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Eric Engel

The You in us

I am in your grasp, Lord. Send me like a wave upon the people. Free me into the midst, all hearts within reach. Hand me over to the pit, grasped by the hands that come together, and the paws that look for prey upon which to sharpen their nails. Do with me what it is You wish, that justice and peace become my loyal companions, and puncture not the sails as the vessel strides toward the sound of Your voice.

Please keep me present. Do not take this opportunity from me to affect the world that I was born into. Spare me the presentation of ancient culture or futuristic philosophies unless in any way the gap between us diminishes by doing so. Two millenniums have passed since Your presence in the population, and I, barely born into this age of acquisition, haven’t ever accepted this religion of royalty. I’d rather be engulfed in the gulp of the air that we share while we chill, spilling beans like they aren’t worth the coals they cook upon.

Thank you. I can see how You brought those two words together. It’s a perfect example of the sounds You offer. Thank — a word indicating the presence of a saturated satisfaction within, and you — another out there, outside the perimeters of this body, an extremely vivid object of similar structure and composition. I realize all has come from You, and water flows more like wind with each day that passes as I accept the connection entirely.

I feel confused and lost from You many times of my day. I make simple choices that are not consistent with Your instruction manual, and I understand that I am doing so. I have the ability to get away with small and seemingly unapparent mishaps throughout my missions, but that is precisely what takes place when they happen. I am getting away from You, furthering myself as if running from the scene of the crime.

Where am I then, though? I always seem to be in a remote place where the significance of the separation from You is heavily apparent. Like a child who has lost their mother or fella who has misplaced his mates, I sense with a comfortable intensity that the mishap was as certain an event as those previous, and that I can make greatest use of this moment gaining ground on any distance lost during this walk with You shoulder to shoulder.

Every interaction I encounter that pertains to the functions of myself and my surroundings has Your robe cloaked upon it. It is not a matter of explanation or determination any longer, but a matter of slowing way down during my intake of these moments taking place right now and swallowing down the idea that every moment is creation. It’s the remainder of the original that has seamlessly existed since the absolute ground zero beginning of everything.

I live in a world that gives me a thousand different answers to one question. I have to choose to love You, and to believe that You exist and have created all and care unconditionally for everything ... and I do. It feels like freedom from every mishap I’ve ever encountered each time that a thought of You comes into my mind.

When I die, I believe this body of mine will no longer function. I can imagine the concepts of spiritual reincarnation, and I believe in spiritual deliverance; but I think this sack of skin and skeleton stays, regardless, once the final breath is borrowed from the atmosphere. Yours didn’t, though. Your body found breath once again, a breeze from the wings of the dove flooding Your nostrils, as You took the entirety and tucked it into a single envelope, addressing it to be opened by me, as I sit here and write. I appreciate the gesture. I know that You know, it just feels good to say.

Use me as I am Lord. Make me a lion or a lamb, the trunk or the stump, a success or a failure in the eyes of my cohabitants, whatever You want. All I ask is that You bring me home if my recognition of the You in us ever dips below the velocity with which it now functions. May more of Your glory form in me with each breath that I borrow.

Love is definitely Your word as well.

Eric Engel, formerly of Tiskilwa but now of Peoria, can be reached by e-mail at eazywritin84@yahoo.com.