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“Be still, and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10a

 

I see a river, as it dives from the cliff,

feel its spray on my cheeks, my white, aging

chin. I taste the river’s sweetness.

I see a river whose shores hold the answer.

 

I see the sweat and the blood, as they river

on the back of a dark, black slave.

I hear the beat of a slave mother’s heart,

beneath the hot noonday sun.  I hear the beat

 

of the feet of the Cherokee brave,

running through the dark green forest.

I smell the smoke from the great chieftain’s pipe,

offered in the forest stillness, in peace.

Jesus Is Persecuted

Jesus, the favorite Child of God, is persecuted. He who is poor, gentle, mourning; he who hungers and thirsts for uprightness; is merciful, pure of heart and a peacemaker is not welcome in this world. The Blessed One of God is a threat to the established order and a source of constant irritation to those who consider themselves the rulers of this world. Without his accusing anyone he is considered an accuser, without his condemning anyone he makes people feel guilty and ashamed, without his judging anyone those who see him feel judged. In their eyes, he cannot be tolerated and needs to be destroyed, because letting him be seems like a confession of guilt.

When we want to become like Jesus, we cannot expect always to be liked and admired. We have to be prepared to be rejected.

I sit in my chair—day after day—

and look out the window into the yard.

 

I imagine I belong here.

 

A house is visible behind the right of way,

flagpole installed.   I hate that house,

and sometimes, when it disappears in the fog,

pretend it isn’t there.

 

But this morning the yard was white with snow.  

 

And when the brown grass

emerged from its hiding like a flag newly un-furled,

the house snickered at me.   “Over here,” it said,

hoping for eye-contact,

declaring out loud its un-patulous right to be.

 

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