catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 9, Num 9 :: 2010.04.30 — 2010.05.13


A blessing for wakefulness

Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.

Luke 9:32

For the past two years, my husband and I have taught a January course for first-year college students about notions of the empire and the Kingdom of God throughout scripture and how those ideas spring up in popular culture today.  Our modest goal is to open their eyes to the systems of power they live into every day and help them begin to assess where their allegiance lies.  It involves attempting to ruin them for going to the mall for the rest of their lives, for one.

But we undertake this task in full awareness of many tensions-between human agency and human failing, between the pleasure of eyes-wide-open and the despair of a cracked-open-consciousness, between the short term of our lives and the long view of eternity.

Who knows how much they ultimately absorb?  This year, we sought to set their understanding with this final blessing touching on the themes of the class.


May you Know Truth:

Not the small truth that you can contain in a glass,
     Throw at others;
But big Truth like an ocean of water
     That sustains a vibrant riot of life,
     That allows you to float if you just

And not the small knowing that reduces ideas
     Infinitely larger than the human skull
     To brain-sized bits,
     Mastered, packaged and asphyxiated;
But big Knowing that is like friendship,
     Knowing that is love,
     An eternal process
     That also embraces being known.
May you Know Truth.

May you Act in Hope:
     Not the small hope
     Blowing out the birthday candles
     With a wish for what can be wrapped,
Owned, insured, destroyed, replaced;
But the big Hope
     Of a suffering servant
     Who will walk through walls to find us,
     Even in our fear,
     Even in our utter hopelessness,
     Hope of a world without end,
     Hope that even death could not destroy.

And not the small action
     That is an end in itself,
     Selfless and yet somehow serving a self
     hat would otherwise be overwhelmed
     With guilt and shame.
But the big Action
     That is love bearing fruit in this world
     For all to taste, touch, smell, hear, see,
     Action that nourishes,
     Action that is an invitation to a resurrection party
     Accepted with compassion and delight.
May you Act in Hope.

Waking up is hard to do
     But once we see
     How deep the suffering goes
     How high the purpose of human beings
     Created in the image of the Creator
What is sleep, but settling for so much less?
     What is sleep, but surrendering to a tiny, lazy savior?
     What is sleep, but biding time in such boredom
     That eternity becomes bad news?

So, friends, may you be fully awake,
     And in that wakefulness:
May you love beyond reason.
May you hope beyond what’s realistic.
May you find true pleasure in what pleases God.
May your hunger and thirst for shalom
     Be satisfied by the Bread of Life
     Embodied in the bread of earth.

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