Perspectives

Art, like beauty, should be simply displayed and judged by its beholder. It is not up to the artist to explain, justify, or disclaim each piece to help soothe the viewing masses.

But, since I am a terribly insecure poet and do not have viewing masses (more like, dozens), I want to explain the following poem a bit. I have been heavy-hearted tonight, feeling a profound burden of prayer for the people of Ferguson, Missouri. This poem developed in my head as I prayed for understanding of the difficulties faced by people on both sides of the issue. I do not claim to have an opinion on the matter; the last thing anyone needs is another opinion, and let’s be honest, very few people were actually at the scene of the incident. I also recognize that the issues at hand go much deeper than one incident in one town in August. I hope to show how we are more similar than we realize, and how grace is our first best hope, always.

It was never supposed to be this way.

All I ever wanted

was a fair shot,

to serve and protect,

a chance to be somebody.

If I could just live my life in peace.

If I had to, to lay down my life for peace.

Community has an understanding

The system is a social contract

based on trust.

All my experiences have ever taught me

is to trust no one but my own.

And I don’t know where the anger began –

And I don’t know where the division began –

like chasing spiderwebs in the dark.

But now there’s blood on the streets

and it all looks red.

The schools and the stores

are boarded and closed,

and my community, where my family lives.

and this community I swore to protect

is no longer safe.

I don’t know where to begin,

but

nothing changes…

if nothing changes…

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30 Days to 30, Day 7

Day 7 – I Will Seek to Honor

While this resolution might seem to piggy-back on yesterday’s, I cannot avoid the themes I see stretching across the landscape of each day.  Today is Veterans’ Day, a day on which we honor those who have served in the military.  I spent my morning with my mother, who served her time in the U.S. Army, hoping to honor her not only as a veteran, but as a mother and a grandmother as she spent time with my kids.

I want to honor my husband as he tells me stories about his day and as he struggles with the difficulties and injustices that sometimes accompany college classes.

I want to honor my children by training them up in the way they should go, whether it means telling them stories or calming their fears or sending them to time-out.

I want to honor my Creator my making sure that every word, action, and thought is worshipful.

Honor does not always require a parade or a salute, but instead it demands that the little things of our lives have an intent to lift up and to respect.  That is my goal for today.

Another Election Opinion…Great.

Like forty-some-odd percent of Americans, I was a little disheartened today by the outcome of the presidential election.  I can’t say that I am surprised, but I am disappointed nonetheless.  Honestly, I am not a fan of Gov. Romney for any particular reason, but, politically, I think electing a democrat, any democrat, while battling a recession is like pouring salt in a wound — the left’s philosophy is one of big government, and bigger government leads to slower private sector growth and, therefore, a stagnant economy.  Socially, I believe we’ve made choices against honoring the sanctity of life, that first and most basic inalienable right.  We’ve elected someone who ignores our foreign obligations and appeases those who would seek to harm us given the opportunity.  But, you can save your comments about those statements; that’s not why I’m writing tonight.

As a Christ follower and one who believes the whole Word of God, I am disappointed at the reaction of other Christians to the election results.  Brace yourself: I am about to sound incredibly cynical.  On Facebook and in conversations with others, the common responses were, “God is still on the throne,” and “No king but Jesus.”  Those are true.  They are great things to say.  But I found myself beginning to roll my eyes every time I scrolled past one of those comments.  I had to ask myself why I was so annoyed by them, and the truth is that they are great things to say which should have been said long before Election Day.

Please bear with my humanity in this moment.  Reading all those comments today was like watching a child after losing a game, shrugging his shoulders, sticking out his lip, and saying, “So.  I didn’t want to play anyway.”  And I know there are some beautiful and well-meaning people who said those things, and I certainly don’t mean any disrespect to them, but my disdain is with many of the people making comments like these who were also the ones who made political rants and debates their only topics since the primaries.  There was no talk of God and His throne then.

Make no mistake – the God I know refuses to be a backup plan.  He is a jealous God and He is not surprised by anything we choose to do (or anyone we elect).  He is, and has always been, sovereign.

We have been called to be strangers in a strange land, from Abraham to Jesus to you and me today.  Perhaps God is simply allowing us to have our way, like when the Israelites begged for a king.  Perhaps He is going to do a mighty work in our president and shift the nation back to Himself.  Perhaps He is simply charging us, as the Body of Christ, to step up our faith in Him and our service to others, to build our character as a body and keep us from being dependent on a government to legislate our morality.

Regardless, God works all things for the good of those who love Him.  But, beloved, we need to love Him first, depend on Him first, seek Him first.  If  adversity is what it takes to build a Church that is strong and faithful, I will welcome the challenge.  I pray that my faith, our faith, will stand the test before us: that we will act justly, walk humbly, and love mercy.