Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Being Small (Grandly)

I'm sitting in Borders sipping on a Fortified Izze; I spent much of the evening working on my post on dealing practically with divorce and remarriage in the church. That will go up in two parts at Pillar over the next several days. The crowd here is much smaller than when I came in. It is, I suppose, getting a little late. The study groups have broken up; the kindly older man who lays wood floors and struck up a conversation with me about my Macbook Pro departed fifteen minutes ago. I believe, under the circumstances, I am supposed to feel cool. But I don't have the hip glasses with thick black rims, so perhaps I am excused.

I will fly out to Colorado Springs on Friday morning, spending the weekend there to celebrate my youngest sister's high school graduation. My own graduation seems simultaneously very recent and in another lifetime entirely. The world has changed since then, or I have. (Maybe both.) It has been over a year since I graduated college; high school memories are like the fading remnants of a dream after you wake up, and much of college is beginning to feel the same way—like the Appalachians in the mirror, obscured by the haze before the horizon consumes them.

Now I wake up at 5 in the morning to be at work at 6, write sky poems on the drive, and try to do something productive in the 8 hours that America thinks define my existence. Then I go home, and try to prove America wrong by doing things that actually touch deep realities, in my soul if not in the world at large. I design favicons for friends, tweak the backend of my blog or someone else's to make it work better, sometimes try to coax a song out of my soul into the plastic ivories of my Clavinova, and always do my best to love my wife.

I live a small life right now—but unlike the gray box where I spend my American existence, this small world has windows into the Universe. Echoes of reality reverberate in this microcosm, make me strain to hear the song that gave them birth. Spring rain fills my nostrils, and bright summer-blue skies blind me, and brown leaves crunch beneath my feet, and whiteness tastes like heaven on my tongue, and all begins again—but different. This microcosm always paints the macrocosm truly, however partially.

For I am but a man, one small imprint of the face of God, and when I look into my wife's eyes I see another glorious stamp of the divine. We mirror, in these tiny souls, greatness that excels all that we can see. Lewis was right: there are no mere mortals. Our tragedies and our victories are petty and cosmic all at once. Petty because they turn on such small moments, hinge on such selfish ambitions. Cosmic because they touch the everlasting, every one.

Tomorrow I will still be small. Tomorrow I will know the living God. Tomorrow I will live, and it will be good.


  1. You encourage me, not only with your words, but with your heart.

  2. I went to my little sister's high school graduation last weekend. It was so very strange


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