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Alone Together

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This month, we asked Daniel Makins, one of our regularly featured musicians, to share some of his thoughts and provide a Tiny Roundup. Enjoy!

Like many of you, I have been thinking about solitude. I have heard it said over and again that isolation can be the deadliest of sins. And I suppose our current mood as a society suggests this has become tribal and true. Alone together. I think I have seen this theme in a dozen New York Times Best Sellers over the past five years.

I am an introvert. Really. I find the rest of you exhausting, and it often leads to trouble! This can look like inaction or overly analytical wheel spinning. Time wasting or navel-gazing as my father would call it.

(“You’re burnin’ daylight,” he would declare to rouse my hackles. “Melancholy, sweet, delicious melancholy,” would be my Gen X response.)

Thankfully, we are all created to be useful to God in different ways. Jesus and Paul remind us of this reality on multiple occasions. What is our place in the work of redemption? How can we be together?

The late Rev. John Claypool taught that Jesus deeply knew his identity, so he could be humble. Jesus was secure in his role and served God’s kingdom accordingly.

Do we know who we are? Do we remember whose we are? A God of love, a God of justice and mercy needs us to remember.

I am from West Texas, but now we live just north of Chicago on Lake Michigan in a place creatively named Lake Forest (because we have lots of water and trees I suppose). The trees are entering the big finale of their annual production. Leaves are everywhere and all colors, shapes, and sizes.

Leaves fall in a love story. They dance downward to serve the ground humbly and all that will once again rise from it. The leaves reveal a kind of faith. They have their place and do their duty. Here in the midst of hardship and the temptation of division, do we hang on desperately to the comfortable, known, higher places of our branches, or do we let go, dance, and serve the ground?

Think, ask, and answer. After all, we’re burning daylight.

 

—Daniel Makins

PS: I’ll put in a good word for you with the Great Pumpkin.