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

Thursday, June 3, 2021

hungry ghosts

only this

that I may never hunger

for that

which is not

your bread

                     Jan Richardson, In Wisdom’s Path (Wanton Gospeller Press)



I live in dread

Oh one who came as love

to remove all fear


I live in dread of the hungry

ghosts who would gnaw at the bones of freedom

and rip and tear the flesh of unity


hungry, brutal people

intent only on satisfying their lust for power


why can they not see?

why do they no understand?

that in their machinations lie not victory

but ultimate defeat?


perhaps it is as simple as this

they hunger for that which is not bread


ah Jesus

you knew the power of those things that do not satisfy

you were tempted by them too

there in the wilderness


tempted to grab for power

and domination

tempted to hug to yourself

all the riches of the world


but you chose the true bread

of sacrifice and service

of compassion and generosity

of Love


so you implored us

to join you at the table

to gather, united, to eat of the bread that fills

to drink from the cup that satisfies


to be people who see not domination, power and control

but to be people who seek to serve, to lift up, to heal, to welcome


you told us how to be blessed (Matthew 5)

“hunger and thirst for righteousness,” you said

For then you will be filled.


you asked the hard question

“what good will it be for someone to gain the whole world,

yet forfeit their soul?”


but here we are

tearing apart the fabric of our world, our nation

our communities

for just a little more power

a little more wealth


never satisfied



in the midst of it all

even as we strive and strive and strive

for more

even as we suppress and oppress

marginalize and minimize

and dehumanize


the voice of God sounds clear


“Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;

and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.”


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