Tag Archives: christianity

The Defense Rests

I stood before you
Pleading my case into the offended silence
Assuming no able mediator
Would intervene in the violence,
The waste, the butchery,
And the endless consumption
Framing my identity and
Crippling my function
But the unthinkable happened, as I unraveled
Spilling confession where I noxiously sinned
The Judge handed me the very same gavel
With which I should have been condemned-
Mine to beat upon you, and the past,
To damn, or to set down free.
On it, engravings of our trespasses:
Killing you was killing me
And how deeply I considered it
With no one left to save-
Allowing my embitterment
To seal our ashes together in the grave
But what would be left behind
If I razed our souls to damnation?
We would both produce in like kind
The offspring of condemnation.
And the Great Judge pointed to a battered face
Hanging bloodied on an unearned cross
His wheezing body dripping grace
On the gnashing teeth of the lost.
I set the gavel down.
Where is the path forward?
What kind of future can be found,
Or excavated, or forged
After all these crimes between us?
My demon is my brother is my priest
And it is treasonous
To refuse your release.

So I release you,
But not to freedom.

We, neither of us, move autonomously
Outside the constraints of our pardons
We must not live dishonestly,
Sowing what separates and hardens
But pursue good, each for the other.
I sought you once, for help getting me through
The tragedies in each collision of breath
But you instead became the catalyst that got me to
A reality higher than death
And I am grateful for your diversion,
Your oppression and extortion,
Because in your exclusion and aspersions
I found that, in Him, I am more than

A Conqueror,
And so are you.

We are blood, and able to stop shedding it
Putting down the blades of our desires and expectations,
What we’ve been revering or regretting
Before cutting into the next generation
The same slavers’ irons
That have clapped us both in chains
Don’t you likewise yearn
For freedom to change?
And you are free
From the past, from your sins
I release you;
Go and make your amends
By sinning no more
Become the man you were created to be:
Serve the least, stand for
We who cannot be heard, the weak
Lost under the grumbles.
Walk in bare feet, be true:
Stand in honesty, humbled,
And I will stand for you.

A companion piece to:
https://viewingcamelot.com/2017/04/13/the-defendant-rises/


Well Wandered

If I’d packed my bags then
During those first steps into the rain
How heavy-laden I might have been
To hold anything but love and pain
In these two, fragile hands

Only capable of carrying
What fits inside a coffin, or a womb,
A thing to bear, or to bury
One to produce- one to consume-
On either side of standing.

All those years, the quiet dignity
Growing in adverse conditions
Our roving anonymity
Void of live ammunition-
Defenseless but for invisibility

My identity I had only sworn
To deceased associations
I wandered, well-worn
With You as my nation;
My allegiance pledged in motility.

And my Nation wanders still
To the roadless places,
The empty hands, unfilled
But heavy with the graces
Carried to the last generation:

Shall I again pledge allegiance
To my well-wandered nation?


Complexity and Complicity

Forgive me my ancient remedy,
My overthinking, my overwringing
Each moment into a cacophony
Of strained, offkey singing

When I feel overwrought.

You gifted me to look inside,
And underneath, and from afar
A gift to see conclusions implied,
To guide my wandering star

By unknown charts and graphs.

Your gifts preserved me
I’m thinking on them oft again-
My years now stretch to eight and thirty:
You discipled me in lone places when

I wasted so much trying to join a club.

Disciple me again in this foreign land
I use this overthinking
To try to understand
When my engagement started sinking

Into the deep barrier of me:

To find the ladder back out-
I can feel another cistern
Of grief, and anger, and doubt
And I know I must return

To the spot, to break open the earth

I want to be angry,
Because I know if it’s not true
I enslaved myself to agree,
To believe them over You

And there’s nothing left but to repent-

Which I know I will do,
But I thought they held the keys-
They didn’t permit me pass through-
And now could it be

It only mattered who held the Truth?

It only mattered who the Truth held?


Leap of Faith

If wishing for something
could make it true,
what a horror in which we’d abide
Yet I yearn for You
and the Kingdom that can’t divide.

Most wretched am I,
among all men
if You aren’t who You are.
Here I pursue these disciplines,
but my hope is fixed afar.

My resolve and my delight
nailed to the sticking point
of Your blood-stained cross
The wood you worked anointed
by the profoundest, grievous loss

and my redemption.
Every iota of who I’ve been or will be
is leaning on who You are now
How sorrowful I’d be, how silly,
if You fell through somehow

but You haven’t yet.
When I travail, when I ache,
when the brokenness of man,
and the rebellion, shake me
You take my hand, You stand

How blessed am I
above all mankind,
that You lead me into the vast unknown
You whisper ideas beyond my mind,
ways above my own,

You elevate me,
and You expose my sin
Dirty veils that hide my face,
until You clean, You defend,
and wrap me again in Your grace

and Your love,
tangible as a hen’s wings
stretched over her offspring
Solid as concrete
under my foolish, and sometimes faithful feet.


The Thief

Did he steal heaven too?
Hanging there, despised,
Hearing words his equal spewed,
His wounded gut felt the lies-
Fear God! Is it not clear
Who owes, and who gives?
Death is raging ever nearer;
Despair is wrenching as he lives
But he has seen a glimpse,
And hopes enough to beg-
His hobbled life limps
To the end of broken legs,
And he cries out, “Remember,”
In one desperate act of faith,
“Remember me!” as slumber
Slices through his days
And in the closed fist
And throes of agony,
Hanging by the wrist:
He met the Prince of Peace

How his heaviest, darkest hour
Must have also been his brightest.
In the suffering grip of evil powers,
He finds his weightless rest

The Light overcomes the darkness:
His worst hour becomes his best.


Knock Knock

Here is what I know:
There was a judge, an infraction,
And a widow who would not let go
Or succumb to distraction.

Here is what I know:
Jacob took hold, wrestling,
And would not let go
”Until” he said, “You bless me.”

Here is what I know:
You’ve told us to pray,
And I refuse to let go
Until You have Your way

In this heart,
In this family,
In Your house,
In this city,
And beyond.


Rapha

A morning lingering into day,
In waking, walking paralysis
Our finer natures overlaid
By an interlocking antithesis.
Waiting with breath abated
For any signal to divine
If affection is reinstated,
If value is reassigned.
Late afternoon I went to work
For You, to finish what I started
Not for favor, or fear of shirking,
But because the work is imparted
And I had the time to do it.
When I left, You began to speak
My fears are falsity-conduits:
I’m only in trouble if You are weak.
Then You reminded me
I’ve been gifted unspeakable devotion
A God who desires, who seeks,
Who set time in motion
To rescue me, to hold me close.
Your love rained on me all afternoon,
I saw You greater than the foe,
And somehow I’ve been hewn
In Your image,
Which is anything but hollow.
You alone set me to pilgrimage,
And equipped me thus to follow.

I began the day waiting to forget,
These frailties fading into embers,
But You reminded me You’re not done yet,
And what I need most is to remember.