For Goodness’ Sake

I sink with the weight of a thousand unanswered prayers—the ice-cold pain of rejuvenation sets its hook in my soul.

I now know the questions of my dreams are ones that only God can answer.

Goodness is achieved not in a vacuum, but in the spreading of hope, always attended by love. 

Some sort of mirrored reality stares back at my reflection—hollow with eyes blue as the void.  I see the edge. My mind walks along some celestial cliff. Paralysis attacks my legs.  My stomach swims through an ocean of butterflies. I feel my heart pound with the rhythm of the crystal blue, white crested waves of persuasion churning below me, as they crash with winter’s effervescence.  

My imagination falls upon a field of metaphors and instead of picking these written wildflowers for you, I leave them scattered about for you to decide? Which are worth picking and which are worth leaving behind to bloom?

This life, this story, this blank piece of paper, these words, what significance should they all carry? What is it all for?  It has to be for something not wrong, but right—right? I am able to do what’s right, or should I stand wrong, maybe corrected?  What is a man to do in the fashion of goodness’ sake? 

As I fall from the cliffs of some astral dream, like hundreds of times before, the cement painted sky above comes to collide with the baptismal blue waters of the place I call home.  I sink with the weight of a thousand unanswered prayers—the ice-cold pain of rejuvenation sets its hook in my soul.  I wake up in a cold sweat.  I now know the questions of my dreams are ones that only God can answer.    

Creative Outpost

All through life, we are established and broken.  Then we are broken and rebuilt. Such is the American dream, in its current blood red state of self-destruction. Its obsession with the self-destructive particulars of the wounded man has grown to be comical. These words were first written in some creative outpost, so it’s time we get down to business.  If love were ever to become a revolution, I can’t think of better time to fan the flame. 

Somebody asked me the other day, if I thought I was some kind of warrior?  My response was, “Absolutely not. The moment I decorate myself as a warrior, is the moment the ego bears judgment on my being. One does not self proclaim themselves to be a warrior.  This is full of idolatry and pride.  The soul speaks chivalrous or it doesn’t.  It is as simple as is it sounds. I just want to do right by the boy and by God. Although love is his namesake, it is for goodness’ sake that I do this for Him.” She looked a bit lost in my answer but you could see the light shine in her eyes as it came to make sense.   

The Poet Barks

But at some point the poet will contradict himself, and as of now, I cannot think of a better time.   There is no time like the present to revolutionize my mind.  It is my very own idea of love.  It is but a jubilee, maybe a rendition of what love, or even who I used to be.  

Love is everywhere we look.

Man’s association with chivalry is pretty much dead.  The self-proclaimed warrior is associated with uselessness, because he does not respond voluntarily.  A warrior knows his purpose, it is rigorous and it takes a special state of mind that is eternally unbending.  To be a warrior is to be a seed of God’s purpose and to nurture His love wherever one goes with consistency.  I guess where I am going, isn’t this or that way, but it is His way.  Therein lies the difficulty of finding the seed of our purpose in a garden filled with God, faith, and wildflowers, and unfortunately, evil.

Rambled Structure

The goodness in the garden of good and evil wasn’t that far gone, so hope had stuck around, and because of this, goodness held a solid chance.  So with these words, please allow me this dance.  

Americans! With our outrageous ideas of love, saturated in the outpouring of domestic tragedy.  Who are we to think so highly of ourselves, after all of the wars, the wholesale revolutions, devastation and death camps? We’ve soaked the earth with the blood of both the innocent and the guilty. 

And still it spills forgiven from our hands?  In the cremation of love, evil lingers in the scent of ashen hate.  Hate but a hungry beast, fed through the vacuum of fear, racial indifference, and disbelief, and never in the sense of preserving goodness’ sake.  What do our personal troubles amount to?  Do we really suffer, compared to the others some consider of equal or lesser value? America’s democratic abundance does have its own peculiar complications. Does it not?

God’s Experiment

America is God’s experiment, such an experiment of dogmatic unity gone wild.  Many of the wounds created by the dogma of elder civilizations have long been healed with this newfound wound, which is a mystery in itself.  America didn’t like those who walked with this curious value that lacked pride.  It ostracized those who embodied the special interest of compassion.  America has lost its ability to understand the truth in the love of liberty and finding one’s self.  

The goodness of man was created in scarcity.  So what shall we anticipate from the false facilities of man with his plenitude?  This is why the world could always use a couple more writers written in as poets, to maybe point out the flaws of the hardened heart.

In the adolescence of America, love was built on the template of a myth. It’s why we fell head over heels in love with the idea of love.  Love is the thickness in our blood, rich with the platelets of self-desire. It was intricately embroidered with the fine print of bliss, but then our boys had to go across the pond and paint the hillsides of Europe with the blood of fascistic imperialistic belief.   

Women were then given an image to uphold and the wild soul of woman was slowly cut off from her genuine self.  The boys, they came back patriotic but broken men, suffered from the inevitable effects of evil, while death was seared into every sight they would see for the rest of their lives.  This was the beginning of the end in my opinion, love put on a mask of comfort and sensibility, covered by the veil of fear and pain. This was when pure love went into hibernation.  And sometimes a poet must carry the weighted stick that pokes the bear of love and lead it back into the wild where it belongs.

Love’s Revolution

In the early days, revolution promised mankind a permanent and interesting life in love with moral goodness. Revolution was the work inspired by love and compassion.  All classified aspects of the societal food chain were in a state of excitement led by the energy of delight in the poetic revolution of life.  Or as William James put it, human beings really lived when they lived at the top of their energies.  

My soul is fed by the energy of love, all souls are.  This is why we often feel so connected to those we hardly know.  It’s the energy of God’s delight, coursing through our veins. But what is there to be so sensible about love if, as I feel, I have waited thousands of years for God to send my soul fallen upon this earth?  Here I am supposed to capture a true and clear image worthy of love before I return, before my human life ended.  Being sensible with something as wild as love does absolutely nothing to mitigate the fear of “missing the boat.”  I believe anyone can see that.

Pure Love   

All of life has been spent in sin and virtue, in good and evil, in labor and struggle, in sickness and in health, in gifts, in sorrows, in achieving and regretting, in planning and hoping, and in love and fear.  

The light of love crashing upon the landscape of hatred.

Suppose a man were at once in his life to disappear into God for the space of a minute.  And suppose he had seen things, considered them, known them, made judgments about them and spoke of them, out of acting wise or not. Suppose he stumbled in and out of prayer, while seeing the smoke of doubt envelop his surroundings.  Yet he walked through clean to the upright side of obedience.  And in this obedience, he tasted the vague sweetness of God, where he found spiritual ease in prayer. 

In all these things, life is but a fabric sewn together with uncertainties.  But in the moment of a knick in time, the minute in which he felt deliverance to God, the fabric of life comes to be woven by the pure love of God. 

“No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Psalm 84:17

Strength In Numbers

It is in this ecstasy of pure love that we arrive at the true fulfillment of the first commandment, loving God with our whole heart and mind, and all of our strength.  Therefore pure love is something that all should aspire to please God, and we ought to desire to inspire all with unconditional love. Not just for a minute, nor half an hour, nor a week, but forever.  It is in these souls that conspire to love, that peace will be proven to be force in this world.

We are the strength of the world, because we have become the tabernacles of God.  We are the ones who keep the universe from being destroyed. We are the little ones, we do not always know ourselves, but the world depends on us.  And though no one seems to realize it, we are the ones for whom it was all created and we shall inherit the land.  

We are the ones who renounce the world and throw away the meager possessions.  We alone appreciate the world for what its nature has given us. We understand joy, and those who are hateful and angry—joy will destroy.  We are the clean of heart, we feel God in our hearts, and our freedom has no limits.  We wash the world with God’s light.

Follow the path and beauty will be in everything you see.

So come, let us go into that body of His light.  Let us live in the cleanliness of His song.  Let us shed the labels of the world like clothing and enter barren into His wisdom.  For this is the prayer answered when He hears the cry: “Thy will be done.” And this is all that one seeks, when he tries his damndest to do something for goodness’ sake.

In Closing  

One may never know why he held the great unknown so close to his chest.  He often grasped at its searing celestial pain under intense circumstance.  Sometimes he would even reach for it and pretend to fill it with emptiness.  Then came the day when he filled it with what he thought was emptiness and instead it was God who filled his heart with joy. And as he felt a sensation like no other shiver up his spine, he knew it was God telling him it was time. 

To be continued…


*Author’s Note-

This is merely an excerpt from the book, call it practice if you will.


Wrestling Fear

Perfect love casts out all fear.

1 John 4 : 18

As far as I’ve come, You and I both knew that at some point I was bound to stumble.

Yet aren’t You the one whom placed the root of this tree here upon where I slipped?  And are you not also the one who placed this limb behind me—that as I fell backwards—allowed my clasping hands to save me from tumbling?

And yes, I do understand that I’m the one at fault for allowing external distractions to consume my curiosity, instead of staying the course.  And it is of great regret that I let the presence of You escape me so this ego of mine could “mind its head.”

And yes when the demons came knocking at the door—I was the one who let them in, because every once in awhile loneliness does creep within the shadows of my sanctity.  Such is human nature, I should suppose with sentimental value.

So in my ignorance could You please pardon my negligent behavior?  And I know you had a Hand in helping me give those demons the boot as Your presence restructured the distracted recreations of my mind and once again I’m glad to feel You take root.  So allow me to thank You for being You.

When the grind gets the best of my mind, my whole being comes to be exhausted.  Then comes the adrenaline churning similar to an undertow of fear.  Meanwhile the demons strong-arm my weakened soul out of the way, searching high and low for somewhere to go.

But if I believe, and seek the Spirit, again I see You move Your mysterious ways.  And together as we ascend this mountain of my mind—things shall become clearer as the fog of this wilderness lifts on through.

So now as my soul and You have taken back the reigns and have carried me home safe and sound, my feet they fall from shaky ground, and upon your garden bed I read and this is what I found.

“And not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.”

Colossians 2 : 19

My whole being breathes in a wind that wraps around my head, moving through my limbs and I fall silent within my heart.  My hand is on a door, which leads beyond.  The door swings open to an ocean of darkness layered with the light of prayer.

Is this how I come to be—this way—my simple instance of death.  I expect at any moment this starlit sky above so clear shall deliver a bolt of lightning upon my being. And are You to open a door upon this boundless wilderness and set these feet upon a ladder, reaching for the moon, and take me out upon Your stars?

Far above me I see the calming sky open up to a warming distance—the sun it seeks to kiss the horizon—waking me from my stumbled slumber.

I feel the aggravation of anxiety escape my being, bound for its own isolation.  It is the man that fears to be alone, who will never be a thing but lonely.  But the man who learns—through recollection and seclusion—to be truly at peace knows no loneliness.

I do prefer the hidden reality of You upon this four-cornered room of my mind these days.  It is true that this relationship between You and I thrives in these silent conversations held within this Calvary of mine.   It is in its stillness where the questions I have long sought, are being answered through the Spirit passing through.  And now I know there is no such thing as fear when listening deeply for wisdom within You.

So allow me to cast out is this fear.  Fear, it squeezes the life out of Your love, narrowing the hallways that lead to my own heart.  It takes from the power I should give myself through You and it withers away at my capacity to truly Love through You.  So I beg for Your mercy, and to please, so soon shall you shake me of this fear.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.

Matthew 6 : 34

You are the Tree and I am but a seed fallen from You, and yes I am happy to be growing in Your light.  But You and I both know tomorrow marks two years to the day that You pointed this pen between my fingers in the direction of You—but let us not speak so fearless yet.

I do know it is within the ambiguities of “doing good” that I must have You and myself wholeheartedly convinced of my own uprightness and goodness.  So please let’s You and I continue this work on winning the war within myself before all else.

And just as the sun rose beautiful on the Second day ever, the sun with it’s stunning light peaks through.  I take my eyes off the past and bend my hopes and dreams towards today.  A smile You created dawns on me, and as a wolf howls distant—once again I have found peace in Your presence. And let it be noted that I can’t thank You enough for all that You do.


Pursuit Of Salvation

In purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left.

2 Corinthians 6 : 6-7

What exactly is salvation?  I believe that salvation has such a multidimensional theme that it is hard to nail it down with the hammer of simplicity.  So instead of going in depth with the multitudes of meaning I am going to focus on the one that I feel holds steady with the message that I am trying to deliver with these words.  The salvation that I speak of welcomes the gift of a new heart, accompanied by a newfound spirit when speaking of Love.

It is insistent that Love holds supremacy over all else in the spiritual life.  Love is supreme over knowledge, austerity, contemplation, and prayer.  Love in fact is the spirit of life, and without it all the other movements of the spirit, however lofty, are emptied of substance and become mere illusions.  The more lofty these movements appear to be, the more dangerous the illusion.

Love, of course, means something much more than mere sentiment, much more than token gestures and obligated generosity.  Love means an interior and spiritual identification with one’s self, as well as, all other souls, so that no one is regarded as an “object” to “which” one “does good.”

It is a fact that good done for someone, as in regards to an “object” carries little to nil spiritual value.  Love looks at all souls as one’s other self, and loves all with immense humility, discretion, reserve, and most important reverence, without which no one can presume to enter into the sanctuary of another’s subjectivity.  From Love such as this, all authoritarian brutality, all exploitation, and condescension must be one hundred percent absent.

The difficult magnitude of truly loving others is easily recognizable in today’s society and that difficulty is never minimized—yet nonetheless it is scrutinized.  It is hard to love others if love is to be taken in the full sense of today’s rigid viewpoint.  Love demands a complete inner revolution—for without this we cannot come to identify ourselves with other souls.

We have to become, in the complete sense, the person we love. And this involves a sort of death of who we were, a slaying of our own being, or better yet an assassination of our ego.  And sometimes no matter how hard we try, we resist the slaying of these demons—we fight back with resistance, with anger, with demands ands ultimatums.

We subconsciously seek any convenience to break away and escape the difficult task.  But in the end when we have finally shed the labels of our old selves the Love of God will reign supreme in our soul.  And from there even the sky becomes limitless as to the capacity of genuine Love.

We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject.  For both have labored in the search for truth and both have helped us in the finding of it.

St. Thomas Aquinas

It is time to conclude this post, but not without a new sort of prayer.  A prayer created with collective thought.  Let this be a new sort of communion between all souls.  It is at a point where the inner development of man is in grave danger of losing all spiritual inheritance and it is my hope that some may be able to recover the uprightness resting in their inner being from this prayer.  Let us call this “The Prayer of Transcendent Freedom.”  This new prayer must arise out of the imminence of Love’s mercy.

As we are soon to walk away from these words, let us be aware of the Love that unites us in spite of all of our real differences, and that of emotional friction.  All of the these things at the surface of us, are nothing compared to the reality in the depths within us, the reality of Christ moving through our Spirit as we speak, and the reality of God’s Love coursing through our veins at all times, whether those times are good or bad.  Because in the end we are all creatures built by Love.

And now as I try and speak something that moves from the depths of my heart, I ask you to concentrate on the Love that is inside of you, that which is in us all.

Dear God,

All souls are one with You.  It is You who have made us one with You.  You have taught us that if we open our hearts to one another, You will dwell in all of us.  Please help us to preserve this Love and to fight for Love with all of our hearts. Help us all to realize there is no such thing as understanding if there is mutual rejection.  Oh God, by us accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, and completely, we accept You, and we thank You, because we adore You.  We love you with our entire being, because our being is in Your being, our spirit has its roots in Your spirit.  So fill us then with Love, and let us always be bound by love as we all go our separate ways for the day, united in one Spirit that proves Your presence in the world.  Which shall make all witness the reality of Love that is You.  You are Love therefore Love is King.  Love will overcome, just as bearing witness to You within, we find salvation, and salvation is Love.  And Love always wins.

-Ryan Love