About jacksonsharpe


Peace Rations


“Was that God or indigestion?” is the existential struggle in obscure waking hours of the night. The answer is likely, “both” or “a ghost” (jkz).

After sweeping away my nonsense dream panic of, “There’s not enough pipes, and there is no word!” I realized my thought wasn’t real, sat up, and burped. Through my window, a dull glow of mismatched night light dressed my bedroom walls in anxiety.

My brain felt like a tightly twisted, dry bath towel. Especially, if water were peace of mind. I set my default mode to the equivalent of mental leg cramps in case I forgot to be anxious about something.

In a state of spiritually wandering the night lands (we’ll call it prayer), I pictured a survival pouch with labels for what my mind needed daily. The rations were running low, and the SMTWTFS boxes had no “peace pills” left.

Unknowingly, we can go into conservation mode, which values perceived self-reliance and prides itself on efficacy having a minimal carbon footprint in our relationships. We weren’t meant to live like this. We were meant to need, to ask, and to depend.

Hoarding and rationing are poverty+scarity driven. Accepting unlimited peace feels reckless and irresponsible because it’s countercultural. But let that stand for evidence for a spiritual truth. Allow yourself the bewilderment of God, the audacity to believe in an endless supply.




God Has Left This Place


I’ve got to have a new strategy for my spiritual life. It’s standing on it’s last broken leg and needs to fall. Every night I go to sleep regretting time I didn’t spend cramming my dreams in a bag like they’re all the pieces of a car that just isn’t put together. I’m just hoping once I have time, I’ll put the car together, and it will finally take me somewhere, but I got a feeling this car is always going to stay pieces.

I can’t talk to God in the same way and can’t spend time with Him the ways I’m used to. It’s flat. My spiritual health can’t be drugged with fresh, trendy teaching. It’s not working. It’s like God has left this place.

When you are going to travel long distances, you pack light. Only, I feel very packed and with too much don’t want-don’t need-outdated crap. Jesus was always going places and never taking anything with him but people.

This is what my instruments are telling me:

I’m drawn towards a life I can’t plan for, a future I can’t explain, a people I don’t know quite how to get to, and it feels backwards. Like the thing that’s drawing me is so strong it’s leaped ahead of the dream. Instead of a dream creating longing, it’s the longing preparing me for a place that is not yet.

My shoes want new ground and are walking on pure desire for ground to be there. And when they get there, they will wait for it to be there.


Light the Fallen Tree

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I had a whole story with this tree-picking it out, hearing the phrase, “Agree with the promise,” cutting it down, feeling slightly bad but magical, decorating it to a Christmas Pandora station, and then the part happened where I woke up the next morning and the tree fell over, and I couldn’t get it to stand back up.

So I left it there all day. The next night, I sat beside it on the floor thinking “What can I hear from this?”

“It’s not that the tree was too small, it was the ‘stand’ that was too small.”

If I was the tree, maybe my stand has been too small. What am I giving up on. Could I stand more. Or again?

I let the questions walk by silently, and I didn’t stop them. Eventually they left, and I plugged in the lights on the fallen tree.

Show Up.


Today I saw someone who haunted me. A high school kid was walking between two ponds as I drove by, and the “give him a ride?” lightbulb flashed in my head, but I knew better. I drove on to the chorus concert and sat in the back.

Anyone can sing in the chorus. An eclectic collection of kids was the result. In the back tier of the portable stage, a kid in a red shirt stood. A crowd of parents sat, except his didn’t because they weren’t there. He was the kid who walked alone because he had memorized songs and showed up to sing them.

I couldn’t stop watching him because he looked like a character in a book that had already been written. It wanted to tear every bad page out before got there. It haunted me that he memorized every word to every song–that part of him cared and flickered bravely, so fragile, and no one was there to call it light.

Every time I go to my Grandma’s and Grandaddy’s, I knock, knowing they won’t hear and I have to call them on the phone and say “I’m outside.” Last time, I put flowers in a vase while I waited for someone to show up at the door. The new flowers replaced dead ones. They were orange and purple and needed to be seen.

I don’t want the kid in the red shirt’s song to die. He showed up on purpose, and I don’t blame him for every bad choice he might make, but I want to say, “don’t do it,” and for that to be enough. I watched his mouth open weirdly when he sang in front of a crowd, and I was happy he was seen. I was happy he knew the words.

Please keep singing.

4 Minutes


Who am I becoming?
Not what’s going on.
Not what can I do.
Who am I becoming?
When I take steps, what
growth am I stepping towards?
Who am I becoming?
Not what will I do next.
Not where will money come from?
Who am I becoming?
Not what have I accomplished.
Not what am I waiting for.
Who am I becoming?
What are the questions I’m
asking myself and what are
their purpose? Change the question to
Who am I becoming?

This poem isn’t what I’d normally post as a poem because it’s just a journal entry wearing a poem. I wanted to create today so I could go to sleep and not have another day where I didn’t put myself out into the world more.

I set my alarm on my phone for 4 minutes and I held a pen in my hand but didn’t write or scratch my head or sling my neck to crack it or have good posture, and I found myself a little more. So please take four minutes and try to do the same and see what comes through.

The Two Gods

photo-15 “God = disappointment.” I saw the equation out in the dark rain and didn’t have the energy to not agree. It’s not true, but a weak and exhausted part of me let it fall on me and push my breath out of me. I came back through the foggy glass door to finish working out. The strong part of me pushed the sideways conclusion off and saw it for what it was, and I realized I have a better relationship with disappointment than I do with God. Yes, that is more true than God = disappointment. I dialogue with unanswered prayers, even the ridiculous ones I want the most like, “God make the light turn green” or “Let me beat this person in Clash of Clans.” Each prayer lost is like a little exhale, or a hand written note saying “God doesn’t give a shit about giving you anything.”

Most often the first thing I think every morning is how I’m so thankful for my family, and sleep, and my pillows. It’s a part of me that connects with God and knows I am so damn lucky. So it’s like there are two Gods. The one who is super kind who keeps me overwhelmed with gratitude. And my inner-dialogue God.

God ≠ Inner Dialogue.

Christmas is great,–hope, wishes, presents, and blah blah blah, but I can’t ignore the tetherball effect of hope when you slap it and it comes back around and smacks you in the head. Praying and hoping in the early stages always brings pain and feelings of “I’m tricking myself. I’m stupid,” and much of the time the pain scares me away from hanging in long enough to even get anything more out of hope and prayer. And asking God for things never fails to make me feel belittled because I feel like God makes awkward face (like the lying I-don’t-have-money-face) and we both just know “Ehhhhh–you already get what you deserve…that’s all there is.” And I feel like a child, not in the liberating way, but in the inferior way.

And then it’s me talking to False-God-Inner-Dialogue who makes my stomach turn like when I remember that awful phase where I liked eating boiled eggs. So now I have the memory of eating lots of boiled eggs.

So my point is in all of this, it’s really easy to get lost. I end up spending way more time with ideas and my own bad thoughts. As Jared told me the other day. “I feel like instead of looking far away, like into a field, I’m looking right in front of me, and I want my eyes to be further out there.” Don’t get lost in the up-close. It’s not God. It’s not even you either. Walk away from that inner-dialogue son of a bitch. You owe nothing to her/him. Go walk far into the field where God might really be or where a truer you will most assuredly be.