Sunday, November 9, 2008

Maybe the greatest lie we deign to tell ourselves is that
We are not alone.
We are a community, all the same at the core.
We want the good to prevail, the bad to leave us in peace.
We walk our paths hand in hand with each other
Into the sun, into grace, into whatever we think awaits us.
I think God puts on the porch light
And waits quietly at the end for each of us,
Watching that journey as we fall apart and pick up
And walk tripping and sobbing to the end where we collapse
On the steps so glad to have made it after so much
Pain and disturbance.
Our troubled souls gasping for air
And our knees scraped and bleeding…
What we find at that point is not that we have made it there
Together.. hand in hand..
Dreams in our head still intact
We are laying down our sorrow and picking up
Our guns of righteous truths and pointing them
At the first sign of movement coming up from behind.
We’ve just been there and we don’t want to share this
Grace with anyone unless they can fight it from
Our hands and collect it for their own.
We tumble into grace alone, feeble and drained from
The road and no longer reaching for each other.
Life isn’t kind.

This has nothing to do with God.
Nothing to do with our ability to be faithful to Him
To ourselves or to each other,
It’s what we have been made to live
Here on this earth.
Every man for himself
Everyone a powerful outcast.
The path is narrow and our hearts secluded.
Everyone knows the right way to get there
And no one can agree.

I won’t trouble you if you won’t trouble me.

When the door to God’s house is wrenched
Open by our scar knuckle hands
We stare at His face and our fears
They color our skin and slide
Free from our tongues.
The truth is not that hard to imagine.
God loves no matter what..
Feel free to speak your mind, defend your stance
Scream your pain
Tell him how unfair it was
Speak the doubts you dared
He’ll never cast you out, who else can you
Turn to after everyone you’ve ever known
Has turned away from you,
Powerful outcast?
There will be no judgment, redemption.
He resents nothing and you know no need
To be forgiven.

Sit by the fire, he will always let you in.

Silence is his way of letting you work it out
Rocking in your chair staring
Into the red orange white of fire’s promises
Brambles in your hair and dirt on your face
He will ask you after a time what you thought
Of the world while you were here.

You’ll say it was unfair, cold, hurtful.
You’ll say you loved it with all of your heart.

He’ll ask you what you thought of the people
You encountered on your path?

You’ll say they broke you, abandoned and tortured.
You’ll say you miss them with all of your heart.

He’ll ask you why you came alone.

You’ll say no one stayed by your side. No one.
You’ll say you are tired of all these tears.

He’ll ask you follow when you can.

You’ll sit by the fire all alone, crying the bitter tears
You never thought you’d know again.

Until the door opens and the next one tumbles in and
Sees in you the God they’ve been seeking
On their path.
My God is a man, clean and quiet.
a calm eye to my storm.
He is not anything like me
this is why I know him
don't fear him.
I don't care for anything else.

We are each the powerful outcast, each the seeker,
Each the God the other needs to understand them.
we need someone who listens
Stands by our side
Someone who chooses us above everyone else.

Come to me, before I get so lost
That all I have is to call it the end.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The definition of defeat: an epic on the epic

I am the vessel by which your God
May or may not speak
I strike a chord with what you feel
And I look a lot like the faith
You wanted to abandon when
It fled from you the first time
But here I stand with my arms
Outstretched awaiting your
Confirmation that I am
Everything you have waited for
In that I am the vessel by which
Your God is willing to teach.

I am the foundation
strong and stable
by which your God may or may not
hold you up when the time
comes for everyone else to
knock you down again and
again but I will catch
your fall
as the landing is never
what you think through
all the broken bones
and white lights
But here I am beneath your feet
Like an animal
Pleading to your good senses
For a moment of your attention
In that I am all that
holds you up by which you God
will defend us all

I am the vision, the Holy Chalice,
The dream of a better world by which
Your God may or may not lead
You to embrace a broken idea
In a world bleeding all over the pavement
At the end of your throne
Turning to dust the wicked and
Exalting the righteous
As the street walkers and preachers
Unite in an understanding that
With so many dangers in this place
We are all there really needs to be
Like a brethren of bastard saints
We are
We are
I am reaching through the
Clouds to welcome the reigning glory
Of the vision that has become
Your chance to be that by which
Your God entrusts no doom.

I am the angel, voice of reason
By which your God may or may
Not tear the sin from your bones
And gentle you into submission
That corrects the painful position
Your soul has crushed itself into
And from that moment I know
You will become my only known
Confidante and I will never fail
To direct you to the right blood and
True believers that walk
The gutters beside the enchantment
Of gold lit Boulevards and the
Out of touch trophy sinners
Who fear to trust
Their own life to what it is I
Can command
With the voice by which your
God may bring about
The kingdom of his word.

I am the letter of the law by
Which your God may or may not
Forgive you against all the
Odds that you have set up
Like a wall to protect you from
Salvation in the name of any
Of the dangerously misled
Believing them when they
Dissect my intentions to turn you
Into the evils of the world
When it is I who have spoken
To you in the dark of night to
Remind you that no man can
Make a mockery of me as I am
The words, the truths, the monster
That the righteous wrongs still fear
As they hide beneath my covers
Making strange bedfellows of me
When I am not their defender
Because I seek you
I just want to use you
To my ends in the way
By which your God may
Forgive us all one day.

I am the savior
The grace by which your God may
Or may not open upon the
World as a whole to entreaty the
Damned to my arms in this
faced against
Defined holiness and into the
Ocean of everlasting
Where I can promise you with
Each step I take I will
begin to drown with you
as I am and always will be the same
as the childless mothers, the loveless
lovers, the broken, beaten and dysphoric
Please stop for a moment
And look into my eyes and know that I
Am not here to destroy you
Hands outreached to carry you with me
Back to the place we belong
Back home to the place where it all began
I am your God by which I may
Welcome you into my home
And invite you to stay
Because you are mine
And it is you that I love
No matter who you are afraid you might
Really be.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Judas Factor

Foresight is knowing something is going to happen
Before it actually occurs.
Most anyone can obtain foresight from logical
Means of deduction when they put their minds to
It, we usually have all the information but
No desire to exact a conclusion.

Not all foresight wear this cloak of humanity
Some foresight is simply there.
When you “had the feeling” that would happen,
Dreamt that it had happened, sensed it was to happen.
Some foresight is unseen and unheard,
feeling powerful enough
To be as it is.

God given.

It is inside the disappointing shell of foresight
That I sit tonight. Watching from my knowing
Tower over the incidents that I predicted without
Reason. The buying and selling of trust
In the Judas market of everyday life.

I have always respected Judas, understood him to
Be the one biblical character who could be anyone of us.
The one who made the largest errors
And the fastest judgments in order to obtain the
Sanity of one who protects his interests first.
The beauty of the betrayal of Jesus is
That it was done by one who loved him so
Through that love he managed to betray him
To his death so swiftly.
But would you, upon reading of his betrayal
Turn away so quickly from the court of Judas?
You stood in his corner for so long through so many
Pages of devotion and trust,
Would you turn so easily? Condemn so surely?
How quickly we all become Judas, don’t you think?

The truth is that we are living in a world so filled with
Fear to protect ourselves from everyone else that we find ourselves
In a cycle of love and betrayal, hand in hand.
The more we love you, the more we betray you.
The more you trust us, the deeper the knife in the back will sink.
It is only through that betrayal that those of us
Suffering the wounds, those of us kissed before the eyes of
Our enemies can stop the cycle.

DO as Jesus did.
DO as he believed.

Forgive your betrayer, learn to love them still.
Easier said than done,

Today I will learn to forgive and embrace my betrayer.
Knowing that I once loved Judas, knowing the Jesus always loved Judas.
Sell me out for a few coins of silver and gold
And I kneel down and forgive you your humanity still.

Do not live in anger and hurt.
I will not live in anger and hurt.
‘so tonight that I might see’

that’s all I can say for now,

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Trust: The God Complex

Faith is a harsh mistress.
You cannot have her some of the time without taking her along for the
Ride all of the time.
She will not release you to your own devices
Once she has trapped you into hers.
Faith doesn’t let you go, no matter how you try to shake her
And for this reason alone…
We often choose to not get involved at all.
A fear of commitment in the light of being saved.
I am no different, often I am disgustingly the same
As so many other jaded followers of Christ
We want to be there with you, we want to trust in
The word and give in to God..
But we want you to do it first so we can see how it worked out
Because let’s say it doesn’t work out….
Well, we haven’t given in yet so we can back
Out with little to no dirt on our shoes.
No worse for the wear if you don’t count the holes
In the soles… souls?

I’m afraid so. Souls it is.
I struggle with this trust,
This faith.
So blindly we follow and so easily
We are lead.
So it should be easy, so it should be so.
How can it be?
We are raised to be mistrustful of anything that looks
We are not to become
‘living room sheep’ to the call of
the Jesus machine.
The word cult springs up more often than
The word belief.
The Bible trapped in the drawer of motels and hotels
Across the United States is used less frequently
Than the phone book by which we try to find
The tangible in the way of escort services,
Bars and clubs in which to dance and drink until
We are left clutching the porcelain God as we make
Promises to never drink that much again.

But we don’t want to admit that we make those
Empty and often cracked promise to God.
“I promised myself I wouldn’t do this again.”
We say that, I say that.
But when the promise is made I am never making it with me,
I am making it with the God I am scared to give all of myself too.
Funny isn’t it?
I become God with my words, but to myself I have never been true
And loyalty, because to God I am faith whore.
Borrowing my belief when I am scared to admit it
And claim it as my own.

Don’t misunderstand me, I do believe.
I am not saying it’s not true or real.. it is as real as my
Own flesh and blood is real
It is the willingness to claim it and walk around with it
Inside myself.
Holding back to watch it work for others
Before I trust it will work for me.
Afraid that total faith makes me crazy.
The pledge to resistance so many of us make
Fails to specifiy what we are resisting and so..
We resist everything.

Trust no one.
Trust me.
I know what I’m talking about.

It’s okay to laugh.
Because that’s funny, it’s what I was taught.
It is the truth that was set into the foundation that
I built myself on top of and I sit on my throne
At the top of this crumbling foundation with
My eyes wide open waiting for the answers
To everyone elses problems to prove to me
That I can take my own to the sacred place
Of God’s trust in me.

Jesus can lead me to water but he cannot make me drink.
And so I sit by the water’s edge with the empty cup in my
Hand waiting for someone to pass by so that I might watch them
Drink from the river of faith and I reach my hand out and
Beg of them
“might you get me a cup of water from the river?”
borrowing their faith because I fear my own.

I grapple with this today because for the first time in 30 years of life
The man at the river said
“no, you must get your own or die of thirst.”

Viva la resistance….
If only now I begin to understand that the resistance
Is not to faith but to doubt.

Step one, admitting I am a problem.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


it’s a battle I don’t know that I can win
but I have to give myself credit for fighting it
all the same, knowing the outcome may never be
what I want, I hang onto the hope that something
will finally click into place.
Put down my gun and stare into the face of
Finality with a smile on my face.
For now I just don’t accept defeat.

I think it’s because to get through this
One I’ve got to be a little crazy.
And only the crazy fight this hard for
The little piece of reality they truly desire
And maybe the piece of reality we all have
Forgotten about.

My fight is a mind to mind combat with my
Own religion.
My own faith and understanding of God.
It is not to say that I battle with belief..
I battle with acknowledgement of my belief.
In this crucially critical world I find myself
Almost embarrassed about admitting
My Christianity, my race against the
Truth of faith, my near life experience with
Jesus and the never ending desire to hide my grief
And my joy as it begins and ends with
What happens in my soul.
I am ashamed of myself.
Shamed by the fact that I feel the need
To discount who I am to not be looked
At as a lunatic, as a born again or as
Some kind of religious fanatic.

I see myself as being someone very in touch
With my God. I understand things on the level
I trust I am suppose to understand them on..
Not to say I don’t fight those things as well..
I fight those battles in a different forum.
I can scream yell and rage at the unfairness
And the confusing status of being a human being and
Not being someone God has to explain himself too..
I fight with the god I love
And he turns a blind eye and allows me the room to
Rant while he moves his hand from my head to
My back with a comforting push forward..
I am charmed by God’s perceived indifference
The same as a child is with a busy father who
Stands in the back of the room during your school play..
You think he didn’t show
Until he reminds you of what color shoes you wore that day.
I trust my Father, believe in him and trust him…
It’s not is fault..

Its this person that I think I have to be
For the rest of the world.
The one who bows her head to the dissidence
Caused by the non believer..
Afraid to tell them that once I too was
A broken person, I also felt like it was absurd and
Insane to believe in something that had never proven
Itself real to me.
I thought all those things they think, I saw all those
Things they saw…
I know where they are and in that knowledge I also know
The secret they harbor..
The one that is desperate, seeking.
You want to believe. You want to reach out and have
Something more than darkness.
But the fear binds you so tight, the unfairness of the world
Becomes more than you can stand and you just refuse
To accept because the truth of God
Means something even more tragic than you could
Have ever imagined..
That you have to be a better stronger person.
You see, there is a freedom in not allowing yourself to
Believe. There is a nothing to answer to or answer for.
You can chalk the world up to disaster and walk away.
Once you open your eyes to faith
You start to see the things you didn’t want to see
And it will break your heart
It may even break your sould.

But I want to plead with them to let go
And humble themselves before God and know
That you are the lamb..
The 100th lamb that Jesus did seek and carry home
On his shoulders.

So why is my tongue stilled and my eyes diverted
While my heart hurts and my mind races?
Because I don’t want to be made fun of
I don’t want to be belittled and joked about…
I fear the rejection and the humiliations I might
Endure if I speak the truth.
I worry about the changing opinions of those I know.
I am consume by the image they believe and the person I am
Underneath that…
Because even those closest to me often suspect one thing
While another is the truth.
I have always been such a coward.
Afraid to speak up when it was desperate.
Terrified of conflict and confrontation…

What if I am held up againsrt the light?
What if they ask me questions I can’t answer?
What is they ask me about things I cant explain?
I cannot quote the scripture, I cannot tell you everything Jesus did,
I cannot explain Noah’s ark or water into wine .. wine from blood..
I cannot answer for Christianity.
I don’t want to be seen as another blind follower of something,

The sad truth is that I am not another blind follower.
I am simply a coward in the face of others lack of faith.

I suppose the truth is that you have to be a little crazy to
Believe in anything with all your heart and soul.
You have to be a little crazy to trust that the truth is not
Always in scientific facts.
I am afraid of them calling me crazy…..
But my eyes water and my voice chokes at least once
Every Sunday as I sit in that church and I understand
That my fears and my cowardly acts are not only
Forgiven but accepted, embraced…
I am not the Judas I often brand myself to be…
I am not the jesus I think I have to be…

I am just His child.
He will love me through my bravery and my fears.
He will wait patiently at my side as I move through these
Things and grow confident in my own voice.

Because He made a little crazy
so that I fight another day...

Thank You.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Judas Is a riot

I am one of those people.
I sit in Church and I listen to the word, I believe
The ideas behind them and why they were written,
I even sometimes think that the events are true events and not
Just metaphors to express the magnitude of events.
But I am after the sneak.
I am looking under doors and peaking through key holes
Looking for the biblical sneak.
I appreciate the pious and the true hearted good people that
Sprinkle the pages of the bibles.
People who fall to their knees and repent their sins because
Jesus appeared and worked the miracles we know
He was here to work.
Maybe I would have done the same.

I cant help but think that human nature has always
Dictated human behavior…
Even in the most extreme of circumstances
Aren’t we still just everyday people?
I want to read the underground gospels.
I want to get into the Vatican vault and see the real
Deal and prove to myself once and for all
That even John the Baptist rolled his eyes at the Lord
On occasion.

The villain we are most in touch with is the horror
That we define in Judas Iscariot.
But is he really the awful sort we make him out to be?
He betrayed the Lord, as was his destiny,
And he took a bribe and in the end
He killed himself.
Betrayal, bribes and suicide.
We elect that guy into the white house every 4 years.
I guess the problem is that while looking for that
“bad guy”
I am looking for myself.
I’m not a perfect person, I’m not a dropping to my knees
And praising the graces kind of girl.
I am a little more suspicious and a lot more human
I feel for Judas’s position.
I feel for his confusion and even what I suspect is his
Jealousy and loss.
After all.. he loves this man and knows him to be
What he truly is and yet..
He is compelled to betrayal.

I don’t condone betrayal..
But I have been betrayed enough to
Understand it, to know that the truth does not
Always win out over the lie.
Those who understand the truth are often
Either completely at ease with it or
Embroiled in a jealousy regarding it.

So I am one of those people.
Searching for Judas’s salvation in hopes
That my humanity is not damning.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A True Lady

Today I planned a better blog.
i had thought it out pretty carefully and i learned one of those lessons
that perhaps we need more reminding of.
Man plans, God laughs.
instead of the blog that had planned itself to be published here
I just want to take a moment to bow my head to God's plan
and say thank you.
Thank you for allowing me the priviledges of my life
and the people i have had the honor to love and be loved by.
I cannot possibly understand the reasons for life and death as you
have written them in the flesh of all mankind,
i can only say I will miss her
but thank you for letting me have her in the first place.

Hedwig "Agnes" Bernard
"Grandma Agnes"
a lady in everything she did, a gesture of such great kindness
in her every word, grace in her movement.
a woman who baked german pound cakes for my birthday
collected stuffed monkeys often piling them around me to my child delight
sat at my hospital bedside to pray and tell me stories when i was too sick to even speak
she was a smile on every sad day, a prayer god wrote just for me

i don't want to say goodbye in my living selfishness.
but I do see that you are as delighted by your love for her as we were of ours.
I will grieve this moment, knowing I will see you again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Good Sumatran

The worst thing about bible study is sometimes you learn something.
after another long day in what has been a very long week I found myself
sitting for the second night in a Bible study half paying attention while thinking
about how to start this blog.
How do I write this? what can I say to sound witty and interesting?
I am sitting quietly sitting at a table i sit at once a week in meetings facing off with
people i see every week and we are reviewing the Good Samaritan and I am thinking
there isn't enough coffee in the world to wake me up and make me care.
the room is dead air mostly, no one talks much because I don't think anyone knows what
to say. We are grown women stuffed in a room and facing off with our own insecurities and
uncertainties.. and maybe thinking about things that are not necessarily biblical.
one thought that occurs to me frequently is annoyed embarrassment at the women who sits next to me.
She is clearly suffering from a 'diminished capacity' type illness. she speaks too much, is too eager to please others and her rhythm of behavior speaks fluently of mental illness.
she adds her 2 cents, no matter how little sense they make, every opening. tells us things we
don't really care to know.

she is able to make copies from masters with a copy machine and that is a gift from God.
she is familiar with the Wesleyan quadrilateral.
she knows Patricia, the lady sitting next to her and Janine.
She has attended many Bible studies with her Pastor, pastor Charles at the first Presbyterian church where she is a member.

i think you get the idea! she often rambles with a very unsettling quickness and senselessness and we are left to simply smile and agree while we might roll our
eyes or try to avoid her.
everyone tries to avoid her.
she makes me uncomfortable, i dislike stupidity and senseless talking. it feels like a waste of my time.
i don't know what to tell her or how to talk to her.
she gets upset easily if she thinks you don't like her. that makes me not like her.

and here i sit.
and somewhere inside my head while i am trying to find the funny
thing to write about in this journal. the humorous anecdote.
the religious joke I could tell.
and the words that end it all are "the one who treated him kindly".
who was the neighbor of the injured man on the rocky path between
Jerusalem and Jericho...
the one who treated him kindly.
go and do the same.

i glance to my right at this woman who is likely in her later 40s
she is mentally challenged, but i am beginning to think that maybe
she is the disabled one, but i am certainly the mentally challenged one.
She waits eagerly for the word of God, she listens attentively and absorbs it.
she treats everyone as she herself would ask to be treated,
she reaches out to volunteer and do good for others.
She seeks approval from us, when she is told she has done a good
job she is pleased truly.. not egotistically..she doesn't tally up
her good deeds and say "i am better than you"
she says "thank you"
and she continues to do what she believes is the right thing.
She sits in the front row at church
she sings every song.
she includes all of us in her life in the only ways she can
through her stunted and sometimes confusing means of communicating.
She wants to love us and to be loved in turned.
How dare I sit there and hold my head up as a good Christian,
as a Good Samaritan when it is this woman that i shunned
so many times, that i avoided by taking different routes at church.
dodging her calls, calling her crazy.

"Which of the three became a neighbor to the man attacked by robbers?"
"the one who treated him kindly."

Jesus said "Go and do the same."

Beware Bible Study, you might just find that you
don't like who you have become
and Shannon Hoon was no Jesus but he did say..
'Life is hard, you have to change.'