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.'