I dreamed of you
last night. We were
both young. We had
energy to burn, and
a naiveté that made
We laughed and cried with the least
provocation. We gave things away
with hardly a thought of the loss.
We sang in the streets and didn’t
care who heard. Or no, we did care.
We wanted our joy to be their joy,
to be anyone’s, everyone’s.
I woke, and ached all over.
We’re both older now. The
naiveté’s gone. What’s replaced it is
no improvement – shrewdness,
jadedness, weariness and complaint. Sometimes it seems you
think you need to coax or shame me
into things – generosity, service,
worship and love – with slogans
and campaigns and sentimentality
and, at times, anger.
And I don’t blame you. I have
grown reluctant and cynical.
Things I once embraced as privilege
I now avoid as burden. But I feel
used sometimes, and – to be honest
– bored. My heart’s not in it, and I
wonder, Is yours? I wake most
Sundays and wonder what else I
could do, where else I could be.
We’re not enjoying each other
But then there are moments
when it all comes back, and not just
in my dreams. It doesn’t much
matter if the music is polished or
sloppy, the preaching spellbinding
or halting, the building glowing or
shoddy. Something – Someone – is
present within and beyond all that.
A light breaks through. The Spirit
hovers over the deep. The Voice
calls, the Father runs, the Son
welcomes. The old, old story rushes
at me fresh and bright as daylight.
And everything in me wakes up,
and I know I’m home, and I don’t
want to be anywhere else.
So I’ve been thinking about us,
you and me, and about what might
get us back there, and what might
move us forward.
got sour. In a few instances I
was genuinely hurt by you,
but only a few. Mostly I just
started grousing about things –
petty things – that simply weren’t
to my liking. I developed a habit of
faultfinding – with sermons, pro-
grams, music and people.
The funny thing about complaint is it self-perpetuates. Once
you get a taste for it, you grow insatiable, and can never get enough.
Blaming is as addictive as crack. I
started using my energy, not to
confess my own sins and offer my
whole self to God, but to confess
other people’s sins and withhold
myself from God.
I am so sorry.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately
about Jesus’ words at the very end
of the Bible.
I, Jesus, have sent my angel to
give you this testimony for the
churches. I am the Root and
the Offspring of David, and the
bright Morning Star.
The Spirit and the bride say,
“Come!” And let the one who
hears say, “Come!” Let the one
who is thirsty come; and let
the one who wishes take the
MARK BUCHANAN writes a love letter to the Church, calling it
– and himself – to a better place
WWW.FAITHTODAY.CA / JANUAR Y / FEBRUARY 2016 31