Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Poor and the Needy

Further musings ... Psalm 113:

"He raises the poor from the dust,
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people."

And the princes howl like mad ...
we're not sitting with these "takers,"
we're not putting up with unfair taxation that
redistributes our hard-won monies and gives
them to freeloaders and the lazy.

We're the makers, and it belongs to us.
Not to them.
Not to the poor, who deserve their dust.
Not to the needy, who need to spend more time
on their ash heap.

Uh uh God.
We'll have none of that.
To hell with them all.

And, god, think about it.
We're on your side.
We work hard.
And give our millions to charity.

Sure, we enjoy it ourselves,
Our caviar moments.
And if you need a loan.
Heck, it's yours, interest free.

Just don't make us sit with the poor and the needy.

Friday, June 30, 2017

I Love to Write

I love to write,
and these days, it's virtually all done via the keyboard.
But writing it is:
Words, phrases, paragraphs -
always amazing to me how things flow, or not ...
how the right word at the wrong place,
or the wrong word at the right place,
doesn't fly.

So, try it again ...
delete ...
add a new word,
play with the old,
reposition, eliminate, add, twist and bend the sentence,
the paragraph ... like clay in a sculpture's hand - squeeze and push and shape and change ...

And with a little luck, or grace, or mercy.
Something takes shape.
An idea is expressed.
Insight offered.
Or a good joke.
Or just plain silliness.

Or a matter of life and death.
Social issues.
History and philosophy.

Or maybe a recipe.
Two cups of milk and some flour.
Some oregano and thyme.

Or a cry for justice.
A prayer for peace.
A tear for a family's loss.

Or maybe just a rant and a rave.
When complaint seems to be the only recourse.
The only thing that makes sense.
Because a rant and a rave still shed light on the issue.
This is the reason we're in trouble.
This is the problem.

We don't always have to solve it.
But examine it we must.
From every angle
Like a good detective holding a piece of evidence.
From whence did it come?
Who put it there?
What did it do?
If not who, then how?

And maybe the idea will sparkle a bit.
Maybe the Word will again become flesh.
And dwell among us.

Is not this the goal of every writer?
I think so.
That the word would become flesh.
And maybe, just maybe, we could see some glory.

I love to write.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bravery

The past instructs.
The future entices.
The present bewilders.

What have I learned?
That history can go bad.
Really, seriously, bad.

What have I learned?
That history can move to the light.
That people wake up and make the better choice.

What have I learned?
That the moment can be horrible.
That people can shout Heil Hitler and never bat an eye.

What have I learned?
To be brave.
As brave as I can be.

What have I learned?
Some are a whole lot braver than I am.
Thanks be to God.

What have I learned?
That such bravery is never lost.
Never wasted.

What have I learned?
Keep on learning.
Keep on trying to be brave.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Was He Guilty?

Was he guilty?

Maybe ... or so the court said.
Or was it a jury?
Or a judge?
Or a failed system?

So, maybe he was guilty.
And lets just say, "Guilty as sin."
He caused pain and death.
For another human being.

And the family of the killer will have to live.
Live with the painful memories of a love one's life.
Snuffed.
Dead and gone.

Was he guilty?
Maybe.
Perhaps.
Looks that way.

So, now what?
Kill him, some say.
The state can kill, they say.
It's okay to kill, if the state does it, they say.

Angry preaches love to talk about wrath.
God's wrath and all those folks who should be snuffed.
Snuffed out like a candle.
Kaput, done away with, killed.

So, maybe we kill the man.
Then what?
The world goes on as it has.
Kill or be killed is the code for too many.

The death of the killer makes some feel better.
Would I feel better if it were my kin being avenged?
I don't know.
Maybe ...

But, then, on the other hand.
Does the killer's death right the wrong?
Make things better in this sad and broken world?
Are there other ways of dealing with loss?

Other than killing the killer?
Killing the man who did the first killing?
I mean, killing.
Cold-blooded killing, by the state.

On a gurney.
With straps.
And tubes.
And chemicals.

So, we kill the killer.
Now what?
Death wins.
Life loses.

Anyone keeping score?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Can a Nation Hate Itself?

Self-hatred?
Is it possible for a nation?
To "enjoy" such a misery?
To lacerate itself with its own contempt?

When hope is gone for reason and wellness?
Then to jump into a cauldron and be done with it?
To make a mess of the mess even messier?
To cheer the insanity of failure?

Because self-hatred is the flower of all hatred:
Our racism, a cancer of the soul.
Our misogyny, a disease of the spirit.
Our willingness to throw one another away.

And our religion:
Oh God, what a foolish business it is.
From Billy Sunday to Billy Graham.
Megachurches and miracles and always the quest:

For the golden day, the 5 easy steps.
Into the kingdom of fraud, and to be with Jesus.
And along comes the pretender king.
And all the pretending grows all the more harsh.

And foolish.
And ugly.
And full of deception.
And all the more, the lies.

Self-hatred?
When there's no one else left to hate?
Can a nation hate itself?
... out of shame?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Making Jesus

Jesus is, in part, what we make of him.
Because the very gospels are what:
Have been made of him.
By Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

It ought to warn us to make Jesus, then.
With care.
With attention given to what we want him to be.
And why we would want such a Jesus, after all.

The fact that we have four distinct gospels.
Reveals, for me at least.
That God is okay with how we do this.
Yet, only four, makes it clear: there are some boundaries.

Which makes it a requirement that when.
We say something about Jesus.
We be sure to say: As I see it.
And then God's not offended, but pleased.

That we have the courage of our convictions.
To state our case as our case.
And not put words into God's mouth.
Or claim that our opinion is God's opinion, too.

What's wrong with humility?
We can state our case firmly.
But it's still our case.
What with study and prayer and consultation.

It's still our case.
And maybe God will push us in some other direction.
Sometime along the road.
And our case may change.

It's happen before.
To Saul.
And to Luther.
And to all of us.

It's a good thing we can change.
To make a case and it keep it small case.
Bearing the finitude of our thoughts and opinions.
Taking care to take care.

About what we say.
And say it with heart and mind and soul and strength.
But always open to something more.
As God makes God's case for the world.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Not a Happy Note

This is not a happy note.
It speaks of God's abandonment.
When God turns her back to all.
And walks away in sorrow.

Only for a time, of course.
But time enough to undo God's blessings.
And give the nation what it truly wants:
Money, power, prestige and wantonness.

And in getting what it wants, it dies.
And the good, the bad and the ugly die right along with it.
There is no choice in all the dying.
Once the wheels of divine abandonment are set in motion.

No choice at all, once the choosing-time passes us by.
And then the course of history.
The slow grind of time.
When all is lost, and tears flow hard and hot.

And people wonder where their god has gone.
And why now all of this horror.
Because the choosing-time is gone.
You had your chance, but Baal you choose, and so the story goes.

This is not a happy note.
It speaks of God's abandonment.
When God turns her back to all.
And walks away in sorrow.