fired, the only way to reuse or otherwise rework it is to smash it into fragments, right?

nope- the less smashing for me the better!

now as to why the institutional church seems to be, in many cases, kilnlike? it's probably because people have allowed themselves to be fired, and now desire that for everyone else as soon as possible.

not every church is a kiln... many of them are studios.

nobody knows where you are
how near or how far
shine on, you crazy diamond
pile on many more layers
and i'll be joining you there
shine on, you crazy diamond
and we'll bask in the shadow of yesterdays triumph
and sail on the steel breeze
come on you boy child, you winner and loser,
come on you miner for truth and delusion and shine!
(waters, '75)
note: for anyone who's been paying attention and is wondering, it's not that i don't have anything to say about my recent trip to sri lanka, it's that i still have too much to say. eventually i will be able to write about it.

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Blogger Sue said...

Oh my goodness you are experiencing the spammers that have been visiting us while you were away, you can delete them you know. By the way good to read something new on your blog. Welcome back.

Blogger jollybeggar said...

yep, i came to check my comments and felt like i had been figuratively gang-raped.

funny how they all begin with wine and compliments...

Blogger Pensive said...

Glad to see your back!

Well, buddy, we are certainly feeling like we are being fired alive.

We are wrestling with the experience of, perhaps, being fired from pastoral ministry. I find the irony of my situation best fits a classic sense of humour.

See you around:)

Blogger jollybeggar said...

i know that i've quoted this passage before with regard to God's sense of humour, but this seems like a great spot to drop herman (melville) into the conversation...

THE HYENA (exerpt from Moby Dick)

There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own. However, nothing dispirits, and nothing seems worth while disputing. He bolts down all events, all creeds, and beliefs, and persuasions, all hard things visible and invisible, never mind how knobby; as an ostrich of potent digestion gobbles down bullets and gun flints. And as for small difficulties and worryings, prospects of sudden disaster, peril of life and limb; all these, and death itself, seem to him only sly, good-natured hits, and jolly punches in the side bestowed by the unseen and unaccountable old joker. That odd sort of wayward mood I am speaking of, comes over a man only in some time of extreme tribulation; it comes in the very midst of his earnestness, so that what just before might have seemed to him a thing most momentous, now seems but a part of the general joke.

... bless you, man- no pat answers, just blessings...

much love


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