I cannot sit
at your clean white feet
waiting for the blue skies of eternity
while there is white-induced hell on earth.
I cannot pray
to your sweet white face
or repeat your white savior fairytales
that twist hope with capitalism and manifest destiny.
I cannot preach
of your anemic white justice
that absolves its own habits of white racism
and calls for #alllivesmatter whenever the lamb meets the lion.
Take your wonderbread cubes
and your styrofoam wafers; burn them
on the vineyards still bleeding from native populations.
Call it a picnic and see if white folks come with their children.
Take every last one of your white disciples
whose tongues are glib with love and grace
but slow to utter #BlackLivesMatter for fear of
committing their lives to a payment long past due.
Take your white salvation
that acquits white sin as fast as a white jury
and dances in self-absolution as if it’s the emperor’s clothes.
The world knows you are naked, white Jesus. Don’t blame Eve.
You are dying, white Jesus,
and still you cry, “I know not what I’ve done!”
while your prophets cajole, “You did nothing wrong, you
are white as snow.” But see: your blood drowns the world.
Someone come quickly
and comfort, comfort the white Jesus
who is lonely in stained glass and lifeless in praise bands
because the task of rendering racism sinless is his only purpose.
This time there is no resurrection.
It is finished, and your hallowed red letters
have returned to their dust, along with your integrity
as a cult god. Make friends with Baal and the golden calf.
To die for life
— what a laugh!
To accept the kiss of betrayal
— such foolishness!
To save by suffering
— only delusion!
I cannot stand such shame
— there is no glory in this,
No glory in human death
— since Cain, you have known this
Yet we die in every generation
— why would you do the same?
The world needs no more suffering
— ask the turtles, the trees, and all elders.
Of what gain is this loss
— of what use is blood to the ground?
We desperately drink the soaked soil
— yes there, at the foot of the cross,
But if blood could save us, consider:
— how greatly redeemed we would be
By the drenched earth of humanity’s birthplaces
— the Tigris, Euphrates and Nile all know it.
The conquerors would be the most redeemed
— not the most damned, as surely they are.
But notice how hard we try
— still to save ourselves with violence.
If the blood of One would suffice
— it would be finished
Yet we are unsatisfied
— so, God, let us assess:
Any gain from death is unjust.
— Is this how you would be?
Any vulnerability from pain is human.
— Do you stoop so low?
Any anguish from betrayal is naught but heartbreak.
— What kind of holiness is this?
Bury, O God, such foolish heroism.
— Save us not by death.
Condemn the suffering we inflict,
— the sin we violently heap on one another.
Rescue the captive, the refugee, the oppressed.
— Let theirs be the fullness of life.
Take down from the cross the innocent.
— Let blood no more water the earth.
Free the lamb from senseless slaughter.
— Can life no more require this?
I am Zacchaeus,
clamoring and climbing
for a better view of you.
I am Simon Peter,
wading through the water
to be close to you.
I am Susanna,
traveling alongside you
to make a way for good news.
I am Mary,
sitting still with you
to soak in your words.
I am a woman at the well
and a woman at the table,
seeking a drink and a crumb.
Seek me out, Jesus,
even as I search and wait
and long for you.
“I love you,” I shout,
because I don’t know
if I can be faithful.
“Here’s my coat,” I offer,
because I’m not certain
that I would give my life.
“Hosanna in the highest,” I sing,
because I doubt there will be
good news worth singing tomorrow.
“Blessed is the one who comes,” I cheer,
because I don’t remember the last time
anyone bore the presence of God among us.
Holy Jesus, my doubt is as obvious as my faith (perhaps more so), my joy never quite masks my sorrow, and my hopes are thin palms that sway easily in a breeze. Have you come to rescue me from the fear that sends love into quick retreat? Have you come to make God known forever so I cannot get lost? Have you come to pour out grace until at last my heart beats in peace? I would promise to be faithful and strive to give my full life if only you will stay with me always. Please stay, Jesus.
cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals
we say the name
that gives us hope:
we raise the name
that brings us peace:
we cry the name
that brings us healing:
You who are the same
stay with us and love us
through seasons of change
of heartache of struggle of love
through tears and praise
and lament and delight
be who you are forever and always.
We long to be made new,
we are desperate to leave the past behind us,
but you have brought us this far and
you have promised to continue.
Stories and experiences
shape us like ancient stars shape the night sky,
so do not teach us to turn our backs
on what has been but to listen
for stories of what may be.
Teach us not to start over in fear
but to wade in every water and to walk
through every wilderness with the patience
of hearts that trust you.
Teach us not cynicism but curiosity
so that our souls might sing gratitude
and our tongues speak prophecies
of your love and glory
for as long as we have breath to give.
To you, the One who is worthy,
to you in whom the angels delight,
to you alone at the beginning and the end,
to you we bring our prayers and our whole lives this day. Amen.
cross-posted at RevGalBlogPals