Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thinking Outloud

Thinking out loud

I sit here on a Sunday afternoon
An over 60’s man
Who has seen a lot
Done a lot
Accomplished a lot

I have a resume that would choke
Jabba the Hut

I have two masters
A doctorate

I have published two books
And have been

A minister
A fund raiser
A person working in international disaster relief
An executive director of a non-profit
A therapist

But today as I sit here
I feel like I am in the desert

I am intrigued with desert symbolism
Charles Cummings, Trappist monk reflected on that symbolism this way: "The physical desert, with its appearance of unlimited godforsaken emptiness, is a symbol of the human experience of the absence of God in our life, and the feeling of being abandoned by him and left to our own resources . . . . In the spiritual life, a desert experience is the feeling of inner emptiness that comes from being somehow cut off from the divine presence that is our deepest satisfaction and fulfillment.  The desert is not a place where we can expect to dwell secure. It is a place in which to wander.

The desert is where you are alone
And perhaps, cut off

On this winters afternoon I am thinking out loud
About why I feel
Like one trudging through deep sand
In the emptiness of the desert

Why I feel essentially alone
I took an amazing walk
And fortunately God walked with me
But as I walked I reflected on my human connections
And the sand began to shift
In the wind

At work I may be appreciated, perhaps even valued
But there is also this sense
Of being alone

My sisters rarely connect with me (and I admittedly don’t do any better back)
But brothers and sisters should feel connected
shouldn't they
Nephew and Nieces tolerate me, and are kind
But I feel like I could disappear
And they would not notice

My children I love.  But their mother makes me look like
A stranger, outside looking in
With her amazing efforts to engage

At church
In the community

I feel like a pool ball
Bouncing around the table
Casually bumping in to people
Glancing off
Sometimes having a little impact
But then moving on my way

I have been reading recently posts by high school friends
Stories of shared experiences
I remember watching from the sidelines of life
As my classmates, connected, played

And I was an observer

The resume
The jobs
The accomplishments
The degrees

Do not mean much
If you are alone

And so I am thinking out loud
About what it is

I can think about this a lot
And conjecture
Perhaps I am too busy
(yes, I am too busy)
And so don’t have time, or don’t seem to have time

Perhaps that old friend, not feeling like I am enough
Has me trying too hard
Trying to impress, trying to connect
And coming across arrogant, or selfish,
Coming across desperate
Or needy
Coming across as if I want something more
Than to just find a friend

We do use each other
It is a viable concern

Perhaps I am so tired
That I have nothing left to give
So all my attempts to give to others
Comes across as counterfeit, empty, shallow

Perhaps I really am not enough
At some basic level
Incapable of connection

Perhaps I am so protective of my self
So trained to be “strong” and “perfect” (or close too)
That I have put up an impenetrable barrier

But it would be so nice
To have people to walk with
To have a drink with
Or dinner
To watch a game
To just talk and be

It would be so nice to feel as if
For somebody, somewhere
I was important
Really important

Important enough to write
To call
To invite to be in a fantasy football league
Or go fishing
Important enough to make a priority

Not because of what I can do
But just

I know God loves me
Sometimes I even feel that

But I have never had
From the beginning of time

A person for whom
I was their best friend
There has been the moments of connection
Times I have reached out
Times where, for a moment I thought



you would think
A 60 year
Minister, counselor, director

You would think this person who has wandered the world
And done what I have done
Could figure it out

But right now I am just here
Thinking out loud


  1. Steve, I can truly relate.
    Often, we fill our time being busy. It's very easy to do, and there are ALWAYS worth-while causes to spend it on.
    I'm fortunate to still have young children, but could easily see myself in your position 30 years from now.
    As you know, I have to force myself to socialize, and wonder if others know. I wonder how they feel when I talk to them. Does it seem genuine?
    Personally, I am now scheduling 'connecting time' otherwise, I'm too busy. I schedule several hours every week to converse with a far-off relative. While it may sometimes be awkward, we find things to talk about, and start breaking down that barrier of loneliness.

    It's still hard to find people you can truly relate to, harder still to spend time with them.

    Hang in there, and drop me a line sometime. Perhaps we can 'fit each other in' some evening ;-)

  2. I have felt apart from most of my life I use to think it was because we moved so frequently when I was young between 1st and 6th grade we moved 38 times. I was always the new kid and felt scrutinized about the time I started to feel connected we moved again. 23 years ago I met a group of people who totaly got it I thought it was mine but it belonged to a whole group of people who never felt connected right enough good enough I had to force my self to become apart of instead apart from. The hard part was not connecting it was changing my thinking about myself. I had to tell myself over and over you have a right to be here at first then that what I have to offer is worth while. I was thinking last night that I never felt I had a true friend but people lots of people that connected with me because I knew who they were and why they were. I sometimes wonder if the concept of a friend isn't up there with the cinderella (and they lived happily ever after) What I have had is enough I don't have a pet because I know I could never provide all the time and nuturing it would take I don't have the deep intimacy of a friendship because I probably don't have what it takes to maintain and nuture that relationship either. I no longer feel alone I know how to reach out and share and I trust God to bring those that need me and that I need into my life when I need it and it works.