Thursday, September 24, 2015

Poetry: The tainted glass

The poet's eye
should not be mirrors
but glass;
To speak of one's self
one must turn one's gaze outward.

instinctively understand this.
Among the greats,
selfies are rare.
And great conversationalists
do not speak of themselves.

Young poets struggle to believe this.
The challenge to put self aside
insults, hurts, them.

But, if they wish to be great,
this is the passage
they must walk through
In art, this dying to self
leads to a purer declaration of self.
This is what craft is about
the hiding which shows itself.

The poem,
being pure glass --
its taint, its color,
will reveal your true self.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Remember Lot's Wife

It's funny. Preachers always preach about Lot's Wife with a kind of sneery petty maliciousness. They always have to see her as looking back at sin and lust. They figure that can be the only reason why she looked back. And they don't seem to realize that when they think this kind of thing they are really not seeing the real issue behind the text. They are either rehashing what other ministers have taught them or they are too addicted to seeing sins in certain Bible characters and judging them.

Jesus has just finished talking about separation. Two will be in bed; one will be taken and one will be left.

It is unclear in the English Bible how many daughters Lot and his wife had. We know that Lot delayed. Why did he? We know that the angels were very specific: "your unmarried daughters who live with you in this house." We know there were daughters' husbands or daughters' fiances who would be left behind. Is it possible that Mrs Lot looked back because of her grief at losing people and not because of her love of sin? We don't know how many daughters Lot had. Two? Two unmarried? Two betrothed? Two unmarried AND to married?

I really want to write a book about Lot's wife that looks at this woman mercifully.

So then, why did Jesus say to Remember her?

Because, won't those who are raptured (I don't care if it's pre, post, or mid) will be grieved at such a terrible separation? Heck, when death comes to some of our relatives, won't we also be grieved at the eterna separation? Heck, when judgement day comes, won't we also grieve at the family separation?

But why don't we concentrate and focus on this aspect of the command. Separation..a terrible separation. Why do Christians insist on using those three words only as a way to be maliciously petty about a woman they really don't know? Because the minds of Christians are very hard to change. Sad, though. Because what stays with me when i see those three words is the terrible separation, not the "oh this is an evil woman who loved sin." Where is the love?  

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Lamech, emulation, and murderous rage

Recently when the reporter was murdered by the aggrieved angry former employee, a TV station was talking about his manifesto in which he talked about other rage murderers. I forgot who. Might have been Dylann Roof. Or Columbine. Whoever it was, there was some identification and emulation taking place. And this is apparently quite normal. Mass murderers, rage murderers, murderers with manifestos are always looking back and praising some mass murderer or rage murderer who murdered before they did. Columbine, for instance, has popped up in several manifestos. Usually something like, "I'm gonna kill folks like the guys at Columbine folks did." Or "XXX who killed all those students/theatergoers etc was right."

So this got me thinking about Lamech, Cain's descendant. Lamech was the first person in the Bible -- that we know of-- who emulated a murderer. He looked upon Cain as a kind of spiritual idol/excuse/validation. Cain got mad; I, Lamech, got mad. Cain was forgiven and I also will be forgiven. Cain was his spiritual pedigree. Ah, we humans! Always looking toward exemplars.

Of course, we are all to look upon others who attain great deeds. Paul said, be imitators of me. Jesus wants us to imitate Him. But wholesale generalized selfish emulation is forbidden. I used to think Paul spoke against emulation because we humans only imitated things that made us lose ourselves in some other person's stylings, antics, etc. But apparently I missed the serious point. Emulation can make us do nasty things to other people because other folks have done nasty things.

Lord save us from wrong emulations.  

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