I see you on the cross. I brush your sweat beads as they land. They stink. I hear you groaning. I feel your lungs collapse ever tighter. I put my hands in my ears to stop the noise of your dying. And yet I still feel your pain. I know your body dying. I see your agony in our eyes. I smell you piss. I retch as you evacuate.
I sit with You through Your dying. As you sit with me through mine.
Dear follower, I have no lessons to share. I have no good theology (or bad) to prove his love to you. When you have seen him shit as I have – when he has seen you evacuate as he has seen me … What lesson should I teach you? For your bible is sanitised. Your bible is sacrosanct. Your bible is holy.
Mine is alive. Mine is The Living Word. We dance to his tune. We sing to his song. We love to his infinite eternity. How then might I teach that you should be the same? I can not. I will not.
I have seen you rise, as you saw me. I turned and looked and found you, my Constant Companion. What can I tell you, dear follower, that others have not? What verses can I bring you, dear fellow traveller, that others can not. I will not. I can not.
I am love as He is love. And love does not teach. Love loves. Love does not dress-up. For our love stinks of him and me. For love does not pretend. For love can never do that. Love can not. Love will not.
I read our worship songs here, our songs of praise there. They are jolly. They are sad. They are of hope. They are of debt.
Hope that this debt I have is paid with his love. A debt of love I can never repay. And because I can never repay I am to be grateful. I am indebted. I am to gather grateful. I am to gather of awe. For I must fear. And I must tremble. I must look down. Or else I slip in the deep. For this debt is of the deep. The deep of debts must keep its books. The books of debt. These worship songs praise my God for saving me from these books of … debts … ?
You look at me and say “Sing with me, good Christian.”
I will not. I can not.
I sat with him through his dying, as he sat with mine. I looked my God in the eye, I smelt his stink and I said with fear and trembling …
“My God, what price my soul?”
And he knelt. He brushed my damp hair. He lifted my chin. His breath was on my face. He drew me towards him. He lifted me up. He made me one. I was embraced within his soul and he mine. And I needed no ears, I heard no voice – we are the words …
“Debt must need. Fear must need. Love does not need. Love can not. Love will not.”
I am love as He is love. A love that does not teach. A love that loves. A love that does not dress-up. A love that stinks of him and me. A love that does not pretend. For love can never do that.
Love will not. Love can not.
(with love and thanks to Don Merritt, The Life Project)