THE DAYS OF MY LIFE (Deuteronomy 4.9)
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved
I have held the days of my life
in my hands
as I would caress
sweetly and with passion.
I have held my lover as I have treasured my days,
and our breath
with a wetness of passion
taking from, and giving to,
the sacredness of the cosmos.
I have looked out from my eyes and
seen that which is lovely and holy, and
have held it closely.
I have held
it very closely.
What We Take With Us When We Die
It is maybe a strange notion to claim, but it seems that there are two things we get to take with us when we die: Our life, and our relationships. To make this claim it is important to note that it cannot be made without a certain amount of faith, and a whole lot of trust. I believe that the days of my life do not end when I die. I believe that somehow, and in someway, what I understand as my life morphs and becomes some other form of existence. I believe this. I trust this. I have no clue what it may mean, or look like.
So about the faith part. I place my faith in two notions and at two distinct levels of of trust.
The Two Notions Are About Faith
The first notion about faith is that I have faith in the writers of the literature of Christianity to have had some sort of experience of something existent above and beyond their ken that was of a strong enough nature to try to share that experience with their friends, fellow tribal members, and a future church waiting to come into being. This faith of mine is in the tradition of explanations coming down from spoken word to written word to translated word. Also this faith is placed in spite of political, religious, personal agendas inherent in the texts themselves.
The second notion is that I have faith in my own abilities to wade through the smoke and mirrors inherent within Christianity’s hype, to a reality that bespeaks, a truth embedded deeply within, and in spite of, the words themselves. I have faith in myself, my intelligence, my prayer-life, my ability to hear something not spoken. and the reflections of my own heart.
The Two Levels Have To Do With Trust
Based upon the two notions of faith, the first level is that I trust God. I have come to believe that there is a God, and that this God is more than benign–this God cares for all parts of God’s Creation. While I do not for a second believe in a SIX-DAY BLAZER I believe that God is part of God’s on-going creation in a creating, loving, and helpful way. God was there in some way at the beginning, is here now, and will be present at the end of all time. Should there be an end to all time.
The second level of trust, like the second level of faith, again hinges on my perceptions of my own experience. I not only trust God abstractly, but I trust God with my own self and all the aspects of that self–my present, my future here in this life and in whatever happens to me after this life moves on along. I trust God to do right by me. I trust God to do right by my eternity as well. While I don’t want to die any time soon, I trust that when I do God will take care of me just fine, and I don’t need to worry my now with that future.
about those two things we take with us when we die
I said above that we take both our life and our relationships with us when we die. How is it that I figure that? Let me try to explain. We become what we build. As people of God, we are expected to make sure justice permeates every aspect of our lives, and the lives with whom we share this earth. Check out these portions of Hebrew/Christian literature and read what I believe is not only God’s mandate for how we humans should live, but what formed Jesus’ agenda for his ministry.:
Deuteronomy 16:19 You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. 20Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue
Deuteronomy 24:17 You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow’s garment in pledge.
Deuteronomy 24:17 ‘Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
Isaiah 59:14 Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square, and uprightness cannot enter.
Hosea 10:13 You have ploughed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your power and in the multitude of your warriors,
Matthew 23:23 ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others.
I do believe that we somehow, someway, get to spend eternity with God–God who demands justice for all, not simply for those we think are worthy. Because doing either justice, or doing injustice builds relationships, with our own selves, with others, and with God, we need to consider our economic choices very, very carefully. It may well be that the quality of both our present and our eternity is at stake.
If we vote for borders to our nation, if we vote in ways that limit social programs, if we think or act in ways that demean others, if we support any unjust political system, if we have manufactured our lifestyle in any way that harms any part of Creation, we are supporting injustice and undermining God’s mandate. Should we think that police, armies, war lords, corporate machines, or violence of any nature is our means of salvation, then we have turned our back on our God, and we are neglecting mercy, justice, and faith, and practicing the wrong form of spirituality.
I believe when we die, we will take with us the results of our present actions of mercy, justice, and faith. These form the relationships we make, and the life we attempt to live, and this is what makes up the days of our life and our life to come.