that I may never hunger
which is not
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
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
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
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
for just a little more power
a little more wealth
in the midst of it all
even as we strive and strive and strive
even as we suppress and oppress
marginalize and minimize
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.”