Dearly Beloved, Grace and Peace to you.     Too much awe        strips off our skin,               too bright a glory terrifies.

Too deep a wonder churns our guts,        like heights.               The numinous disturbs.

The infinite unsettles things.        The miraculous can only mean               that we were wrong.

The tragedy of wasted love,        a river's unrequited generosity,               the vertigo of forgiveness,

the heartbreaking tale of a certain        rise in the earth or a green branch,               given without explanation,

the disorienting presence        of the kid in a dirty t-shirt who could be               trouble, could be the Messiah—

oh, so much that's out of our hands        could overrun our hearts.               It's all too much.

When once you rowed your little boat        over the surface of the great silence               and looked through the gathering depths...

—well, not again.        Though the saints only appear to be               in grave danger on their tightropes,

and they never fall—still,        we avert out hearts. You could slip               forever into the unfolding rose,

so we don't go near. You could be        consumed by wonder, awestruck               so hard you can't regain control.

Too much will hurt, we say, a surfeit        of divine presence—lurking in the ordinary—               burns. So we don't look at all.

It's ouranophobia, the fear        of heaven. We avoid               too much splendor, mystery

or love. We fight it without knowing.        We flee the moment. We wish.               We understand. We keep talking.

And God gently, grandly returns        again and again, dawning irresistibly,               drawing us toward the edge,

the sudden, helpless, glorious fall,        gut-floating and irreversible,               through those unyielding pearly gates.

No— before you even open your eyes,        count the cost. Something close to worship               will steal your mastery, your deserving,

your life. Love and wonder        will devour you. You'll have nothing left               but that.

    Deep Blessings, Pastor Steve

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