If God is that small space left at the table, then go ahead and sit there if you like. Even if you weren’t invited, that doesn’t mean you aren’t welcome. Perhaps you were just overlooked, missed, as in they would have missed you and wished you were here if you hadn’t come . . . not forgotten only misplaced when places were set. Yes, there, wedge into that spot where John leans away to rest his head on Jesus . . . right next to Judas, where perhaps you’ll have time to whisper in his ear, or even chat a moment, just small talk you understand until supper starts.
This unlikely tomb this once plundered vault this meager poke of broken power this moldy hole in the foothills of Zion and of the soul this piddling down to fissure and fault this dry womb delivered us the earth angel Jes-us just like us only wanting out more than in yet staying there long enough to cup one last beatitude for those in ruin and touch the souls of hell’s angels on his way here.
My good neighbor of long standing said to me, You know, I think that old nursery rhyme, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, is the golden key To a successful life. Remember how it goes?
Oh yes, I said, but what about all those folks Whose boat is leaking, and their oars have Battered blades and split handles that pinch Their palms and splinter their fingers at every stroke, And as far as they can see downstream, There is crashing white water, great boulders And perhaps a fatal waterfall ahead?
Ah yes, he sighed. I pray for them every day. I pray earnestly that they can swim—that they Know how to swim, he said, pouting his lips Thoughtfully and nodding his white head. Yes, they must know how to swim.
And I am one of your many amanuenses writing letters recommending you, then I am free to know you as I do and write you as I will, searching out your ways as I find you and longing to trust who it is I find.
But you are who I say you are and not, who they wrote you were and often are, who I wish you were and I hear Wish again.
So that I, exhausted, resign myself to Eckhart’s ecstatic, My me is God, and I am both glad and sad, for I turn around and there you are and it remains true that I see so little of me in you.
Still, no one is searching for me the way you are, even as I play my childish hide-and-seek with you, until you grow weary of my game and like a father with better things to do, go back to writing the ever evolving You.