Monday, October 25, 2010

what thoughts you have entertained you have done

Jesus teaches liquid thoughts
that can be molded to mean almost anything:
is rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's an invitation to
accept established government
or a sarcasm, as clearly in a world made by God, what is really Caesar's?
Is turning the other cheek an unmitigated command
or to be turned only when it doesn't jeopardize national security or
the sanctity of the sovereign state, or our duty to protect our family
on our safe school-district street?
Is the narrow path narrow
or open to those with good conscience and good excuses
don't we all have good excuses? a childhood broken
an absent mother
a chemical disposition to rage, then too stern a punishment, a feeling of betrayal,
and a response,
the pendulum of experience, nature, and a fragile analysis of personal justice?

and as for the broader path, where exactly does it lead?
Because Hell is Gehenna and
Gehenna is actually a place, the valley of Hinnom,
outside of Jerusalem, where children were burned.
Is that where we go? An ancient Detroit?

or the sins celebrated in church: sexual addiction, pornography,
homosexuality, those easily vilified because they are secret.
and the sins never discussed: comfort, greed, creation abuse, gossip,
family worship, national worship, idolatry, church growth as a
building not a body,
salvation without discipleship, those never vilified because they are public and co-sponsored.
and for this, I have trouble trusting
all but my subjective reason
and the Spirit's movement over my soul when I read
..of course, the Spirit's movements over my soul are subjective
but they sound objective when they ring truest to my subjective reason,

and so we get an email chain from our parents
that condemns the hunger of Islam, the bloodfeeding Koran passages,
a book I have never read, and shouldn't because i was born
into the truth
and the Christian scriptures that predict a very real deception
and an anti-christ
and a season of unrest
and violence
and a worldly kingdom ruled by Jesus

and my subjective does not want to believe that those scriptures become objective
in history
because my spirituality lives outside of space
somewhere in my fatalism to believe in a Watchmaker who loves me.
it does not want to believe because every generation since Peter has been
certain that those scriptures were for their own time
and so,
my mind is quick to spot patterns,

and I jump to disbelief.

and I am not a conservative, because i don't know what to conserve
I am unconvinced that older values are valuable
outside of a commitment to quest
for the truth.
which values to keep? purity? I've tested and believe it. mostly.
national allegiance? still testing.
national pride? for some few noble things. thanks for that one Zinn.

about my desire for intimacy
an understanding of sexuality
and hunger, purpose, forward movement
the Buddha's quest to quiet it
and Christ's desire to complete it
and my sojourner path to something that honors the Truth of Christ

and perhaps a lonely life befriended to the truth
surrounded by people.

how arrogant.

all this to say it keeps me young. wide eyed. and not tired.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

a short thunder clap of current rivers

1. great films are a targeted lure that pull out of life a thousand fragments of experience
into understanding
and great poems, or prose,
or Meryl's face and pause,

2. San Diego is aswarm with culture. like no place I've lived and noticed.

3. I have a sense of guilt for my community. that i have too many A+'s and not enough D's. then I wonder if charity friendship is friendship at all, as opposed to friendship built on shared delight, interest, and journey. then I wonder what love looks like. seflessness. is it active dips into someone's life in a time of need, or a long term discipleship, or a long term tolerance of insanity in the hopes that steadfast love would... it's a... well...

4. I take people to Africa and show them things, without understanding them myself. Africa or the things or the people I'm taking. how humbling. and then we have the white house expecting us to be the experts. maybe, because we care, we are the experts. because experts care about things. and no one else really cares. really. and the things that need experts. but the experts.

5. Do people ever work out to be simply fit. only fit. in shape. capable. strong. without the quilted-in desire to be attractive. or better than.

6. A commitment to truth above a commitment to tradition or what I've been taught produces a renewed sense of adventure in scripture, understanding G-d, theology, the Christianity of Paul, Jesus, Aquinas, and America, Gibran, Emerson, Lewis, Merton.

7. Jack of many trades master of one. I have intentions. But what does it mean to be a master? Public recognition? The recognition of those inner thrones of proximity and intimacy that I respect?

8. Does anyone actually believe in Christ as the evangelicals teach here in America? Actually live like plain-read-American-understood scripture? Does anyone actually believe that the bible is God's word? His one and truest revelation to our species? If we did, would we not feverishly read it?? does anyone actually believe that those who do not profess Christ in their hearts will spend eternity in hell? Everlasting fire. Eternal damnation for 70 years of selfish understandable mistakes? If they did, would we not crawl across burning coals every day for just one to be saved? ...or are we so selfish that we do believe, and still do so little. what if what if what if what if what if what if...

9. What does it mean to be holy? to be righteous? what does that look like? and does it include humor?

10. i think alot about questions. fewer answers.

11. i think i like visiting more than being visited. but barely.

12. i find myself to be beautiful and ugly at the same time. what a wonderful tension. it has more power over me than i realize.