Walking the Labyrinth


I remember the first time my mind wandered aimlessly

Pacing the turns inwardly while releasing

My fears and transgressions with each step accompanied breath

The Spirit unfettered, wholly showing me the quest

With my feet unbridled, I idled at the entrance

Penitent and unworthy to tread with God’s presence

Unknowing what’s before me, I bravely try to stride

On the path of my past I hold fast to hide

On the first purple line the silence is deafening

The candle wicks flicker, the only light transpiring

Guiding me pensively toward my first inward turn

With the world now behind me, my thoughts unfurl

Is beauty universally seen alike in all eyes?

Is beauty left to context, morality, or time?

Is beauty a Godly thing, the Trinity’s inner splendor?

Or is it human construct based in race, class, or gender?

Revelations abound drowning out my reality

As the labyrinth’s simple path winds almost seamlessly

Begging the question of what’s melting away

Is it reality or falsity that’s truly giving way?

The world outside tries to hold fast my heart

Omnipotent dominance it seems as it starts

Parting ways with my soul, staking its claim

I now know my idol. I’ve now named its name

With struggles behind me I slip slowly into

A world of inner circles, whirling, whispering, “This do

in remembrance of me,” as my mind’s eye gazes

on the bread and the wine atop a metaphysical table

My mind’s eye’s impaired for the bread is blurred

Is it unleavened as Paul beckons, or four cornered like the world?

Is it rounded and stiff like a priest’s Sunday collar?

Is it processed and bagged for the American dollar?

The wine, how it sparkles in a cup I know not

Is it silver refined, or clay kilned with cracked pots?

Is it filled individually for communal logistics?

Or one common cup for the monk and the mystics?

The table now set, whetting my deep desire

To sweetly feast, yet my feet seem mired

My mind snaps back, the straight path is lost

Causing hesitation, the frustration, “Dear Lord, what’s the cost?”

My ears now hear amidst the silence

Parapet anthems of victory over violence

The glorious organ gorgonizes my mind

Freezing me in place, a power sublime

The powerful hymns of centuries gone by

Inspire the weak-hearted, those of soul parched and dry

I remember the debate, of late, the bitterness and gall

Of how contemporary music would cause Duke Chapel to fall

A tense, pinched face,

ungraciously distasteful

Murmurs words of scorn

born from lips of past depression

For him, the hymn to whimsical

For her, the words to cyclical

For they do prey on the cynical

An unceasing cycle of miserable spectacle

New music sickens the traditionalist

Missing the Spirit’s movement meant

For a new generation bifurcated upon

An altar of good intention built with stone of ancient song

My walk becomes a dirge, searching for the center

But my eyes arise skyward through the darkness I had entered

A skewed view of centers where worship takes place

The font, pulpit and pews, each of which a means of grace

The pulpit sits upon a ton of quarried, crafted stone

With faces of the past, old memories on loan

For those of our generation often unknowing of the past

The lives of the Saints, stiff in stone in darkness vast

Hearing a Word unheard before

Stories of the soul’s seeking

Is like a babe’s first momentary gaze

Toward the mother of her birthing

Eyes open anew peering deeply into

The mystery of life’s wonder

Understood not completely, yet instinctively known

Is the grace given me so freely

The pews hewn from mighty oak, trussing unsuspecting folk

Who journey here with heavy hearts before departing with lightened yolk

The in between is transformation, desperation lifted ‘way

While hearing that the debt is paid, by grace through faith the soul is saved.

Moving from the pews I wander to the font far off from view

Masquerading a signal import as ottoman of wealthy few

Ornately adorned with sides of eight, contemplating rebirth

Dying with Christ and rising anew, a sinner of infinite worth

At the head of the church, perched high above the maze

A wooden cross hides, disguised amongst disciples’ gaze

Anamnesis teasing time, I find myself within the crowd

Shouting loud a screaming scorn, “A crown of thorns upon his brow!”

Whipped and kicked with sinners’ hate, my Lord awaits his paschal fate

Pilate dances as he dangles silent Christ in grand debate

To the crowd aroused with fury, Pilate hands them God’s own son

With hands still dripping he announces to the crowd, “thy will be done!”

Leading Christ away they prey upon a master’s love

Ridiculing sweet redemption as they raise the lamb above

Upon a tree with nails of three, piercing hands and feet and side

Now deserted and alone his friends leave him there to die

I’m now at the center, entering timid and shy

For this is God’s heart, what value have I

To kneel pneumatically numb, struck dumb by a presence

Radiant and holy, only silent with reverence

Patiently awaiting my penitent sentence

I slowly focus my soul

Memories tremble, escaping assessment

The “why did I” denied by what’s shown

Sitting there silently, pining for time

My heart starts to rip at its seam

The pieces asunder held by hands not mine

Are mended by my loving Redeemer

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