Welcome

Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning



Monday, March 30, 2020

Resentment has no place


Resentment, Part Duex

Do we really want to be rid of our resentments, our anger, our fear? Many of us cling to our fears, doubts, self-loathing or hatred because there is a certain distorted security in familiar pain. It seems safer to embrace what we know than to let go of it for fear of the unknown.
                                                   (Narcotics Anonymous Book/page 33)
______________________________________________

it lies there
like Southern Smokehouse Bacon Burger,
your mother’s meatloaf,
or a dry fruitcake.

sitting there, in that deep inner place,
a foul presence
that contaminates our souls

rot, rot, rot
fester, fester, fester

that stuff we carry

that stuff that weakens our heart
clouds our minds
blurs our sight

and leads to
resentment
which leads dark things
like retribution, and cruelty

once upon a time
I was stabbed in the back
It was not that I was blameless in the situation,
but the options were there for openness
and healing

instead there were assumptions
and outright lies

this person was the first person I knew
who owned a minivan
a Dodge
minivan (the only kind there were at that time)

the impact of this person’s feelings, attitudes
and behavior
were profound

and even though the eventual outcomes was just
the facts were twisted
and the offense multiplied

and so for years
every time I saw a minivan
my heart pounded
a lump formed in my stomach
and bile rose

I was not free
I was burdened by the fact
That I could not let go
Could not even try to understand
What it was within this person
That caused them to do what they did

Eventually I got there
And was able to travel
Lighter

Not light

It is really difficult to travel light
Not to pick up
All the things that come our way

The hard comments
The misunderstood statements
The harmful behaviors
The dysfunction

We grab them and hoard them

And if we are not careful
They become our dragon’s hoard

And we wallow and revel in our hurt
and it becomes valuable to us
definition

it becomes who we are
it becomes comfortable
familiar

but it is not who we are
we are Sacred Children
designed for freedom
designed for compassion
and forgiveness
generosity
and love

and so as we sit
staring at the TV screen
hating the voice, the sight of one we abhor

as we see that person who has
“done us wrong”
sitting a few desks away
or a few pews away
or across the kitchen table

as we struggle with our resentment
we are not ourselves

it is resentment
and retribution that are the unnatural acts
that separate us from God
and from one another

As he left a life of imprisonment
and walked down the path to freedom
Nelson Mandela is reported to have said these words,

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.”

By contrast, the people of Israel
faced with the broad expanse of the desert
and freedom, and newness
are said to have proclaimed

“we want to go back to Egypt”

“Many of us cling to our fears, doubts, self-loathing or hatred
because there is a certain distorted security in familiar pain.”

And make no mistake
Letting go is scary
Forgiving is scary
Trusting is scary
Giving of yourself
Is terrifying

But God calls us to lay down our fear (be not afraid)
And step forth
Into freedom

Resentment has no place
on the journey
to the Kingdom

Sunday, March 29, 2020

new life starts in the dark


“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”
                                                   Mary Oliver
_______________________________

Hello darkness
my old friend

in the early morning hours
when my chattering brain will not be silent

I sit and look at windows that
do not reveal the world outside
with its mountains soaring
crisply laundered with new fallen snow

but merely stare back
black holes

reflecting
back only a blurred image
of my questing gaze

we have a conflicted relationship
with the dark

sometimes it is comforting
sometimes it is where we hide
unwilling to be seen

but we stumble in the dark
and in the dark we find it hard to escape
our fears
our dark thoughts

and so mostly we would rather
chase it away

we turn on the porch lights
and we spring forward
and fall back

when trapped by darkness we strive toward the light

but there value in the darkness
it can be a gift

in the darkness we are unwrapped
and revealed
in the darkness we are vulnerable

it is no accident that our very being is roiled in the dark
thoughts racing
hearts pounding
souls aching

things happen in the dark
things begin in the dark

in the dark we are vulnerable and open
in that hidden
safe
frightening place

it was no accident that Nicodemus
came stumbling to Jesus in the dark
furtively
hiding
perhaps from himself
perhaps from others

but also ready
in the darkness, to be exposed
transformed
born again

in that place
where nothing we normally rely on means anything
in that place
where we cannot see one step in front of us
in that place
where we are hiding but revealed

in that place
we can let everything go
all our wisdom
all our perceived expertise,
our tight control of our lives
our power
our worldly status

even our tightly defined and controlled
image of God

in that place we can learn to be led
learn to be comforted
learn to be loved

in that place we can be born again
for new life starts in the dark
“Whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.”  (Barbara Brown Taylor)



Friday, March 27, 2020

the stuff we carry


Resentment, Part Duex

Do we really want to be rid of our resentments, our anger, our fear? Many of us cling to our fears, doubts, self-loathing or hatred because there is a certain distorted security in familiar pain. It seems safer to embrace what we know than to let go of it for fear of the unknown.
                                                   (Narcotics Anonymous Book/page 33)
______________________________________________

it lies there
like Southern Smokehouse Bacon Burger,
your mother’s meatloaf,
or a dry fruitcake.

sitting there, in that deep inner place,
a foul presence
that contaminates our souls

rot, rot, rot
fester, fester, fester

that stuff we carry

that stuff that weakens our heart
clouds our minds
blurs our sight

and leads to
resentment
which leads dark things
like retribution, and cruelty

once upon a time
I was stabbed in the back
It was not that I was blameless in the situation,
but the options were there for openness
and healing

instead there were assumptions
and outright lies

this person was the first person I knew
who owned a minivan
a Dodge
minivan (the only kind there were at that time)

the impact of this person’s feelings, attitudes
and behavior
were profound

and even though the eventual outcomes was just
the facts were twisted
and the offense multiplied

and so for years
every time I saw a minivan
my heart pounded
a lump formed in my stomach
and bile rose

I was not free
I was burdened by the fact
That I could not let go
Could not even try to understand
What it was within this person
That caused them to do what they did

Eventually I got there
And was able to travel
Lighter

Not light

It is really difficult to travel light
Not to pick up
All the things that come our way

The hard comments
The misunderstood statements
The harmful behaviors
The dysfunction

We grab them and hoard them

And if we are not careful
They become our dragon’s hoard

And we wallow and revel in our hurt
and it becomes valuable to us
definition

it becomes who we are
it becomes comfortable
familiar

but it is not who we are
we are Sacred Children
designed for freedom
designed for compassion
and forgiveness
generosity
and love

and so as we sit
staring at the TV screen
hating the voice, the sight of one we abhor

as we see that person who has
“done us wrong”
sitting a few desks away
or a few pews away
or across the kitchen table

as we struggle with our resentment
we are not ourselves

it is resentment
and retribution that are the unnatural acts
that separate us from God
and from one another

As he left a life of imprisonment
and walked down the path to freedom
Nelson Mandela is reported to have said these words,

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.”

By contrast, the people of Israel
faced with the broad expanse of the desert
and freedom, and newness
are said to have proclaimed

“we want to go back to Egypt”

“Many of us cling to our fears, doubts, self-loathing or hatred
because there is a certain distorted security in familiar pain.”

And make no mistake
Letting go is scary
Forgiving is scary
Trusting is scary
Giving of yourself
Is terrifying

But God calls us to lay down our fear (be not afraid)
And step forth
Into freedom

Resentment has no place
on the journey
to the Kingdom