Screen

freedom-connection.org

During my 8-day Ignatian retreat in 2012, my Confessor pummeled me for my tendency to wrest my life free from dependence on God. He said,

…son, your strongest attachment is not to things, but to yourself. You need to decenter your self-reliant focus and fix your eyes on Jesus. Surrender to Him the need to have everything under control, for all the loose ends to be tied up. There’s way too much “you-focus” in all this. You leave almost no room for grace to operate. You’ve put God in a straight jacket. Open up your hands and let God into your open palms, just as He does with you [Isaiah 49:15-16!]. Give Him permission to see everything inside of you. Stop trying to white-knuckle your way through life.

… Your accomplishments are good gifts for Him, that’s always true. But you don’t begin there. He’s really not impressed. But He’s delighted, because He loves you. Begin with your poverty, start with your life as a pure and undeserved gift. When you pray first thing every morning, sit in silence just long enough to be poor. Let Him see how poor you are along with all the riches you’ve gathered up for Him. If you give it all over, the few loaves and fishes of your poverty and riches, He’ll multiply them. You see, only then will He at last find some room in there [he pointed to my heart] to join you in your work, and stop having to remain as a mere spectator. He’s knocking today, now, here, and He’s asking you, Tom, He’s pleading with you right now: Open wide!

And don’t worry, you’ll still work just as hard as you do now. In fact, you will work even harder because it will flow more and more from love. And it will be more working with Him than just throwing stuff at Him … [Before absolution, he said] Okay, Tom, here’s your penance. For your hour of prayer at 3 o’clock today, I want you to just sit before the crucifix in church. Get over yourself. Okay? Give it all over to Christ. Pay attention to His hands. They’re open, not grasping. Open for us, for the Father. They’re held fast by the nails, limited by His weaknesses. But when they’re open like that, their reach is without limit. Yours will be, too …

Now, I would like to invite you to listen to this Twenty One Pilots song, in light of my journal meditation. It’s brilliant. Hear in it the beauty of a desire, born of faith, to stand naked before God in total truth, hands wide open, singing with abandon to the Sky.

The song is called Screen. I have two versions. First, the mashup cover done by my ukulele-strumming daughter Maria and her harmonious friend, the tektōn [artist] Ashley. Second, the Twenty One Pilots version. Lyrics are below:

I do not know why I would go
In front of you and hide my soul
‘Cause you’re the only one who knows it,
Yeah you’re the only one who knows it

And I will hide behind my pride
Don’t know why I think I can lie
‘Cause there’s a screen on my chest
Yeah there’s a screen on my chest

I’m standing in front of you
I’m standing in front of you
I’m trying to be so cool
Everything together trying to be so cool

I’m standing in front of you
Oh I’m standing in front of you
I’m trying to be so cool
Everything together trying to be so cool

I can’t see past my own nose, I’m seeing everything in slo-mo
Look out below crashing down to the ground just like a vertical locomotive
That’s a train, am I painting the picture that’s in my brain?
A train from the sky, locomotive, my motives are insane
My flow’s not great, okay, I conversate with people
Who know if I flow on a song I’ll get no radio play
While you’re doing fine, there’s some people and I
Who have a really tough time getting through this life
So excuse us while we sing to the sky

I’m standing in front of you
I’m standing in front of you
I’m trying to be so cool
Everything together trying to be so cool

I’m standing in front of you
Oh I’m standing in front of you
Oh I’m trying to be so cool
Everything together trying to be so cool

Oh oh oh
We’re broken
We’re broken
We’re broken
We’re broken people, oh
We’re broken people, oh

We’re broken
We’re broken
We’re broken
We’re broken people, oh
We’re broken people, oh yeah

We’re broken
We’re broken
We’re broken
We’re broken people, oh
We’re broken people, oh yeah

I’m standing in front of you
I’m standing in front of you
I’m trying to be so cool
Everything together trying to be so cool

I’m standing in front of you
I’m standing in front of you
Oh I’m trying to be so cool
Everything together trying to be so cool

2 comments on “Screen

  1. jerry says:

    Thank you for your reflections over the past few days. Exactly what I needed to hear as I head into a meeting with a corporate consultant regarding employee compensation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s