Saturday, April 30, 2011


As a child I remember seeing my dad's eyes brimming with tears on numerous occasions in church, sitting in our pew, listening to the music, and god-breathed readings from the Bible. As a person and as a father of children he was touched in this manner. His eyes filled with tears. Me too, dad, me too.

The night my father was on the David Letterman show with his sound sculptures, his grownup son was lying on Betty's living room carpet in Gardena, California. The Friday night fellowship had met to sing and pray, folks were out in her kitchen, and a cycle of release was at work on me. The knot I felt in my gut earlier that day during chapel, was moving up into my chest. What followed was deep cries and sobbing. Eyes shut, open and willing, not knowing where it would go, just being, and letting him work. And then...taken down into a slumber, a deep peace, unbroken, a stillness, while laying on that living room floor. And then...a trembling began again in my stomach. I could feel it moving up into my chest, and then wailing burst out of my mouth, tears streaming. The slumber returned, taking me down into His coma, His embrace. (On The Floor by Karl Marxhausen, painting, below)

The pattern of tremors in my stomach, the wrenching sobs, and the descent into peace repeated and repeated and went on for three hours. When it was all over I was tired. One of the company told me my father had been on TV. It was 11 o'clock Pacific Standard Time. This had come by one moving within, unlocking, releasing tears, His kindness in my physical being. 

You could say that "logic sat at the door waiting for it to end." And that's the point here. I do not figure it out. I go through it. I am open. Tears are the reaction in us when He does it. Sitting in the pew, seeing God doing it in my father's eyes, it is private, it is intimate, our bodies unravel, our minds allow his touch to infiltrate and tear down barriers from within.(Lost In Wonder by Karl Marxhausen, painting, above)

During this funeral there was chamber music, the words of Jesus remembered, litanies recited, declarations of faith, an open upright pine casket, stories of my father, and an attitude of celebration. More than words can say, it is about our history with Jesus. It is His action that pulls me into his reality, his pardon for my offense, his breath - a living direction, His voice within, His choice-enacting, intimacy, engulfing my senses. He comes and my tear ducts respond in the midst of his nearness, his fragrance, his touch.

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