This wasn’t an evangelical pep rally. The Anglican Prayer Book’s liturgy gave me the prayers of the saints tending my wounds and the body and blood of Christ nourishing my soul.
When you take a trip, you hope to bring something back with you — to somehow be changed by your experience… Ultimately, what I took from my visit to Ireland was a bigger, broader view of three things: the world, the Church, and myself.
Transcendence describes something that transports us beyond our physical existence, something whose whole is on another spiritual plane than the sum of its parts.
As any hobbit knows, much of the joy of a good day’s walk comes from the friends who travel by your side.
As I walked along the banks of the River Liffey on the last day of my journey, I think all the energy of the ancient cities I had visited––London, Oxford, and Dublin––began to course their way into me.
What you will be rememberd for most… is not your influence on major figures of the 20th Century, but on the common person for the Kingdom of God.
Unlike your contemporaries, who churned out mostly happy-clappy loves songs to Jesus, you peered into your pain, stared into the darkness of the world, and saw the light of God piercing through that darkness. You used the hurt and brokenness of your life to form art beautiful in all its truthfulness.
But for all of your suffering and broken life, Vincent, I want you to know something: you continually point me back to God. In my darkest moments, I look at your paintings and see all the vibrancy of creation on full display.
When I return to my hometown, I realize I am a fish out of water. I recognize the sights, the sounds, and the flavors, but they are no longer mine. There is an aesthetic, verbal, and all-around cultural disconnect. The experience is bittersweet.
It’s easy to get depressed when circumstances don’t go as we plan. Happiness in wavering, though. What we must rest on is joy.
Despite a few not-so-glaring flaws, the 2012 film Blue Like Jazz rings true, is superbly engaging, and has opened several doors for future filmmakers in the process.