lenten journal: beatitude


    I had a chance to see Richard Thompson in concert tonight in a solo acoustic performance. His songs were well crafted and beautiful, his stage presence was engaging, and his guitar playing was magnificent, evidence of someone who has spent his life determined to be a great guitar player. He has accomplished his goal. Watching him brought two statements to mind, one a Beatitude of Jesus and the other a book title:

    “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” – Jesus

    “Purity in heart is to will one thing.” – Soren Kierkegaard

    I remember reading Kierkegaard in seminary and contemplating the book title as an explanation of Jesus’ words. Both statements are problematic for me because I am not a person of singular interest or effort. I play guitar, but I play like someone who also likes to cook and write and, well, do just about anything I come across, including writing poetry. This one’s for Richard.


    you played me a blues song
    and brought down the house
    I sat in the dark with my heart
    torn open by your hands
    on the strings, making music
    I could not even imagine

    can I afford for my response
    to such beauty be to fret –
    I am not one to will one thing
    still, I could see the divine
    in the way your hands moved

    practiced hands at home
    with the frets and strings –
    and you’ve been home there
    for a long, long time
    while I have wandered

    and wondered with dreams
    of my own, less practiced
    perhaps, less familiar
    with focus, but still
    hoping to see God.


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