cool change…

And now that my life is so prearranged, I know that its time for a cool change…

I’ve been blogging for about five years now, five good years spent at The Dirty Shame. But I’m starting to feel like Sonny Steele…yeah, its time for a change. I’m going to copy a portion of a post I wrote not long ago, a charge for a friend’s ordination. I feel the seeds of this change for me were tucked away in the charge I wrote for him. I’ve decided any pastoral work I’m to do will not be done with stole and scripture before a traditional pulpit and congregation but rather with pen in hand at the altar of this world…a world I confess I’m madly in love with. So what follows is a self-charge; while I’m writing to you I’m talking to me. Hold me to it, alright?
I charge you with a phrase from the gospel of John, Updike that is: Your only duty is to give the mundane its beautiful due. Ours is an existence in something more than the husk it once was but not yet the bloom it shall be; in other words, you are charged to the in-between, the middle-class, us. Yes, our lives are sewn on occasion with a texture of joy unmistakeable, the foretastes. But many days, if not most hours, reek of repetition, a mundane rising and falling punctuated with what the old hymn writer penned as ‘seasons of distress and grief.’ The relief you are charged to bring to our souls in times like these is beauty – nothing more, nothing less. It is your only duty. Give up all other ambitions for the dross they are. Bear witness to the truth we so often bury, that our lives are shot through with drama, interest, relevance, importance, and poetry. Live among us, story by story, with both precision and surprisingness. Help us to believe in God by startling us with the kicker – God believes in us. Know this – yours is not so much a high calling as it is a careful attention… you are to be a man of prayer, not big britches. So break and bless and preach and teach and laugh and sing and weep and rage and whisper at the altar of this astonishingly splendid fallen world. Give the mundane its beautiful due. Amen.


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,329 other subscribers

No Comments

  1. Amber@theRunaMuck on May 29, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I’m all in.

  2. thebeautifuldue on May 29, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Hey, Amber…thanks a ton!

  3. tim on May 29, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I due!

    Blessings, John (I chuckled to myself as I misread your comment reply name as “thebeautifuldude”…Gotta love that!)

  4. marieDee on May 29, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    I’ll be here, too!

  5. thebeautifuldue on May 29, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Tim, it is rather close, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by!

  6. thebeautifuldue on May 29, 2011 at 10:04 pm


    Great to hear from you!

  7. Emily @ The Pilot's Wife on May 29, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    I’ll be following here too. It’s beautiful.

  8. thebeautifuldue on May 30, 2011 at 12:40 am

    Shucks, Emily…thanks.

  9. Neil on May 30, 2011 at 1:53 am

    Home again and it’s good to be here1

  10. thebeautifuldue on May 30, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Neil, glad you’re home…and here.

  11. gretchen on May 30, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Happy house warming, PB!

  12. sethhaines on May 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Good words, John.


  13. thebeautifuldue on May 30, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Thanks, Gretchen…it’ll take a coupla days to settle in, but so far so good.

  14. thebeautifuldue on May 30, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Seth, thanks for the preposition. Be well, my friend…

  15. thyrkas on May 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Nice! Love Word Press. Will be checking in.

  16. thebeautifuldue on May 30, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks, Thyrkas…have a beautiful day.

  17. Warwick on June 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I opened my feed reader after a few days of paying attention to other things.
    My heart nearly stopped right there in my chest, as I started reading the last post on Dirty Shame.

    Then, several missing beats later, I clicked through to The Beautiful Due, and found your feed link, and made sure it was safe in my Google Reader account.

    If someone told me I could only keep one feed in my reader, yours would be it.

  18. thebeautifuldue on June 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Wow, those are deep words, man…thank you very much…glad you’re along for the beautiful.

Leave a Comment