Some days, I want to be a poet or songwriter, or at least good storyteller – because I know that if I’m going to influence our culture’s core sense of who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going, then nonfiction, essay-style is about the worst way to seep deeply into the bones of people! But mostly, I want to be able to give voice to the stirrings in my own heart.
Sometimes, I take some faltering steps in a verse-writing direction. This is one of those times. I imagine the song below sounding something like Kevin Prosch‘s song ‘The Wheel of God‘ (sorry, I couldn’t find any audio online). The lyrics are inspired by some delving I’ve been doing into what Phyllis Tickle calls one of the deepest mysteries the Christian faith has been called to steward – the revelation of God-as-community, the perfect Relationship: the Trinity. My own sense of the fellowship of Godhead was nurtured in my ‘church life‘ (aka house/organic/simple church) days by voices like Frank Viola in From Eternity to Here or Milt Rodriguez in The Community Life of God. This haunting sense of the significance of Trinity as the prime metaphor for God was deepened in my emerging church engagement via Ian Mobsby‘s The Becoming of G-D, among other sources. And of course, there’s that little book that I endorsed, Paul Young’s The Shack, with its marvelous and subversive portrait of a God who defers in love to each portion of Godself, and wishes to make their “especially fond” fellowship planetary in scope.
Most recently, I’ve been experiencing a veritable Trinitarian renaissance while doing the dishes, which is happening a bit more frequently these days as my wife recovers from some minor surgery. This is thanks to both Baxter Kruger‘s amazing teaching – in book form in The Great Dance, & in MP3 form via Grace Communion International‘s free series Dancing with the Trinity - and two awesome teaching series from Richard Rohr (on the latter joined by Cynthia Bourgeault): The Divine Dance and The Shape of God. I’ve begun to see both Trinity-as-Relationship and Trinity-as-Process as holding both the promise and the delivery of transformative change of most significant spiritual, political, and ecological crises of our time. We get to enter into the shared life of God and creation, and from this three-fold perspective break out of our dead-end, binary thinking into true metanoia, a renewed frame of mind and living.
Enough prose already! Let’s get into the poetry.
Yours is the flow
That created kindness
You are the Dance
That ignites all Light
You are the Three
Who contain all Oneness
In You we gaze
With Single sight
You ground all things eternal
And kiss the earth with glad embrace
Christ the Son
In a world of sorrows
Transfigures pain with healing grace
Spirit of Love
Sows new creation
In every soil weak or strong
Mirrors every gesture
In this our wild,
There is no other
Apart from You what can take form?
You are the play in every atom
In You we’re born
This hour brings sorrow and challenge
Never before have we faced so much;
Upon Your goodness we’ll incarnate
Release our hands for Your healing touch
Bound to You
We’re Your wounded healers
With heaven’s balm
Boundless here in realms unscripted
Tree of Life
Is your free-verse psalm
And so today we dance Your circle
Rhythm of life Your cadence grows;
Let the circle be unbroken
Drawing all in
To Your radiant flow.
Feel free recommend revisions and additional stanzas (not to mention maybe a chorus) in the comments below. If it gets polished, I’d like to introduce it to my home church – (appropriately enough) Trinity’s Place.
Further recommended reading:
- After Our Likeness: Church as Image of the Trinity by Miroslav Volf
- Holy Trinity, Perfect Community by Leonardo Boff
- The Named God and the Question of Being: A Trinitarian Theo-Ontology by Stan Grenz
- Trinity and Kingdom by Jurgen Moltman
- It’s a Dance by Patrick Oden
- Being as Communion by John Zizioulas
- The Church Is Flat: The Relational Ecclesiology of the Emerging Church Movement by Tony Jones. Brian McLaren sez “You’ll gain substantive insights into the emerging church as a new social movement, scholarly reflection on the theory of practices, and critical engagement with the panentheist social trinitarianism of Jurgen Moltmann - all turned toward a practical theology of the church.”
- The 1-2-3 of God – Ken Wilber (my wild card pick)