Saturday, April 5, 2008

Paul's Love Poem


Who has written one of the finest love poems ever written: 1 Corinthians 13.

A love poem about love. A love poem to Jesus. A love poem to God. To Love Himself.

Please permit me to repeat it here. There is such loveliness in this that I sometimes feel something in my throat and in my eyes. An aching in my being. As I read it. As I allow it to penetrate down into me. And then a growing feeling that I must explode. Must become a being no longer held separate from God. But must atomize. Must disintegrate into the very being of God. That this is what I really want. What my destiny truly is.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames but have not love, I gain nothing.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

And I say that what I want is to disintegrate into the being of God because. Because this is what it feels like. Partly. To be in love with God. When one looks into the eyes of God, one finds great gentleness and great power and great righteousness and great beauty and great forgiveness and great love. Remarkable, improbable, ridiculous, felicitous, and infinite love. Patient and steadfast and unalloyed and fortunate love.

This sense that one must fly apart and into the very being of God is what it feels like to recognize in God a love that is unconditional and that refuses moderation. That is undignified and immodest. That is obvious and intimate and shameless. That is complete and that will not change.

One feels that one cannot remain who one is and be loved in this way. One must. Oh. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the show Star Trek or any of the movies. But what they have in there is a gizmo that atomizes you. And that. Oh, I don’t know. Turns you into bits of light or something. And then transports you to someplace else.

Well, that’s what I’m talking about. Disintegrating in the machine of God’s being. Becoming something that is no longer me, exactly, but is still me in a sense. In a radically modified sense. Because if and when I get reassembled, I’ve got to believe I’ll be someone who only remotely resembles the person I am now. Or perhaps this is just a hope. Or maybe it’s both logic and hope.

And so this feels like something I must do. Not something I’d like to do. Or something it would be nice to do or instructive to do or entertaining to do. There is some instinct or drive or. As I say. Some feeling of destiny implied here. Some motive implied here. Something that seeks a certain sort of fulfillment. Something built in from the beginning.

Creative annihilation, maybe. Love transformation. Ridding oneself of one’s insufficiency. Leaving that behind.

1 comment:

CHARLAX said...



In earlier accounts Paul was stoned and died and then the Church of GOD came around him and prayed the He rose and lived and preached again not risen from the dead as it were a tomb but risen from a stoning and seeming dead to them a death of stones from hitting him and this Matthias thow a different person a man much just the same as Paul and gentle reader can ewe quite imagine all the power in the stones to make a man fall down. The light from the sky was blinding him his sword useless in his hand he tried to shield his eye but fell from horse to ground crying out all the time WHO art thou LORD? Layman's terms eye heard that from the preachers down south all my life they wanted Chapters and Verses to come out of my mouth. Today eye give ewe layman's terms and remembrances as close to scripture as eye will ever go without the BIBLE in my hand. He sewed the tent with a bone needle like the Indians maidens use for where would he have gotten the money for the needed needles set at the market all long and different sized eye to add the line the fishing line from nets found on the sea shore of all the ponds in old Jeruselum? Hum? He worked with hands used to holding reigns of horse's sword hilts and bottles of better rum. He sold a tent to OMAR the man paid with the coin of the realm and he hurried to the market for a bottle of muscatel red. He grabbed some fish and loaves and paid with all he owned and went to the shade where OMAR was. Let's listen as they conversed.
OMAR: PAUL tell me why you drink so much and all alone the food is plenty too you seem to be a glutton and a winoe?
Paul: there is no need to shout at me eye am not a stoning throw away from thee the bottle was bought and paid for with the earnings from my work.
Omar: What about the food? It seems too much for one person to consume.
Paul: The ox is never muzzled in the corn while treading but reaches down and eats some.
Omar: A Christian they called you what does that mean exactly?
Paul: Eye am a preacher eye say Jesus is the Lord.
Have some fish and loaves and relate the GOOD NEWS to all your Asian friends of late it seems you dance the night away with them?
Taking a piece of bread and a fish away Omar: GOOD NEWS he says what has JESUS ever done for us we live as one of the dead and grumbling he goes away to find a daytime bed.
Paul: How hard is it for the rich to be saved? Harder than a tentmakers needle eye suppose.
There is no Sabbath day to a poor tent maker making tents and selling them on Saturday. Sew indeed we may say there remains a Sabbath day of rest to come in Heaven for the ones that still say Jesus is the Lord.