Calvary

by John Fitzsimmons | Out of the Forge

I teach a couple of 8th and 9th grade English classes, and as a part of the classes I make them all keep online journals that we comment on and share with each other. It’s actually pretty cool. A hot topic always seems to be the belief—or not—in God. I am usually pretty impressed by the depth of their convictions, as well as the honesty of their confusions. Although I worked for a number of years as a youth minister, and even to this day trot my kids off to Sunday school, I am still somewhat agnostic—I just can’t totally convince myself that my spiritual experience reflects an eternal and immutable truth. But I can’t doubt that I do feel a power beyond what I am and who we are. I know I’ve experienced moments incapable of words. In those times I’ve felt closest to God, but the rush of even that wave cannot be sustained on the shores of my earthly life.

 

I guess you have to let go of what you cannot hold on to. Catholicism teaches that hell is being eternally separated from the God you know and love and feel. That, at least, makes sense to me. And maybe that is why I can still teach Sunday School. Maybe it’s why I can listen to and love my friends who think I’m a complete fool for even being a part of what they consider idiocy. In my cloud of unknowing I wait for the parting that will let in the light—the true and sustained experience of God.

 

I sometimes wonder though why we are in such a rush to know God. I wonder what we’ll say to each other when we finally meet, and I wonder how we’ll act with each other. Being brought up a Christian, I’ve always imagined what it would be like to be one of the Apostles. I’ve always wondered what Jesus said to them in private to give them the courage and eloquence to go forward and make the sacrifices they made. I’ve imagined sitting down with Jesus and fishing for horned-pout in the Concord River because I figure Jesus has already returned many times over, but we just haven’t reached that stage where we look in the right places and embrace the right kind of people to find him.  I’ve always wanted new words from Jesus to give me directly a true faith that I could freely live and speak, and act, so I wrote this song about meeting up with Jesus down by the Concord River in hopes that maybe someday it will happen.

~Fitz

 

It seems like it ain’t been a long time,
But I’m damn pleased your coming by again.
It’s been a while since we sat down and rambled
About this and that and why and who and then
You said that you had to get a move on,
Move on and leave a space behind.
So I spent a while hitting all those old roads:
Old friends and kicking down the wine.

But sure enough got sick of all the rambling;
The same stories and the way folks just are.
Who’d believe a hobo and a rucksack?
Who’d believe I really come that far?
Panning bread don’t give you much to walk on;
And I ain’t so free I don’t want nothing more.
It ain’t so hard to say what I believe in,
But what’s the sense to beg it door to door?

So I settled down right here by the oxbow.
I catch kibbers off the bank that’s caving in.
I’m sure glad you brung along your old lines;
We’ll chuck ’em out and catch a string again.

Yeah, I settled down right here by the oxbow.
I catch kibbers off the bank that’s caving in.
I’m sure glad you brung along your old lines;
We’ll chuck ’em out and catch a string again.

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