Friday, July 01, 2005

"Sing like you think no one's listening..."

You would kill for this,
Just a little bit
Just a little bit
You would, you would...

What a week. Am I ever glad it's over.


[In case you're wondering, it doesn't bother me as much as I thought it might. At least, not after sleeping on it.]


Like John Ames, I find myself confronted with my own envy. And like John, I realize that no one's supposed sins against me are greater than my own sins against them.


Last night, beleaguered by my own self-centered worries, I stepped onto the train after staying late several hours at work. I have gotten into the habit of regarding my fellow users of public transit with an entrenched distrust, as I visualize the ways that they might try to attack or rob me. It has transcended healthy circumspection and caution; it is blunt and calloused standoffishness, fueled by fear.

There was a guy sitting eight feet away from me. Tattered tee-shirt. Stained jeans. Stubble and mussed hair. Hungry, angry eyes with dark circles.

I pegged him immediately, with no evidence to back up the label.


I watched him from the corner of my eye as I half-read my book. I imagined ways in which he would try to take my back, or rob me at gun or knife point.

He stood up as if to get off at the first stop. Then he sat back down. I assumed for a moment that he was waiting to follow someone out.

He looked at me from time to time, which i took to confirm my worries.

At my stop, he stood again, and stepped forward before the doors opened. He put his left hand up to grab the rail by the door as the train slowed and the passengers pitched forward.

Running down the inside of his wrist, right on top of the vein that popped out from the strain of grabbing hold, was a five-inch long wound, straight as a post. It looked pretty fresh. Within a week, maybe.

The doors opened, and he said, "Excuse me," and walked away in the opposite direction.

I stood there, dumbfounded, for a moment, before remembering myself, stepping off the train, and walking in the opposite direction. All of my suspicions, all of my fears and suppositions, stacked up as condemnations against me.

In the dark of my heart, I heard my Father say, "Pray for him. He is desperate and hurting. That's the least you can do."

The least I could do. Because that was all that was left. I had closed all the other doors.

I am so devoid of grace. I am the servant, forgiven much, who throws his companions in prison.

I cannot come up with the words to suit my self-reproach. I can only come crawling back to the feet of my Father, and give him my angry, untrusting clay heart, so that he can mold it--or break it, grind it up, and reshape it.

I thought I "got" grace. But my actions lately seem to indicate how foreign the concept is to my understanding.


sing me something soft
sad and delicate
or loud and out of key
sing me anything.

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