The Living Room

The prince of love, he speaks in whispers,

whispers low to my heart’s deep voice.

Where deep calls to deep

in waterfalls, I stand, his breakers

crashing down around me with

their silent shuddering, the voice

of love amidst the thundering;

to me he calls.

No-one there is with eyes of such fire

seated upon his sapphire throne,

with radiance that shines my soul with its burning

and his brightness a bow in a rainy-day’s cloud.

Inexpressible, he is: how he blends such bright fury

with the gentlest whisper of his nail-scarred palms,

sparkling in glory over valleys,

the Son of Man.

Let the world have its dazzling allure and stories;

the eyes of this prince, this prince of love’s glory

shine truer than all of the world’s diamond lies.

He sits with the blind man and Zacchaeus, the road-side

his banqueting table, for Samaritans and me.

Sit with me, friends, at his morning-bright table

and we too will shine with him

eternally.

~ The Bright-Shining Lord” by Matthew Pullar (After Ann Griffith’s “I Saw Him Standing”)

In our house, there is a room just off the family room we’ve used for various purposes. It has been a “music room” with a piano and CD player. It has been a “play room” with a toy box, monster Legos, and puzzles. It has served as a “sewing room,” where Alice and our daughters have made dresses and pajamas and gathered with friends and family to create lovely quilts. It is also perfect as a “courting parlor, with a partition that separates it from the family room – providing just enough privacy and just enough connectedness.

In the house of my bipolar mind, the “living room” is the space where I meet people outside my family and find God at work in the world. Whether it be with church folks or fellow psychiatric patients, the elderly or the young, therapists or pastors, this is a space where I explore ideas beyond myself and examine my faith perspective to discover who I am and who I’m called to become.

I realize for many people who battle bipolar disorder, this is a room that can be unwelcoming, even frightening. This is just as true for church folks as well. We often prefer to “hang out” or “fellowship” with those who “get” where we are coming from, who share our “worldview.” Yet, for spiritual and psychological growth to occur, we do best to follow the example of Jesus who ate with both publicans and Pharisees instead of hiding out in a hermitage.

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