Longs for You

A Humble Observation from The Merry Mystic

Well, this song is sort of sentimental.  It isn’t funny, or witty, or erudite.  It won’t be going platinum.  But  it’s one of those things about God that I know beyond doubt — and there aren’t very many of those, so I thought I’d better share it.  I hope it will speak to you.

I hope you feel it too.  If so, please share it with a friend.

Open and Affirming

An Evening Wasted with The Merry Mystic

Here’s a little satirical song about the unwelcoming “welcome” some of us encounter in church.

Please share your thoughts below.  And hey, please share this post with anyone you think might get a laugh.  Heaven knows we can all use one.

P.S.  As you can probably tell, Tom Lehrer’s music was a big influence on me. My parents had some of his albums—Songs by Tom Lehrer, More of Tom Lehrer and, of course, An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer—and I listened to them eagerly, even before I was old enough to understand them. So the way I turned out is really his fault.

The Treasure and the Poison

The Merry Mystic Goes to Church

Here’s a big bowl of pills. Some of them are miracle cures. Some of them are poison…

Please leave a comment: are you thinking of a particular “poison pill” in the Christian tradition?

Incidentally, I’m a big fan of the animated television series “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” When I made this video, I kept thinking of this scene from the “Cave of Two Lovers” episode:

Iroh: You're looking at the rare white dragon bush. 
      Its leaves make a tea so delicious, it's heartbreaking. 
      That, or it's the white jade, which is poisonous.

Zuko: We need food, not tea. I'm going fishing.

Iroh: Hmm ... delectable tea? Or deadly poison?


Iroh: Zuko, remember that plant I thought might be tea?

Zuko: You didn't ...

Iroh: I did ... and it wasn't. 

Zuko: Ahh!

Iroh: When the rash spreads to my throat, I will stop breathing. 
      But, look what I found: 
      these are bacui berries, known to cure the poison of the white jade.  
      That, or maka'ole berries that cause blindness...

On Not Having Heard from God Recently

Waiting for Instructions with The Merry Mystic

Have you ever asked God to tell you what to do?  I have …

Leave a comment and tell us a story: have you ever received clear instructions from God?  Did you ask for them?

P.S. — Here’s the text of that poem.

On Not Having Heard From God Recently

I think that if I were King,
I'd want a captain who doesn't keep asking,
	What should I do now?
I'd want an agent who knows what I want,
	and does it,
	and rarely asks for advice or permission.
I'd want an independent servant,
	someone I have to seek out
	to comfort from time to time.

I'd find her in the field, at night,
	in the chapel there alone, with her weapons beside her.
I'd sit down next to her,
	pray with her.

After a while, just as dawn began to lighten the sky, I'd say:
	Hello, Captain.
	It's me.
I just want you to know, I'm grateful for all you do.
Anything I can do for you?
Anything you need?

And my captain would smile,
	maybe for the first time in days,
	and she'd say:
No thanks, Boss.
I've got it covered.

The Kiss of the Duck

The Merry Mystic Gets Quacking

So, I was just waiting at the dock, minding my own business, when this duck came up and …

Please share this post, or another of your favorite Merry Mystic posts, with someone you think might enjoy it.  (You can find all the recent Merry Mystic video posts here.)

Turn to the Life

Evangelism a la Merry Mystic

Here’s a new song about responding to that good news.

Sheet music for “Turn to the Life” is available in the Free Stuff area here.  There are three versions there: voice with piano, voice alone (as for a church bulletin insert), and a choral arrangement.

Break Our Chains

Musical Liberation Theology from The Merry Mystic

Here’s a new song about God’s signature move.  It’s called “Break Our Chains.”

Sheet music for “Break Our Chains” is available in the Free Stuff area here.

Who needs to have their chains broken today, and what should we be doing to help?  Please leave a comment below.

Snow Day

No school today on account of snow — in our local public schools, and at Central Michigan University as well. Reminds me of another of those songs we used to sing when I was a boy. This was a parody of an old vaudeville and music hall song:

Ta ra ra boom de ay
There is no school today
The teacher passed away
She died of tooth decay
We threw her in the bay
She scared the fish away
And when we took her out
She smelled like sauerkraut

Heartless little beasts, weren’t we?

Three More Days

The Merry Mystic Goes Back to School

Last week, I shared a poem with you: “Prayer for Children Going to School.” (If you missed that post, it’s still available here.) I’ve had requests to say a bit more about this — some of our Merry Mystics found it rather disturbing! So in this week’s video, I talk a bit more my school days, and some of my other prayers for schoolchildren and their parents. There’s a song, too: “Three More Days.”

(If you’d like to hear all of “Three More Days,” you can find it online here.)

Three more days and we are free … so we used to sing on the school bus, when any vacation was approaching. Do you remember a song like that, something the kids used to sing on your school bus or playground? Your homework for today is to leave a comment and tell us about it.

Prayer for Children Going to School

The Merry Mystic Slips a Note into your Backpack

Today I have a poem to share with you. Check out the video below.

What about your experience of school? Scroll down and share a thought below.

Here’s the text of that poem again.

Prayer for Children Going to School

I saw them waiting in line,
	four children,
	early in the morning,
	backpacks ready and full.
I saw the yellow bus take them away.
And I rode with them in thought to the place they were going:
	the double doors to darkness and to doubt,
	the waiting in lines,
	the permission slips, the hall monitors,
	the subjects to learn and be tested on.
And, of course, the bells.
Regular, like in a monastery, yet so unlike,
	and faster, so much faster,
signifying, over and over:
	stop what you're doing.
	Your time, your will, your body, your soul, count for nothing.
	Can't you see the next machine is waiting for you?
Their sighs rise up regularly
	 with every ringing of the bell.

And I know,
they police themselves ruthlessly, 
	hating any part that exposes them to ridicule.
And these parts, too, rise up regularly,
	a constant stream of despised selves,
	unwhite selves, stuttering selves,
	fat, skinny, ugly selves,
	picked-last-for-kickball selves,
	boyish selves, sissy selves,
	mockable, different, hateful selves,
	all, all, are cast off and rise up to heaven.

I do not believe, O Lord, that you made children
	for this purpose,
	to serve as burnt offerings like this.
You could speak to them;
	please could you speak to them?
You could tell them:
	I am the Lord your God.
	I love these despised selves.
You cast them off, but they rose up to heaven,
	and now I want you to have them back,
	as good as new.

Here's an idea, Lord:
	maybe you could slip them into the backpacks.
Maybe when the bus comes back,
	and the kids come home,
maybe they could open up their bags and find,
	among the books and pens and pencils,
their lost hours,
	and their spent sighs,
	and their beloved selves.
Maybe you could pin a note to them—you know.

And, dear Lord,
	if you find anything else up there,
	anything that rose up forty-odd years ago,
	anything that belongs to me,
	could I have it back please?
I promise to take better care of it this time.