Note to All Eagles

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

All Eagles!!

There is a time in everyone’s life when Mother Eagle throws you out of the nest and either you fly or die,

All Eagles!!

There are times in your life when those closest to you make you feel like the worst person ever born.

All Eagles!

When you feel yourself plummeting to the ground at ever increasing speed and the only future you feel is your body splattered on the ground.

All Eagles!

When you lose all of your faculties and feel like there are little creatures crawling around in your body,

All Eagles!

When you are diagnosed with terminal and inoperable Cancer.

All Eagles!

When your spouse divorces you for your closest friend, and you have to see the two of them once a week as custody alternates,

All Eagles!

When the investors of your startup all decide to pull out, and the electric company threatens to turn your lights off if you don’t pay the utility bill,

All Eagles!

When you are plummeting to the ground, assured that your demise is upon you.

Feel it!

Experience it!

Be discouraged!

Be afraid!

This is natural!

But as you descend, and after you have mourned and grieved appropriately,

Reach within yourself and find this message:

“Little Eagle, I know that I seem like a cruel God to let you experience this.

But I have a plan.

This is not the end for you.

You were destined to fly.

But you are an Eagle, and before you fly you must fall,

You must fall with terrifying speed,

And you must feel like all is lost,

And when you let go of everything you thought you wanted out of life,

And you say to me, “God what’s next?”

That’s when you will feel the strength to spread your wings and soar!!

Little Eagle, I know it seems like there isn’t much more that you can try,

But don’t give up,

Because death is not your destiny,

You are created to fly!

Now do so!!”

Destination Love

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

Recently, I reconnected with a dear friend of mine to whom I had not spoken in 2 years. In the process of sharing our experiences since we had last talked, she intimated to me that recently, she had a near death experience.  During this near death experience, she said that she met Jesus and experienced what she described as “eternity” in which there was “no time” but rather past, present, and future were all simultaneously occurring.  She intimated that being in the presence of the Lord was beyond any experience of love that she had ever had.  She said that Jesus’ love completed her in a way such that she could not think of anyone else in his presence.  She said that in the “eternity” in which she operated, that Jesus was huge and was the center of all activity.  Her authority in communicating this was mesmerizing as she spoke with a confidence that I have scarcely encountered.  I told her that she seemed “transfigured” and that I believed that she had actually met the Lord.  Ironically, another friend of mine was recently telling me about a book that she was reading called, The Prince of Heaven by Eben Alexander, in which an unbeliever had a near death experience and recounted going to a place of infinite love.  Similarly, Wayne Dyer the spiritual teacher and PBS personality had a woman on one of his telecasts who had a near death experience and spoke of a state of being where worry, anxiety, and fear had absolutely no place and were completely muted by the unconditional love that surrounded and infused her.

As a Universalist, these accounts are very affirming of my conviction that all human beings, from the worst of us to the best of us, are eventually destined to bliss, wholeness, and the unconditional love of God.  Even given the idea of hell that some people who have had near death experiences recount visiting, this hell is surely not eternal and is a place of remediation where much needed lessons are learned.  Revisiting the first near death account of encountering an existential condition wherein Jesus is the center of reality and his love is all consuming makes me think of Phillipians 2:5-11 wherein Paul describes our savior as “being in very nature God” and yet humbling himself to be born as a human being and live a life of sadness and loneliness for the greater redemption of all things.  When one considers how big Jesus is in the afterlife, his humility in deciding to live among a people who in many ways did not value his gifts of love and compassion is dumbfounding.  While Jesus had a considerable following in Israel at times in his ministry, he was a relative unknown compared to historical characters like Julius Cesar or even Herod Antipas.  In fact, Jesus was such an unknown to most people that finding historical confirmation of his life is difficult.

There is something about this earthly and natural realm of existence that creates a profound temptation to devalue things that are important to eternity and value things that in the scheme of the cosmos have very little true significance.  It seems that there is something about this experience of human life that inappropriately puts great weight on relatively meaningless criteria such as worldly accomplishment, worldly notoriety, and material gain and that underestimates the truly eternal significance of love, justice, mercy, compassion, empathy, and gratitude.  This world’s problematic value system can sometimes be frustrating if we forget that one day, one fine day, we will be in the presence of unconditional love and the learning experiences, trials, and difficulties of this life will be over.

Some claim that a worldview that seriously integrates the notion of a beautiful and wondrous afterlife will cause the believer in such a hope to neglect practical matters and to become so spiritually minded that they are “no earthly good.” But in my experience, it is my understanding of a wondrous destiny for us all that motivates me to make this earth better and to make people’s lives better.  The confidence that Jesus truly got the victory over hatred, greed, malice, and contempt on the cross and that in some profound mystery secured the destinies of all human beings in that moment of sacrifice helps me work through discouragement and hold fast to hope.  I truly believe that understanding love as our ultimate destination helps one to advocate for justice with more rather than less fervor because one operates in the unflinching belief that righteousness, equality, and love are not just destined to win, but have in many senses already won.  This kind of awareness helps us to persevere when it seems like circumstances in our earthly journey are untenable.  To know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this earth will one day resemble that wondrous afterlife where fear and hatred have absolutely no place, is so empowering that it will one day make real what is already real to the angels.  Because love has already won, it will surely win.

No matter how bleak things seem in reference to the mass incarceration of the poor or lingering racism or homophobia or worldwide violence or ethnic cleansing we have an existential guarantee that evil and suffering must and will fade to be replaced by the perfect love that is all around us but often times not acknowledged.  The truth is that misery, suffering, and pain are ephemeral and it is joy, love, and peace that are eternal.  The truth is that this earth’s destiny has already been decided and in spite of global warming, over-population, and the unconscionable hoarding of wealth that seem to be defining our reality that this planet’s destiny is ultimately good.  We who stand for love truly cannot fail and those who stand against love will soon be converted.  For our journey is blessed and our destination is love and no worry, pain, anguish, sorrow, bad choice, or adversity can ever change that.

The Fence

By: Woodrow Odom Lucas

I see my brother walking, running towards dust,

It couldn’t be?

Oh wait! I think I see?

A bit far off, he jumps against and falls so short to disappear.

But no one Saw?

God bless the men who jump the fence to wave at me imprisoned.

And as the watchman fixes sights, a hazy, shady outline of a barb as thick as any soul who tries to silence, sister’s strength,

As locked in one, we journey towards and up, surmount this wire hold.

I just begin to glimpse it.

What fear it must have been to blind a border wall so menacing,

Incarcerates us all against sublime the state of reason.

And as the watchmen fixes sites, acute to slightest stirring.

I grab a hold of passers by and scream, implore to see about this bulwark that imprisons us.

“We must attempt to jump this fence, my friends and brothers strong let’s go.”

And as such passers by I saw, “lets free to climb and see beyond.”

“Just dust, you fool there’s nothing there!

Just dust”, response, “it’s just mirage, just ask the one who sits atop to guard against a foreign fear.”

“But wait I see it clear as day.  My friends, I ask, I beg to run and soar against this barbed thing, perverting as I only hope to what might lay beyond its hedge.”

“Just dust, you fool there’s nothing there!

Just dust”, response, “it’s just mirage, just ask the one who sits atop to guard against a foreign fear.”

“But wait! My brothers, I implore, let’s soar to see what lay beyond, to see what’s past this bulwark fence.

Let’s clasp our feet and march as one.

Like thunder we shall strike it down so that the brothers after us might see beyond its evil stare!”

“Just dust! You fool there’s nothing there,”

Response, “it’s just mirage we say!”

And as the watchman fixes sights, the children sit eyes sweet and pure and wave my hand I do goodbye and run to touch and break it down,

I jump to grab and shake it down, and as I do a shot it rings, and such a peace enraptures me,

I rise to see what lay beyond.

“My friends I love and say goodbye, just see my brothers not the dust, just see my brothers dear to soar.

And as the fence grows out of sight, I FEAR NO MORE!”

GOD BLESS THOSE SOULS WHO DARE TO SEE AND FIGHT THE FENCE OF IGNORANCE SO THAT MY CHILDREN OPEN EYED MAY SEE BEYOND AND FEEL SUCH MIGHT.

GOD BLESS THOSE SOULS WHO DARE TO FIGHT

GOD BLESS YOU FOOLS AND PASSERS BY WHO BRING THE LIGHT OF TRUTH MY FRIENDS.

GOD BLESS YOU FOOLS MY SISTER’S LOVE,

GOD BLESS THE FOOLS SUCH LIGHT ABOVE COME CRASHING THROUGH TO SEE NO FENCE.

ONE DAY SUCH LIGHT SHALL CONQUER.