Beyond the word...

You have to understand the rain and the mesquite.  The clouds come on slowly and torture the drooping leaves with the promise of rain and this goes on day after day, week after week, and sometimes, not often, but sometimes the rain never comes at all, the monsoon skips, and still the tree stands and believes and waits.  But when the rain comes, and most years it does come, the feel in the desert is love.  Not the word, the thing beyond the word, the rush of life pouring from the sky...
- Charles Bowden, Blues for Cannibals

God, a glance in the mirror reveals gray hair and age spots. Damn, I look like an old mesquite tree, standing, believing, waiting.  I can soldier on quite convincingly, tortured with the promise.  But there are days, not often, but sometimes, when I wish you'd pour from the sky into my dreams that we might grapple. I'm not angry, you know that. I'd just like to feel you, not the you of the the word, but the you beyond the word. You have blessed and I hope you will continue to bless.  You have wounded and yes, I believe that too shall not cease.  But that the leaves might feel the rush...

I felt the love that day in the canyon so grand, when the water was depleted and there was still some distance to the rim. In the cleft of the rock, literally, the water bottles rested along with the note - take it. And I did.  What I drank was not water, but something beyond the word.  It tasted

There is so much talk of you, so many words.  In the way the letters C-O-W do not give milk, the letters G-O-D do not give love.  We want to believe that writing the word and speaking the word and attempting to make the word famous will bring the rain.  But I fear that may be the folly of youth; the lips are near but the leaves still droop.  Or they will.  The nations roar and you laugh.  Your children roar and I fear you may gasp.  There is so much talk of you.

I am not alone.  There are others, standing, believing, waiting. We are learning of the rain and the mesquite and that beyond the words.  



  1. John, thanks for these've moved me. Again, in your creative and provoking way. thanks.

  2. So true. Who hasn't attempted to find this rain by the pouring out of words and then, nothing. Yet God in His hugeness can chose to use those words for one, to absolutely drench them in a downpour of "being known"; of knowing for that yummy moment how He feels for us.

    Write on. In His amazing perogative, He chooses to use the fishes and loaves of our lives as they manifest in freedom to bless the writer and the reader regardless of either human motives.

    Which in a round about way lets us all dance in the rain together.

  3. Esau Explains

    From behind the tree I watch
    As the two of you wrest the sun from the sky
    What is it about me that places your hands on him?

    Since my birth he was grasping for all I was, all I had coming to me and now
    That is confirmed, he is affirmed while dark seeps in,
    you square up before him and I stand alone.

    What does he have that calls your attention

    When we were young the clouds broke for him

    The love of one parent came easy. One embraced the the role. Put it on - a tailored robe and gave approval. I was the first born, it was expected. But the other

    Will my night come? Will you wrestle with me?
    To wrestle is to devote attention - to expend energy on the wrestled. Eyes fixed, man to man squared up.

    The crickets come and the fireflies light and still you thrash as if all the time in the world is his. Did you not see him when we were twelve? Do you not know of his tricks? What does he have that earns your grasp, your sweat, your hours?

    The dreams that were spun in my head, the plans that were laid like a road, the hopes that were swallowed like porridge lay in the grass around me as I stand behind the tree watching the two of you wrestling him into eternity.

  4. Joy. So underrated and yet so essential. When you travel to third world countries it often amazes me that they rarely have hope; but often have joy. Even if there has been no rain, (literally & figuratively)they dance. We miss so much by the abundance that we live in daily.

    Many who write don't comprehend the real meaning or power of their own words; you do. I appreciate that.

  5. It's always good over here.

  6. My friend,

    I am in tears writing you this comment b/c my life these past 4 weeks needed words and you just gave them to me.

    I am desperately waiting for rain and praying these tears might heal in some way rather than dry me out further.

    But there are days, not often, but sometimes, when I wish you'd pour from the sky into my dreams that we might grapple..

    Waiting along side you and praying for "beyond the words" experiences for both us...

  7. I'm just now getting to these comments. I'm sorry. John, I've thanked you over at your site. I do look forward to meeting you someday.

    SanDe, I'm grateful you took the time to comment and use the word "yummy" - that adds some class to the Shame.


  8. Timeisnow100,

    Your words do not call for response but digestion. Thank you.


  9. Stephanie,

    Thanks so much! I hope you and yours are well.


  10. Shanda,

    I believe you too understand the power of your words. And with great power comes great responsibility. Thanks for encouraging and reminding me.


  11. Amber,

    I'm grateful your visits reveal something "good" - I'll keep writing.


  12. Tiffani,

    I stopped and lit a candle for you, my friend. I pray you feel the warmth beyond the light...courage for you...courage...


  13. You touch my heart.

  14. "I'd just like to feel you, not the you of the word, but the you beyond the word." Amen. To wrestle or rest, I just want to feel Him beyond what I already know. Thanks man. This resonated with my hunger.