Soul of Letters

I have a boat in the western ocean, / I have a dream in the Irish sea. / I have found that I will never have anything until I have nothing of me.

I have light in the darkness, / I have a notion of eternity. / I have a friend his name is Jesus. / Oh I have life and I’m free. / And I’m comin’ around oh Lord, Lord I’m comin’ around. / Oh I’m coming around Lord I’m comin’ around.

(portions of a song by Ben Kyle called “Soul of Letters”)

[listen closer… look deeper… squint…]

After listening to a certain kind of song, my soul is touched and I have an out pouring of expression. This is an attempt to capture some of that after listening to a song by Ben Kyle:

I have a mind so full of questions, I have a heart so full of desires. I don’t know which direction to go. But I know I want to go. I have a spirit of action and of readiness, but I don’t know what to do. I see apathy around me and I want to holler so profoundly, “Get off yer asses!” like a professor of mine has said. Suddenly your mouth drops open in horror, but that’s exactly my point. You’re too worried about the form than actually getting something done. Perhaps that’s my problem as well. I want to change the world. I want to leave a mark, not for myself, but of evidence of a higher power. I want to go places, I want to see things, I want to touch people–but do I really? The desire is there, but where is the action? The ideas are there, but where is the movement? Do I really want to break out of my comfort zones, or can I just comfortably think of the perfect action? Maybe I’m just scared of failure. Maybe I’m scared of not doing what’s expected of me. After all, that’s why I’m here isn’t it? All upper middle class American teens attend college. You don’t question that. But is there more to it?

“I have found that I will never have anything until I have nothing of me.”

Is that just a nice line to tack on the end of my e-mail, or is there more to it than that? Why is it that we send missionaries to far off remote countries to preach the gospel? We make a distinction between full time ministry and whatever else there is. You have to go somewhere before you can evangelize or minister to anyone. Why is that? Why don’t we put an emphasis on working where we are, with the people we already know? Why can’t I have a full time ministry within the context of my full time job? Why can’t I have a full time ministry in the midst of my full time studies? Perhaps I answer my own questions, because I don’t have any of these. I feel a tinge of guilt when I hear people begging me to come to downtown Chicago and help all these inner city kids, or when someone says to come to Ecuador and minister to these people. What about the people in downtown Minneapolis or Detroit? Then I think closer, what about the kids I played hockey with on the corner of County E and Snelling? What about the subdivision next to Bethel? What about several thousand people with in a square mile of my house? Why don’t I minister to them?

I have a mind so full of questions and a heart so ready with answers. I have a soul that isn’t sure what to do, and I end up just plodding along. Why do I trudge into class and look so quiet and reserved? Why do I ignore my roommate when I just don’t feel like dealing with him? Why do I lack the love that we’re commanded to share? Am I destined to dream forever, or someday will the wind catch the sails and I’ll be able to soar on the high seas of your love? Show me the way. Show me the way. Show me the way. Open my eyes. Help me to listen closer, to look deeper, to squint.

“I’m comin’ around oh Lord, Lord I’m comin’ around.”


Can you see?

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