Monday, March 30, 2009

Crossing the Grand Canyon






Crossing the Grand Canyon


O God of angels, stranded on the head
of a pin, my God of the depths,

who speaks only with spaces
between words and worlds,

whose heart wrings out clotted rivers deep inside,
whose breath touches every unknown and naked cliff,

You who made my expanse bare, You the Insistent
Invisible, O God, whose absence is presence

of both dread and disbelief, my God,
with both my hands in the emptiness,

the pocket You call do-not-be-afraid, here I am,
with and without, leaning into Nothingness.


-

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


So the blah blah comes up again and again about what they call the fix, a change, finally.

Here is a blanket statement for you: The problem is self-government.

If people will not govern their own actions, necessarily the government needs to do it for them. If people do not have a baseline for right and wrong, necessarily a government needs to provide that.

Can you believe that book Deuteronomy in the Old Testament—Moses giving the Israelites all those RULES? The word "rules" as referring to behavior modification, has a distinct negative connotation. But Mo made no bones about it—if you follow the rules, blessing comes, if you do not, curses. He didn’t just tell them once, he HAMMERED them with this.

And God said the Israelites did NOT need a king over them. God was their king. They had been given the baseline for right and wrong. No king necessary. Each man acting in accordance with the law is the blessing of untold freedom. Freedom from the necessity of even needing government.

Oh, you say we are not perfect enough to make this work. And we need the coopertive effort of a government. True enough. But could it be our country is slipping into more and more government because people have lost the compass of those rules? Do we, even as Christians, not have a basis for acting rightly, except for governmental laws which forces it out of us? Or else.

Can we get that freedom back? Do we want to?


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Man of Sorrows





Man of Sorrows

Illumination
of the dark takes two:
Water and one root drinking.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Habits

“We imply and often believe, that habitual vices are exceptional single acts, and make the opposite mistake about our virtues.” –CS Lewis –


Ok, let’s talk habits. The word habit generally has a negative connotation—something in need of a change. Implication: addictive behavior. That word addictive adding to the distaste.

Singular slips. If one is not of a mind to give up a sin of a repetitive nature, there can be no admission that one act is connected to the next. Easily forgiven. Forgotten. Please, just don’t call it a habit or we will have to be afraid for you and maybe even feel compelled to check up on you. Do we need to forgive you? Is that what you are saying? Good Lord! You will have to be responsible and so will we.

Making an equal and opposite generality, Lewis posits that we liberally stitch together our virtuous acts and attach them to the fabric of our souls, though there be barely a thread of connection. And while we do tend to suggest that we are holier than we are because, yes, everyone wants to be thought of as good, I would suggest that we are unskilled, even afraid to embark on making virtues habits.

When is the last time you heard anyone talk about working on a new habit of character—say, of being truthful? Wait a minute, if I say I am working on making a habit of truth telling, won’t everyone make the inference that currently I am a liar? Oh no! What if I am working on a habit of pure thoughts? You see what I mean? Do we resist the very thing that would strengthen us—creating a good habit—because there would be too much explaining to do? And what if word gets out without my explanation? You know how this sort of self-incrimination ignites. Perhaps, you say, work of this nature is best kept between you and God—ahhh, where no one will know if you are having a singular slip or full blown addiction.


PS If you don’t tell anyone you are working on a habit, which has more power—you or the habit? Of course, God has more power than all and outcome rarely rests on us, but confession is a powerful thing. Very powerful.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Rock Called the Universe



A Rock Called the Universe

I have a rock
I call the universe,
palm sized and somewhat flat.

Here, press it
between your hands.
Warm the universe.

What is it about smooth
that makes you think soft?
Brush the expanse around your lips,

where most the nerves are.
The universe is nothing at all
like flesh. Lick the rock,

the universe smells like rain,
like a storm rising
between two hands.
*