I’m standing in a dark place, when I was on the cusp of hope.
It wasn’t a hope born out of ambition, it was the hope that was born from a sense of coming home to myself. My skin felt like my own. My heart felt strong from a season of Judas’. I was saved.

There are some groups of people in life that you give yourself over to out of the firm conviction that it is what you ought to do. Sometimes it’s the very rightest thing to do, sometimes it’s just the ought-to that makes you do it. You give yourself over and over because you’re trying so hard to allow God to shape your character, trying to listen to the elders and authorities placed around you, jsut trying to do the damn best you can.

On the day that they come and ask more than they’ve ever asked before, you better have something to hold on to. You better have a heart made by the Judas experience.

People downcast, is despair
See the disillusion everywhere
Hoping their bad luck will change
Gets a little harder every day

People struggle, people fight
For the simple pleasures in their lives
But trouble comes from everywhere
It’s a little more than you can bear

I know that it will hurt
I know that it will break your heart
The way things are
And the way they’ve been
And the way they’ve always been

People shallow, self-absorbed
See the push and shove for their rewards
I, me, my is on their minds
You can read about it in their eyes

People ruthless, people cruel
See the damage that some people do
Full of hatred, full of pride
It’s enough to make you loose your mind

I know that it will hurt
I know that it will break your heart
The way things are
And the way they’ve been

I know that it will hurt
I know that it will break your heart
The way things are
And the way they’ve been

Don’t spread the discontent
Don’t spread the lies
Don’t make the same mistakes
With your own life
You never will let love survive

I know that it will hurt
I know that it will break your heart
The way things are
And the way they’ve been

Don’t spread the discontent
Don’t spread the lies
Don’t make the same mistakes
With your own life
Don’t disrespect yourself
Don’t loose your pride
And don’t think that
Everybody’s gonna choose your side

I May Know The Word But Not Say It
It’s like being stuck in the hardest place between the rock face and the boulder. One is breaking your back and the other is giving you nothing to hold on to. When you’re faced with that choice, you’ve got nowhere to go and they know it.

We’re political creatures, our slick underbellies covered in the writhing dirt of the places we go to in the midst of turmoil. Me, I look up to the light and cry out in anguish and sorrow… but I’m still stuck in the earth. I feel the darkness creeping into my body. I’m being forced to choose to do what I ought to do.

Just at the dawn of my hopeful season, when the Beloved Father has been promised light for the road, peace for my sorrows, joy for my sufferings, a new season of hope for the struggle that has been before… Judas comes and tells me I’m not done yet. Tells me of the dark road he wants me to walk. Judas comes and caresses my cheek with one hand, proclaiming what is beginning to satisfy him… and whispers in my ear how far I have to go.

With one breath he proclaims belief and in the other reminds me that I am far from acceptable. All at once Judas is my judge, my tormentor, my purgatory, my corruptor and still walks under the name friend.

The wound that comes from a friend is sharp, but this is sharper : that friendship is a guise of love, and words come to rape. On the eve of my ‘coming forth’, on the eve of God’s great promise of light – I am left naked, humiliated, unclothed and unacceptable. Judas’ ravaging of me leaves me unfit for anything.

This is the hard place. Because the only appropriate Christian response of someone in ministry is to accept hard words, untruthful or not, and respond with grace. But it feels so empty. It doesn’t feel like that has any strength or truth in it. My strong heart crumbles at acquiesing to accusation one more time.

What’s it like there outside
With the living?
From this broken down place
Where I hide
From the living
From the living

Cause I don’t care to stay
With the living

O, the bottle has been to me
My closest friend and
My worst enemy
Afraid that I’ve walked a fine line
Squandered it all
And wasted my time

And I don’t stand a chance
Among the living

All the lovers I’ve gambled and lost
Count my mistakes
Whatever the cost
I’ll go off, I’ll make myself scarce
Come tomorrow
You won’t find me here

Cause I don’t care to stay
Among the living

No, I don’t think I’ll remain
with the Living

I’m A Pocketbook Of Black Marks
I think I’m magnetic when it comes to black marks. What is it about my life that everyone else is won over to the joy of the God journey that is just hanging around my life occassionally… except Judas. Judas counts every failure, measures every fault. Sure, Judas measures some of my successes, but never the private ones that really matter. Stacked up against each other – my personal failings next to my public successes – the comparison is intimidating.

But if you were to ask me, I would say that I’m comfortably a work in progress. Not finished yet, nowhere near. But I know my story, where i’ve come from and where I’m going. I’m fearless about the future.

i might be made of pieces
but i’m not fucking broken
so move your hand from my cheek
and from my back
i don’t need your strength to stand
i’m not broken despite the best attempts

i might be made of pieces
but i’m not over
and i’m satisfied to work on that
cos on my knees, some humility
God knows the state of my heart
not fucking broken, strong enough

this is a life in progress
and I’m a heart of pieces
perfectly designed for easy examination
heartbreaks and rebuilding destinations
i’m not over, i’m not over
324 perfect little pieces
piecing me back again, again

i have a strong heart
my mother gave it me
when i was young and ever since
i’ve kept in good nick
a strong heart
it withstands heavy things
good luck breaking it

i might be made of pieces
mostly from the inside out
parts of the heart that live outside my shell
and beat a tattoo that I know on my soul
pieces, where’d i learn to be so strong
got it in pieces, from the broken ones
but i’m not broken i’m not broken
just a collection

Honesty Isn’t Just Choosing To Tell The Truth
It’s choosing to live it as well, big truths and little truths.