Saturday, April 24, 2010

Three Cameos

Awake while you sleep
He breaks death's dates, and his laughs
Destroy all sickness

Find her in the choir
Singing in the loving tongue
Dancing in rainbows

He doesn't live here
He sweeps the dusty corners
Looking for freedom

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Small Coins

Are you giving your life away, or are you merely giving it up? The difference in prepositions is as great as heaven is from hell.

Withdraw, even from withdrawal!

Never, ever call for destruction. All you know how to do is to destroy. Train all your energy and wit on creation, if you have any wit within you.

Out of the sanctuary and into the street. Leaving your church was easy. You have killed your idols. You have murdered your myth-makers. You are a cut-rate Nietzsche. Bravo. Ah, but you refuse to let go of your cherished community (which is really only a cadre), your sacred space (which is only private property), and your precious safety (which is only the surplus of conquest). Leave the fiction of home all together. Out of the sanctuary and into the street. You will not be saved until you are homeless.

Be set free, even from freedom!

"Follow me." There is no escaping it. Everyone has tried, but no one can get before you.

You are a mindless monk and heartless friar. Do not pretend it is otherwise.

Yesterday your church was a gymnasium. Today it is a hospital. Tomorrow it will be an airport.

You don't want friends. You don't want companions. You want brothers. You also want to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

For as long as you run, the horizon does not grow closer. Think instead about how you will ascend. It's either ascend or run aground.

The journey never starts over.

You said you have nothing to left to give. Rubbish. There is pain, anger, sadness, loneliness, and emptiness. Find a way to give those things away. Or have you given up on these, too?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Eggs and Scorpions

I am full of things I cannot say. I am traumatized at the empty tomb.

Now I can answer the singer of the spiritual:
Yes, I was there when they crucified my Lord.
I took his hand.
I nailed it to the board.
I even lay with him inside the tomb.
A cooling, fooling, lifeless, wifeless groom.
But then somebody rolled the stone away.
I panicked at the sight -- alone at day!

The women at the tomb are either the greatest messengers the world has ever seen, or the world's most notorious lunatics.
What? Must it be one or the other?

How terrifying it is to worship a God who is there by being not-there.

This year for Easter -- no eggs for me. I have asked for scorpions, and I shall have them.

God, be silent. Do not speak. You are so cold. Your voice would be like a rush of ice water down the neck, freezing the spine. God, be still. Do not touch me. It would mean paralysis. God, leave me alone. Do not love me. Why do you love me? It will be my annihilation.

It is not the cross that gets me. It is the empty tomb. Not the cross, but resurrection. I do not see a risen Christ in the empty tomb. I see a shadow. God is in the shadow, and God is the shadow. Christ is in the abyss. Mark, that minimalist and psychologist, saw it best.

It is no mere stone that covers the tomb of Jesus. It is a heart. A heart of stone? No, this is a body of stone. And God is the sun, burning cracks into this fine firm heaviness. God will not send the fire. The fire dwells within the petrified body. God will turn this rock into fire and leave nothing but fine glassy sand to be carried ruthlessly into the ecstatic air. Oh, that Pentecost might come very soon and consume every poor charcoal soul!

Mary of Magdala, forgive me. I have scoffed at you and all your daughters. You rouse within me intensely conflicted emotions: awe and ingratitude; desire and revulsion; respect and jealousy. Please accept my confession and grant me pardon.

I believe God is alive, fearfully alive. The presence/absence of the empty tomb makes me question how alive I am -- that is, whether I am truly alive in God. The anxiety lies in doubts about my own presence. Where Jesus has gone, do I dare to follow? Not only to the cross, but also beyond crucifixion?

There is something terrifying about a God who is capable of bringing new life out of death. That kind of God is more than love.

I am full of things I cannot say. I am traumatized at the empty tomb.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Grand Canyon

The man and woman
Smiling at the Grand Canyon
Ring the empty gulf

From the bright plateau
A dread animal's echo
Barking for water

Plummets the canyon
A metallic wave scrapes rock
Two billion years thick

The couple covers
With geologies of uplift
The ancient gorge

The animal sees
The cascading passion
Of breath and running rain

In the dry abyss
Where earth forever swallows
Everybody thirsts.