Bob Dylan, Genghis Kahn and hearing the voice of God.

Rembrandt - Christ in the Storm

Rembrandt - Christ in the Storm

In a little hilltop village, they gambled for my clothes
I bargained for salvation an’ they gave me a lethal dose.
I offered up my innocence and got repaid with scorn.
“Come in,” she said,
“I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”

Well, I’m livin’ in a foreign country but I’m bound to cross the line
Beauty walks a razor’s edge, someday I’ll make it mine.
If I could only turn back the clock to when God and her were born.
“Come in,” she said,
“I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”

Shelter From The Storm – Bob Dylan

You know I have actually avoided Dylan for the past few months…Well mostly. Because I can turn Bobby into a religion. I mean I pore over his words like a Theologian would study the Gospels. I find deeper meaning and divine purpose in each record like a preacher finds words to sermonize in each book of The Bible. And that ain’t all bad. And I don’t mean this in some crazy homeless guy camping on his lawn way, but I do believe Bob Dylan was divinely inspired and maybe even he had some rare connection to God. So I get kind of lost in the babe born away in a manger in Hibbing, Minnesota called Robert Zimmerman. And I felt like I could use a little break to allow my faith in the rest of the holy universe to grow a little.

Well don’t that make me sound like a first rate nutcase. Oh but I forget, you’ve read the rest of this blog and probably have drawn that conclusion already. Well whatever you think. I am whatever I may be, but it’s at least interesting…I suppose.

Shelter From The Storm is the perfect love, the perfect woman, the perfect touch. A voice in this crazy storm. A soft breath and grace to heal my wounds. And it just makes me think ‘If only…’. Now I know you’re saying “But Jeff, you of the God Talkin’ Blues and the born again spirit. Why can’t you find that in God?” and to that I reply “Shaddup knucklehead. I’m preachin’ the Gospel of the Loving Woman Heart.” and then quickly I add “But truth as I see it is that I can and do find it in God and Christ. He’s in my room right now as I speak and in my heart. But I do believe in the divine grace of man and the grace of man and woman.” See it is through man that we most hear the voice of God. I mean that 100%, completely and totally. Here’s an example. If you’re thinking of doing something…Say getting married or re-enacting Genghis Kahn’s sacking of Asia or growing a beard. Well if you are not sure whether it is the right thing to do, meditate on it, sit on the idea and then listen to what is being said to you and around you. So that if you’re standing on line at the grocery store buying you some olives, Brylcreem and a Pez dispenser and the lady in front of you says to her little ones “Now Little Sally and Little Thunderfoot you know we can’t afford to buy all these meat products so until your father can get work as a Genghis Kahn sacking Asia reenactor we’ll have to eat Spam”. Well brother don’t you know maybe that’s God talking. And if you go to work the next day and you’re told by your boss or supervisor “Hey Pop-Tart you’re getting laid off for 4 weeks.” And you know that to do the Genghis Kahn gig is going to take just about that time. Then maybe God is talking to you. And if you get home and your spouse, significant other or pet Gekko have a surprise gift of an authentic reproduction of a Genghis Kahn Mongol Sword as a way of showing you that they truly do love you. Then dollars to donuts says that God is saying “Mister go on with your funky self and lay some heathen damnation reenacting on me”

See it’s like that. Only sometimes God whispers. Like when I sit by myself and feel this horrible grief and ache of late and he whispers through it “Boy just hang on, don’t go too far and breath in, know my presence” and it doesn’t feel like an epiphany or ray of light but more like a fly buzzing in my ear that I wish I could brush away. Because I want out so bad. And in the end I don’t take the big step into the great void. Instead I see a single leaf on the ground and I know God’s creation and I am aware he made me as I am for a reason. Or I remember watching my daughter letting go of a feather and giggling with delight as the wind carries it over and over. And I see her little perfect fingers in my mind, opening and moving and showing me that what she is cannot be explained in cells, blood, muscle, sinew and tissue. Because nothing that glorious happens through accident and coincidence. There is God’s touch and voice right there. And I find myself edging off the ledge I am standing on and back in the window emotionally speaking. I am not healed, not saved but returned to the place and the knowledge that whatever this is, it is not some cold accidental existence. But a miracle and if I give it time and listen to what I am hearing it will come round, they glory and beauty will give the black and grime a kick in the ass. I’ll learn the true purpose of all this.

And all this for a man who has lived a life of sin, deceit and taking from every well more water then I could ever drink.


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