Always in Hope and Prayer

Our_Mother_is_CryingAfter witnessing another round of Washington gridlock wherein all too many of the players jock only for their own personal best position, it is all too easy to lose hope.

All too easy to give up the fight when so many are aligned in an evil dance of pointing the finger at each other rather than at ourselves.

Our selfishness, our greed, our pride, our self-righteousness, our ambitions all serve to pit one against the other in an endless dance of death where neither can let go for fear of being dealt the final death-blow, and yet we slowly bleed  each other to death.

People are really suffering in our world, and people are really afraid. The two often don’t coincide. Those who live in fear, fear the one’s who are suffering and clutch all the more tightly those miserable things they have acquired, all the while attempting to build a fortress to contain these things from being taken.

Those who suffer do so in great silence, too weary from the struggle to just exist. The pain in their eyes echoes but one question: how can you let me die? Worse how can you let my innocent child die?

We argue over whether a human has the RIGHT to food, to shelter, to health care, as if it were a real question and not one created by forces that control the means of food, shelter and health and want only to exact a price for them in order to afford yet another jet, or condo, or island for their pleasure. It is all too awful at times, all to hard to fathom.

We were created in the image of God, yet we have distorted it by all the ugliness we continue to hold within us. Worse, we look at ourselves and see through this distortion our God become like us. How unnatural, how grotesque!

Yet there is this:

JUST ONE

I ask for just one miracle this weekend:
that I will no longer believe the impossible is.

That I will find the faith to believe
that liberation will come
for those who are imprisoned by their own
– or another’s –
fear and judgement.

That I will find the faith to believe
that the most intractable minds can be changed
– even my own.

That i will find the faith to believe
a different world will be born
from the empty hells of this one.

That I won’t stop living for the end
of all that would destroy us.

From Hold This Space

And from this praying upon unholy knees, we rise again to continue on, learning, teaching, reaching upward in love, in goodness, in equality, in justice, crying forth for a miracle of salvation for the human race.

Empty Vessel

My new friend, Michelle at Questioning Christianity wrote this beautiful poem the other day, and with her permission, I am reprinting it here.
 
 
There is a truth that God has etched upon my soul; it is love.

It is the seed of freedom that grows when I return to the divine wellspring with my empty vessel.

But I am so rarely empty.

I build God in my image or borrow blueprints from others.

Then, somewhere in the middle of the night, I realize it is all theory. Every last word.

And I am alone.

The walls that provided me with a sense of security have been abolished.

Just. Like. That.

Gone.

In my aloneness I am empty.

Yet somehow this site of deconstruction, this demolition, is God’s favourite place to dwell.

I have no ideas, no pictures, no manual.

But I now have space.

Space to be filled with What Is.

And I am.

 
I fancy myself a student of both theology and biblical studies. I find them worthwhile pursuits for a variety of reasons. But more and more, I am convinced that the only true way of knowing God is to give up every illusion we have of who God is. It is a constant emptying and starting over. This is what this stunning poem meant to me. Thank you so much Michelle. 

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