Tag Archives: religion

Acts of Sin

Sin finally understood,

bowed under the weight

of pervasive

thoughts and acts –

not being as attentive

to the needs of others,

leaving them feeling

undervalued and not appreciated,

Acts of contrition

leading Acts of omission

 

Spinning wheels,

chasing dreams

of saving the church building,

earning money for good works,

instead of strengthening my faith,

always seeking to worship the Creator

through attention to the Physical

 

Sin pervades my life –

spending more than I make,

seeking the ways of this Earth,

attending the festering

of want and desire,

never satisfied with simplicity

and the spareness

of a pure life

 

Am I a Martha

always working,

attending to the minutia,

concerned with the physical

not the esoteric and  spiritual,

instead of being Mary

sitting at the Lord’s feet

drinking in his words?

 

My mind finally open to Sin

I can not evade it

it worms into my consciousness,

pervading my psyche,

filling me with shame,

my skin crawling with remorse

 

What will it take

to enter the Kingdom of God

on this lowly ground I walk?

Now that I know Sin,

understanding that Purity

will never be within reach,

how will I stretch beyond futility

to enter communion

with the Spirit?

Must I ever walk through my days

with this heavy, squirming heart

of remorse, ever failing

to see the Light?

Where is Hope

in this life weighed down

by Sin?

The Dichotomy of Religion

Making my  way through the labyrinth of differing philosophies is never easy in my family. My children are staunch conservatives in Christianity. I, on the other hand, am definitely a progressive liberal. Communication  can get quite tense as a result.

This was definitely apparent in the past couple weeks with the determination by the United  Methodist church to disavow gay priests and open sex marriage. It is so hard to keep your mind open when you are discussing  heated topics that cut so close to your heart.

I have found this subject to be quite painful to me even though I am not gay myself. But those I love our face this issue, at least some of them. And knowing what wonderful people they are makes for a painful reality.  I do not want to see these people in pain.

In talking to my children, where they see homosexuality is a sin, it is particularly difficult to pause my feelings when listening to their’s. Inside, I rage when I hear them speak.  And I wonder how we can ever get to a place of mutuality.

Knowing I am one day going to live with or near my children makes this particularly disturbing. I wonder how I could ever live with conservativism as a way of life. I have always been of a liberal bent . I disagreed with their father, and now I am disagreeing with them.

How we can possibly make peace with each other in the midst of such a wide disparity gives me pause. We get along so well, and our love for each other  is so deep.  I want nothing but the best for them in this world, but I also want what is best for me. Finding our way to each other and peaceful reconciliation seems impossible.

As humans, we are faced with this dichotomy in life. We want to get along, and do everything we can to try to, but still our inherent natures get in the way.  It is a matter that begs resolution, and I pray for it to be so.

At stake are no less than the Bible and Heaven. My children fear they will not see me there. I am not worried about it. I know I am a Christian and have made my way through the eye of the needle. Except for the nagging question of my liberalism.

Is God a conservative?  Does He/She really care?  Isn’t the goodness of a person what is most relevant?  Or is it Dogma that holds the most sway. I pray that isn’t so. God made our diversity.  It is for us to honor that, in the spirit of consilatory celebration.

In this world of manic opinions and rabid dictates, may we listen to John Lennon and give peace a chance, imagining our way to a mutually receptive viewpoint.

What is Sin?

My mind is aswirl

spinning out of control

what is Sin?

Yes, yes, of course,

murder, mayhem

lying, cheating,

everybody knows that –

but more insidious are

misdemeanors of the soul

Was Paul right

in his definitions?

Was he overstepping,

casting aspersions

on incalcitrant congregations?

What were Jesus’ words?

The God of Love and Forgiveness.

On adultery,  sexuality, prostitution,

go and sin no more

but more often critical of women

letting men off the hook

the female prostitute told

to go and sin no more

but what of the men

lined up at her door?

Sin weaves its way

into the fabric of one’s being

but if all Sin is created equal,

all needing absolution,

what is the bottom line?

We are told to forgive ourselves

and to treat others

as we would ourselves,

then why are people on Death Row?

Why is their Sin unforgivable

when Christ forgave them?

Why is homosexuality

considered a sin in the Church?

Two people loving each other,

treating each other with

kindness, acceptance,

purity of the spirit

holds true no matter

where love lies.

So what is Sin?

And if it is all Forgiven

if one just asks

who are we to condemn?

Casting About

Are you listening?

I haven’t heard

your still, soft voice

within for some time.

Aching for answers

I look for justice, peace, meaning,

casting about,  not knowing

where to turn

where do I go from here?

I know you are there.

I just can not hear you

or feel your presence

nestled in my heart.

Calling for you,

yet knowing it is me

who lacks the ability

to comprehend.

I refute the big decisions

they grate on my nerves,

I can not believe

you would support them.

When is it time to give up?

To accept the inevitable

and draw near to new beginnings,

to give up the fight?

Call to me again.

I will try harder to hear.

Your words are

my salvation.

 

 

 

 

Homosexuality and the United Methodist Church

My soul is screaming

what once was now desecrated

the known ripped bare

shackles embrace me

no reason to soothe

the whirling in my brain

yet this isn’t happening to me

this huge event

that ripped asunder

the fabric of the institution

still, it speaks

to prevailing sentiment

beliefs I stand against

politics I abhor…

what is the Church then?

a voice of welcome no more

it casts out those not tolerated

leaving thousands upon thousands

gasping through their pain

their only recourse

to find a new home

if their faith

hasn’t been stilled

by this reckoning

of injustice

 

 

 

A Memory in Time

He carries the children
from the car,
holding them close,
so close to their breath
one last time
before he leaves.

She waits at the stair
as she has waited
for some time now,
anxious to kiss
their little faces,
hold them close
and tuck them into bed.

He gets into the car,
starts the engine with a sigh,
and pulls away,
leaving them behind.
And she watches
with eyes of regret
and turns into a home
they do not share.

Each going to separate
destinations,
but with part of their hearts
going to the other . . .
Divorce . . .
an emptiness of memories.

Traumas Abundant

Our world is such an aching wound.  No matter where you look, the mistakes of humans are making themselves manifest.  In our country alone, immigrants find their children are spirited away possibly forever.  The components of genocide fit.  We are destroying innocent people, especially the children.  I couldn’t imagine losing my children now much less when they were little.  I don’t think many of us could.  The sacrifices illegal aliens take to try to find a safe haven are astounding.

Nor are we alone in our wrongdoing.  The genocide ISIS has done to the Yezidi people is heartbreaking.  Women and children are raped, mutilated, tortured, and enslaved.  Men are outright killed.  The Rohingya Muslims are being denied their land, their birthright, their possessions again, for religious purposes.  It doesn’t make sense why other countries aren’t stepping up to help those people who are losing everything they hold dear, everything that defines them.

Yemen’s people are starving and being killed by U.S. bombs.  The ethnic troubles of Burundi are catastrophic.  Syria is one colossal mess and once again, it is the common people who pay. Sexism and racism seem to define our society even as we have a president that regularly spews hatred and arrogance upon those different than himself.

Maybe I’m just tired today but the troubles of the world are weighing heavy.  I think it is also the neverendingness of the world’s strife.  We repeat the same mistakes again and again.  How can the regular person help stem the tide of violence and atrocity?  I want to do more than lament the misfortunes and traumas of others, I want to know that in some way my voice is heard, my actions matter.  Maybe if we each did a little, together we could accomplish a lot.

The Doorsill II

The door sill begs for recognition, for acknowledgment.  It spills out the stories of people who crossed its stone border, the echoes fading into the solid oak door and creaking, wide-planked floors.  It whispers, “Here is where a mother carried her daughter to a rocker,  lulling her quiet, to breastfeed and hold her small, precious hand, knowing only too well the time would come when she toddles away to dreams of her own making.”  But for now, in the hushed silence of the deep night, she croons out her lullabies and fills her child’s head with glorious tales of gods and goddesses, of protectors of the hearth, the garden, the home.  Each deity has its own function – one to meet every challenge, every need. Rocking softly, keeping beat with the tap of her toe, she spins the yarns of her foremothers, of lands near and far, of goddesses no longer needed and ones who voices still resonate with power.

The Mother knows, instinctively, that this daughter will not be content with the gods of her Fathers.  She is the one tied to the Moon and Earth’s gravitational pull.  From her earliest days, when she played in the garden, this young one who would lay on the earth, dig fingers deep into the crumbly moistness and draw wisdom from seasonal cycles and unspoken knowledge.

She would demurely go to Church in her Sunday best only to yank them off as she crossed the doorsill, hastily pulling on everyday clothes, to run into nearby woods where she would dance on her toes in her sacred grove, swirl with the bees, sing,  and float in the pond whose womb protected her.  She’d call out to the Blessed Ones to come join her.  And while the menfolk watchful with cautious trepidation, wondering is she was a touch daft, Mother secretly smiled, knowing the unquenchable thanksgiving which could only be experienced in the realm of imagination of the Goddess.

Men might hear the words but they would fall on deaf hearts.  Theirs was a God brimming with fire and fury.  Powerful beyond reckoning – strong enough to provide succor in the face of any challenge.  But for women, this God was one of respect and protection, certainly a nurturer.  That was the domain that existed solely in the hearts of females.

Her mother showed her the places where sacred herbs grew – ones that could heal, stop the pain, mend a broken spirit, help close open wounds, and give a sense of well being to those who knew their secrets. Neighboring farms held those with suspicious eyes and sharp tongues but who, nonetheless, crossed the doorsill when healing needed doing.  All knowledge carries its dangers but a woman’s lore of medicine and mending brought the insidious threats closed minds can bring.

It is always hard to walk the least chosen path.  But the doorsill provides safety and nourishment to those who dwell within those walls.

 

 

 

Allu Akbar

Allu Akbar
and others
swallowed in the dust
of death

Allu Akbar
and bicyclists die
on a bike path
away from a road
as truck speeds
twenty blocks
spewing bodies
hither and yon

Allu Akbar
when did a phrase
of Mohamed’s love
become a curse word
spit out in triumph
at death’s cruelty

Allu Akbar
and a political war
replaces religion,
a President using
the tragedy
as a platform
for rhetoric

Allu Akbar when
did it loose
it’s place of peace?

Fontanels

Born open –
to the presence
of the Lord –
becoming human
we close off,
shutting away God’s
active voice.

Lost, feeling alone,
by age two separate,
exclusively homo sapien
we yearn to hear
comfort, peace,
needing to learn
turning inward
for the still, small voice
requiring special listening

Perhaps the reason
some babies colic
screaming, in pain,
is inward rage
at separation
from the Godly presence
they just separated from
while others emerge
at peace,
nestled in assurance
of God’s continued love.