My Dear Jeffrey

My Dear Jeffrey is an experimental music/sound meditation project I began in January 2018. In the first three installments I share impressions of my Christian faith and search for spirituality after stepping away from the church and graduating from seminary in 2015.

Meditation text for “My Dear Jeffrey & Romans 1:18-32”:

We trust that God is wise
And that God loves us
The power of the human shadow

Our community works
When we positively respond
To the call of personal responsibility
For our actions and in-actions

For those of us that are wondering
Where God is...
Have we made a wrong turn somewhere?

The enemy’s trap is to leave us isolated
In many ways we become what Romans 1 describes
To be skeptics and lose trust in God

The human shadow is monstrous

Human beings have a devotion to the articulation of their individuality

We mustn’t negate our bodies

This is the moment we confront the darkest places of ourselves

In our flesh we obsess over... 
People
Things 
Ideas 
Sexuality
Sadness 
Amongst so much else

This is just who I am
This who God is calling me to be

I pray this for all of you...

Dear Lord
Let us know 
That your discipline
Is one of the greatest signs that you love and accept us
We ask that your Holy Spirit guide us
In Jesus name

Amen.

Meditation text for “My Dear Jeffrey & Isaiah 40 and Genesis 1”:

Something out of nothing
The Scripture says
God has promised us something here...
Why is change so slow?
Why does a solution to our problems seem so mysterious?
God understands the mystery
And understands how tired we are

Putting our faith in our intellect 
“And the young will fall exhausted”
God understands the mystery
And understands how tired we are
Financial resources
(And of course) architectural structures
And the young will fall exhausted 
God isn’t pleased with us

“Have you not known, have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God”
God is more precious than the days of old
And the legacy that we’ve inherited

Exiled people aren’t identical in their sorrows
They each wait uniquely for something to appear out of the nothingness of exile
The Doctrine of Creationism speaks of our individual souls being created out of nothing by God
Our mounting up on eagles wings is a unique and particular experience
It is a unique response to the sorrow of our collective exile
Our questions about the everlasting God are uttered within us at different timbres
Listen to it again in your own heart

“Have you not known, have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God”
Listen to how it sounds uniquely within you
God is the creator of the ends of the earth
And God is the creator of the unique person that is yourself
You hear these questions like no one else
As you stare into the nothingness...

Here we will realize a common strength
God will allow you to see a unique something out of the nothingness
That allows you to “run and not be weary”
“To walk and not faint”
God is the God of unique strength and the individual soul
If we can imagine ourselves where the Israelites were centuries ago
We may wonder if the nothingness of exile is permanent
We may ask ourselves if we will ever be unified as a church 
To see a common hope within the nothingness of our plights
Friends the answer is “yes” and will always be “yes” with God by our side
And it is yes when we remember that our waiting for renewed strength 
Is rooted in our individual souls that God created out of nothing
By the grace of God we were once nothing and became something
By the grace of God we wait for our return from exile 
By listening to the particular sounds of our internal questioning
When we get to know the unique timbre of those questions we must turn and submit to God

Here we will realize a common strength
Or our feeling of displeasure...

Out of the nothing is the creative substance 
That is God
The God that created our unique selves to be our unique selves with one another
And you still may be asking yourself
How did God create our unique selves out of nothing?
How can God create something out of the nothingness of our distinct positions in exile?

Our refuge in God is a mystery that speaks to our unique selves...
May God speak to all our unique positions
To our romantic sketches about the past
And to our displeasures concerning change that occurs much slower than we would like it to
May God’s sovereignty reign in an outcome that cannot be searched or fully understood
God is the creator of every unique soul
And God will mysteriously lead all the souls that trust in this mystery 
Towards this renewed strength
To God be the glory. Amen.

Or our feeling of displeasure...

Meditation text for “My Dear Jeffrey & Questions Without Answers”:

Selected excerpts from, “Questions Without Answers”, from the book, Encountering Myself: Contemporary Christian Meditations, by Harry James Cargas

The wise person doesn't pray to be given the right answers. Rather, the woman or man of true wisdom seeks to learn the proper questions. Because answers change; the questions remain eternal.

One of the fundamental questions we ask is "Who am I?" The person who would answer that in precisely the same way at age forty-five as at twenty-five is spiritually dead. For some the answer to "Who am I?" may evolve almost daily.

Perhaps each of us will need to draw up our own set of important questions, those that will be most meaningful to us personally. The answers to some of these will depend on the answer to others.

What is the meaning of life?

What is my purpose within the meaning of life?

What is my relationship with God?

What is the nature of God?

Wisdom is not the result of luck. Searching is a difficult human activity. Learning is a satisfying human experience.

Some of the questions may even be frightening. However, in facing them we will learn –and lose- our fears and become more fully total persons.