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

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

beautiful misery

“Before the truth sets you free, it tends to make you miserable.”
Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

I have to admit
The Gospel of Jesus

Those truths he revealed about God
and God’s ways
are inconvenient truths

Gospel literally means good news
But sometimes from where I am sitting, it doesn’t seem (or feel)
very good.

This is hard stuff!
Turning the other check
Giving extravagantly
Loving the enemy
Treating those who hate me kindly
Welcoming people who are “strange”, and scary, into my space
Going into the pain of others
Going with service rather than power

It’s enough to make one’s heart hurt
All those things we think we have to give up
All those sacrifices we think we have to make
All those acts that make us feel used
Take advantage of

There are times, as I seek to follow Jesus
That I am downright miserable

I would rather make different choices
I would rather do what is comfortable

I would rather grab hold of power and wealth

I suspect there are a lot of us who call ourselves “Christian”
Who would be better off a little more miserable

Blessed are the poor
Blessed are those who mourn

I suspect that those white male misogynist, “christians”
In Alabama could use a little hold discomfort

I suspect many of them are patting themselves on the back
for their action robbing women of the right to make choices
But I also suspect they see women as less
As mere helpmates,
Creatures designed to be subservient, and compliant
Objects who can be use for sexual pleasure, and act as host bodies for fetuses

Seeking to save lives is laudable

But these folk need to be uncomfortable
Their state is ranked 49th out of 50 states
They are #50 in Education
#45 in Economy
#38 in Infrastructure
#45 in Opportunity
#45Crime & Corrections
#46 in Health care
As they strut up the aisle in their churches, patting themselves on the back
for “protecting the way of God” and “saving lives”
they should be very very uncomfortable

about what they are doing to living children with their legislation
about the number of children of color who die at the hands of people with guns
about the number of children growing up without health care
or housing, or food security
about children whose education is the product of years of underfunding
about children who live in houses with addiction or mental illness

They need to be very uncomfortable about what I happening to the planet
To people who happen to be LGBTQI
To immigrant families on the border

They need to be uncomfortable about the lies
About the sexual perversion
About the name calling and the bullying

About the abuse of power

They need to be uncomfortable with all the things that are happening around them
And about which they are silent
And in which they are complicit

If we want to be free
We have to learn to let God challenge us, convict us

Its true of those of us on the left as well

We need to be willing to be challenged by the words of Jesus
Those powerful words
Those hard words

That force us to see people a new way
The earth a new way

Those words
That push us into God’s new thing
And cause us to see the true ills around us
And empower us to see the pain all around us
And cause us to explore a different way of doing life

Those words that reveal the true agenda of Jesus
And reveal our agendas for what they are

We need to be made miserable
By the misery
By the ills of the world

So miserable that we
Are driven to freely welcome
Freely accept
Freely give
And freely love

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