As I head off to Tampa today to work my lil’ tail-feather off for 8 days, I thought it would be incredible to allow my blog to be occupied by a diversity of authors.  Today begins the beginning of a new series: When God Speaks {or doesn’t}.  I’ve invited 12 gifted writers to share their stories of open or closed communication with God, and I’m amazed at what they all have to say.  So.  Let’s roll…

Today we begin with Gerald Barrett.  Jerry is a new friend from a local writer’s group I joined last Fall.  Jerry is a GIFTED poet whose writing I deeply respect.  In fact, I’ve shared his gorgeous Christmas poem here before.  It was the piece below, which he read at our Writer’s group that inspired the topic for this series.  Thanks, Jer for kicking us off today with this lovely piece…

~

“I Love You Infinity?

The Poet Wendell Berry writes:

Eternity is not infinity.

It is not a long time.

It does not begin at the end of time.

It does not run parallel to time.

In its entirety it always was.

In its entirety it will always be.

It is entirely present always.

p. 47 Leavings, Poems

 

We have a six-year-old sassafras. Her name is Emily. Whenever my wife or I tell her we love her she one-ups us. The other night when I tucked her in I said I loved her and she fired back “I love you more!?  How can a little tart exude such power over my heart? She also responded “I love you to the moon and back!? many times. But the reverberation that catches my mind and heart is:

 

“I love you infinity!?

 

Followed by

 

“I love you infinity, infinity, infinity!?

 

Really? Wow! This little pip-squeak set in time, my time, to blow my mind and detonate my heart. In my estimation that equals a thousand of Ann Voskamp’s gifts. I am grateful.

 

Buzz Lightyear, embossed my frontal cortex a while ago with his intellectually defunct statement:

 

“To infinity…and beyond!?

 

I talked to a friend recently about the infinitesimal real estate us humans can inhabit. Think about it. Only 29% of the earth is land. Humans can merely ascend so high before running out of oxygen. We can only dive so deep before the pressure wrings us like a rag.

We are walled in. We are essentially tucked in a linen closet of the universe. Why?

 

Dear God,

I don’t want to be unthankful, but why are we so fenced in? Is it because we couldn’t handle a little gardening? Is it because we are in time out?

Sincerely, Jerry

Dear Jerry,

My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Do you want me to start the “where were you when the foundations of the earth were laid? speech? Listen, these vast uninhabitable spaces are there to keep you wondering about Me. They are giving you room to imagine and not fence me in. I didn’t hem in the universe to show you there is always room to grow. I put bright and colorful creatures in the deepest, darkest place of the ocean so you would know there is so much more. You will never be satisfied on earth like the thought C. S. Lewis wrote which wrinkled your little brain:  “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.?  You are ultimately made for another world. Although the world is busted up, I have given you the sense to take in what I have revealed thus far with awe and gratitude. There are gifts, way more than a thousand, but you can start counting and thanking. I like that.

About that little tart of yours, I dare you to love her back…infinity, infinity, infinity.

I love you infinity and beyond,

God

~

 

Gerald Barrett can be found writing poetry, prose, and a smidge of essay on his blog at geraldthewriter.com. He is married 26 years to Barbara Barrett, his confidant and best friend. They have twelve children and live in the Midwest. Their journey includes the fostering and adoption of two sibling groups of four added to their four biological children. They are affectionately referred to as “Original Recipe, Crispy, and Extra Crispy.

Gerald is currently working on a short memoir about the last two years of his mother’s life. He continues to write poems and short stories and essays for his blog. He is a member of Word Weavers, a writing critique group. He is a member of the Kalamazoo Christian Writer’s critique group.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/gerald.barrett.5 Gerald Barrett

    Thanks Grace… blessings on your work trip … and beyond!

    • https://gracesandra.com/ Grace at {Gabbing with Grace}

      hahaahaha… love the joke there! but for real, it’s a great spiritual perspective…the work & whatever is beyond all that. anyway, thank YOU SO MUCH for sharing I simply love what you have written!

      • http://www.facebook.com/gerald.barrett.5 Gerald Barrett

        Why, thanks you miss!

  • Jennifer Peterson

    Thank you Grace and Jerry loved this!!! Have a great trip!!

    • https://gracesandra.com/ Grace at {Gabbing with Grace}

      Thanks Jen! Just heading out to the pool now. just kidding…well, I am heading out to look at it… for 2 minutes. ahahhaaha

    • http://www.facebook.com/gerald.barrett.5 Gerald Barrett

      Thank you Jennifer!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=624235647 Jessica Leep Fick

    Jerry- this was beautiful. I loved the line about how we are tucked into a linen closet…and how God puts creatures in the deep sea that we might never know. To infinity and beyond indeed!

    • http://www.facebook.com/gerald.barrett.5 Gerald Barrett

      Thank you Jessica. God always reveals new things to blow our minds!