EPISODE 270: You Little Trustmaker

So I was looking high and low for a little peace the other day. An article I read had upset me, and I thought to myself, “Well, if that’s true, then why not just go to sleep for the next ten years, say, and not be conscious.”

Then suddenly, an hilarious Instagram post came up from a Mockingbird contributor, which sparked an old association: the 1973 single by The Tymes, entitled “You Little Trustmaker”. And somehow, like the correct fork in Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”, that made all the difference.

This podcast is in fact a reflection on love and trust, on love enacted as well as love sworn. I hope it will open a door on your own loves, let alone on your own isolation (when you feel it) — a door on Love as it really is.

And please don’t miss Tyrone Davis’ ‘story in music’ at the end, entitled “I Had It All the Time”. LUV U!

EPISODE 271: Lazy Susan

Imputation is the prime “agent” within the great dynamic of the Grace of God. As one need never tire of saying, imputation is when you regard someone as better (or finer or prettier or stronger or kinder) than they are. And the effect of imputation is to make the person actually become, in “real time” and real life, the way they are being regarded.

Often imputation is understood as a sort of “legal fiction”, by which you just put a cloak over a wound and by not actually treating the wound allow it to fester and contaminate. This misunderstanding is dispelled when you demonstrate imputation from life — which not enough exponents of it do! The fact is, romantic love as well as the love of parents for their children, and also the love of mentors and teachers to those in their charge, almost always, if it is to work, includes the “agency” or instrument of imputation. In other words, you’re seen as if you were better than you see yourself; and the effect of this in practice is that you wordlessly change and get better. It just happens! And it happens all the time.

This episode of PZ’s Podcast begins with a ‘Philadelphia Soul’ instance of imputation, in a track by The Spinners entitled “Lazy Susan”. The song is both improbable and wonderful. I can almost guarantee that on the second listen, you will tear up. (I feel certain Sarah Condon will. At least one hopes so.)

Then I try to explain how imputation works in life, concluding with reference to Taylor Caldwell’s 1960 novel entitled “The Listener”. I have to thank Stu Shelby for quoting that novel during his Palm Sunday sermon. (I had never heard of it before.) In the novel, a totally compassionate yet hidden ‘Listener” evokes complete, unsparing self-disclosure and confession on the part of sufferers. And they are each changed. “The Listener” is a Run-Don’t-Walk novel for Mockingbird — let alone, everybody..

Episode 271 of PZ’s Podcast is dedicated to ‘Father Stu’, Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, Winter Park, FL.

EPISODE 272: The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle

I’m wary of telling a story about myself unless it has potential resonance and carries some possible hope to a listener. Here I am giving a short witness of a counter-intuitive Word received in church the other day; and an even more counter-intuitive “Word” from the world of pop music, which came crashing through my windshield on the way home from church.

The initial Word related to chain-breaking and the possibility of a life-cycle completed rather than repeating. Moreover, this first Word came during the minister’s Offertory Sentences! (I had come to hear a sermon, but the Word came via an Offertory Sentence.)

The second Word gave me an instrument through which the first Word could become real, a concrete thing. And that second Word was a rather pale-sounding Christmas perennial entitled “The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle”. So, much to one’s surprise…

God’s Word confounds one’s most established and convinced narratives. He has a narrative — or rather, is a narrative. But any narrative I’m trying to project on my life soon stands in tatters on that “hill I chose to die on”.

Oh, and listen to Kim Walker Smith at the end of the cast. For me, she was a complete discovery! What do you do when you think you know a lot, and it turns out you know more or less nothing, or at least nothing about a very big something. LUV U.