Hard weather whether we want it
Compromise like reverrse cloud seeding,
Rare and magical and distrusted,
sewing up the skies instead of searing.
But if compromise is seen as weakness,
and argument is the only strength,
the rains will rage on unabated.
You cannot fight a storm with a storm.
There is a world that I hate.
I have praised the world many times,
but there is a way we tell stories that
I reproach: the violence, the bleakness,
“they’re gonna kill him”
And all the rest of the blood.
We make these brutal shows because we sin
The original scourge burned in our bones
All the crime and conspiracy you can bear,
the wanted sinful sight ever born anew.
We made the Coliseum, after all. But
the egregiousness is the modern affliction.
We bear the mark in our minds
We write the lines on our foods
Foods of the mind, known coffin
We east of health, eating death
Logical if not a Christian,
But wholly inedible for us.
Maybe we are just moral atheists,
Acting as if there isn’t someone up there
Who wants more for us than this:
Diverging from the standard patterns of
Noble, faithful, honorable, very good
Lost in bullets and bleeding and suicide
and a mind that figures out who needs to die
instead of how everyone can be saved.
There is no, there is no, there is no
Way around this, other than stopping.
Stop celebrating death. Stop rejoicing.
Stop burning our way through the wreckage of humanity,
brutality, savagery, that which ruined the world,
which rent heaven and earth until the end of all things,
that whole wretched, hopeless vision that glorifies evil
as a warning, a warning untaken in the massive multitudes
of deaths. so many deaths, so many fictive lives snuffed,
making us complicit in the murders of fictional and real
people, with lives cut short by knowledge of “acceptable”
and “unacceptable” from TV that no one thinks you should act on,
these shows that train us to believe no one, no one, none
and to solve all our problems with a 9mm to her pretty head.
guts smeared on the window from the outside, artistic shot,
I am an observer,
a regular attender,
a sharer of big church words:
session, presbytery, call
not large in letter
but towering in spirit.
These are weighty moments.
At first, it seems peculiar
such fuss, such pomp, regal.
Is it really this important?
Not that I diminish the ends, but
can’t we just have a show of hands?
“Oh yea, the ayes have it,” etc.?
But the words are stately read
from the old church book of order
in the solemnity of scripture
as a heavy tell (or reminder):
this plan is not ours.
We convene not due to presbytery,
nor to the Reformed Church Press.
We take these motions seriously
because we are on the authority
of the omnipotent, most high God,
who said to us, “be the church.
Be the way I roam this earth,
be the way I lighten burdens,
be the way I pummel wickedness
in the world and in your hearts.
And in that task, the call will come
to closely follow those you trust.”
And so, not divine or inerrant,
but in the real way of the Lord,
we set about to vote, tiny sheets
of paper with inconsequential pens
to do the mundane, very daily work
that is the way God uses the church
to change the world that he so loves
and keep us on a path to his heart
a unanimous vote, a “praise the Lord”
scattered applause, a removal to cars.
this is the way the Lord worked today.
hallelujah, hallelujah, glory hallelujah,
small sheets of paper and a plastic pen.