The Family Room

Abiram, swallowed up by earth, was taken

Into the fiery core, our spinning planet

Not pausing to release him from its vortex;

I too am drawn in.

The Potter’s Field received Judas’ silver,

His body taken into soil, the true cost

Of what he bought Caiaphas with a swift kiss

From betraying lips.

I would have taken less than thirty pieces;

I have betrayed my Saviour for a trinket.

So I, like Judas and like dead Abiram,

Deserve gravity.

There is no soil to bury my betrayal

Or hide the bones that I have stripped of all flesh.

Only the night can for a time disguise them,

Soon to be found out.

Bright light – only when You enter my insides

Can darkness’ strong pull on me be halted.

Only if You come swiftly with Your promise

Will the vortex stop.

~ “Buried Above Ground” by Matthew Pullar (After William Cowper’s “Lines Written During a Period of Insanity”)

We’ve exchanged greetings on the front porch. You’ve taken off your mud-caked shoes and placed some slippers on your feet. Now, I’d like you to follow me to the left, into the family room.

There are wide-planked wooden floors marked up more than a bit from when we’ve moved furniture around. The furniture has been handed down from generation to generation, some of it refurbished, some of it worn and tattered from family cats before we had them de-clawed. There are quilts made from old clothing and an afghan crocheted with prayer while awaiting news from one of my hospitalizations. The walls are filled with family pictures from cross-country trips to daily activities, like building snowmen and feeding the goats. Biblical verses and spiritual mottos are framed beside the photos, reminding us of our purpose and identity.

We sit down, get comfortable and talk about common things that reveal who we are, who we’ve been, and to Whom we belong. We share family stories – some funny, some tragic – not as a way to brag about our pedigree (as if we had one), but to praise God from one generation to the next.

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