Saturday, March 31, 2012

One cannot make one's peace with impossible imperatives,
imperatives,
imperatives.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Consider

Dear Healthy People:

Not everyone is like you, even if they look normal. Many suffer terribly from chronic illnesses that rob them of mental acuity, physical stamina, and hope. They need patience; they need you to go the second mile; they need sympathy.

These poor folks do not need angry outbursts or lectures on toughing it out. They do not need your disgust that their disease is an inconvenience to you. Consider what their maladies do to them. Reflect on the emotional pain you add to them by your unloving actions. You are compounding their misery and perhaps turning it into agony. You are needlessly increasing sorrow in this world of vanity and vexation of spirit. You are being unwise and foolish. You are re-wounding those already broken, bleeding, and deeply wounded.

Healthy people, for God's sake, use your health (which others lack) to minister to the chronically ill, to help lighten the load. Listen to the laments--and enter into them.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Narrative Thins Out

In literature, we find several styles of narrative. Consider the thick, psychologically complex story-telling of Dostoevsky on the one hand; on the other, think of Hemingway's sparse, thin, and muted accounts of people and events.

Many those now stricken with debilitating chronic illness once had robust and Dostoevskian narratives: their minds were active, their memories deep, their affections complex and well-suited to the varied circumstance of life under the sun. They were quite fully alive: complex, but robust and fascinating.

Then, it struck: one of the sickeningly many chronic illnesses. You supply the one that has most wounded you the most. The narrative now alters, even dramatically; it thins out; loses weight and depth: the sentences are shorter, as are the paragraphs; the page count diminishes. One is shunted into a kind of Hemingway world. Much is lost. (I am not pitting writer against writer, but simply using their respective styles to illustrate a point.)

As a soul's narrative moves from thick to thin, part of the person is lost--or strangely changed. The body refuses to perform the acts of the old story line. The mind slows and cannot summon its former memories, cannot accomplish skills so easily done yesterday. Survival becomes more important than adventure. One tries to endure, not prevail.

Those who witness this painful peeling away, this cruel diminution of faculties must learn to read a new story--not forgetting the old, thicker life, but not expecting it to return either. The wounded person, made in God's image (come what may), is still there, there, there. But the newer chapters of the life story seem to be composed by someone not a little different than the one who composed the earlier ones. The stylistic shift is jarring, wearing, and lamentable.

Yet, "love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13). We must love the person who is there, no matter how withered, wilted, or wronged by this groaning world of woe, still awaiting its final redemption.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Yearning

Yearning for the beloved dead
to return with their love on earth again.

Yearning for the beloved living now largely dead through
diseases,
dementia,
diverse degeneration--

here, but mostly...gone
in their ghostly, haunting, daunting presence
(or proximity).

Come quickly, Oh dead and resurrected One.
Being heaven back to earth:
forever this time.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meditation on Ecclesiastes 7:1-6.

Let godly sorry do its good work,
and resist not
its edifying wounds.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ecclesiastes 3

A Time for Everything
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Friday, March 23, 2012

LovE

Love,
thy wounds
are red, deep, raw,
-- and necessa
ry.

Blocked!

I blocked the bimbos! Sorry it took so long. God have mercy on them and the organization that promotes pornography.

Bimbo Alert!

Bimbos have infested my "followers" again, folks. Please be patient as I figure out how to kick their hussy butts off of my page.

Malediction

Malediction, imprecation,
cruel conviction in diction.

Hurled like sharpest spears
out of the fiery mouth,
prepared in
a wounded and vengeful heart.

Then they lodge deep into another heart.
And burn,
and burn,
and sap life, hope, and faith.

"The power of life and death is in the tongue."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tears

Do not dry all your tears.
Wear the best of them,
they are your badge, even
as they dry.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lamentations 3

1 [a]I am the man who has seen affliction
by the rod of the LORD’s wrath.
2 He has driven me away and made me walk
in darkness rather than light;
3 indeed, he has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long.

4 He has made my skin and my flesh grow old
and has broken my bones.
5 He has besieged me and surrounded me
with bitterness and hardship.
6 He has made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.

7 He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
he has weighed me down with chains.
8 Even when I call out or cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer.
9 He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
he has made my paths crooked.

10 Like a bear lying in wait,
like a lion in hiding,
11 he dragged me from the path and mangled me
and left me without help.
12 He drew his bow
and made me the target for his arrows.

13 He pierced my heart
with arrows from his quiver.
14 I became the laughingstock of all my people;
they mock me in song all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitter herbs
and given me gall to drink.

16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust.
17 I have been deprived of peace;
I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “My splendor is gone
and all that I had hoped from the LORD.”

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.
27 It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.

28 Let him sit alone in silence,
for the LORD has laid it on him.
29 Let him bury his face in the dust—
there may yet be hope.
30 Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
and let him be filled with disgrace.

31 For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
33 For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.

34 To crush underfoot
all prisoners in the land,
35 to deny people their rights
before the Most High,
36 to deprive them of justice—
would not the Lord see such things?

37 Who can speak and have it happen
if the Lord has not decreed it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that both calamities and good things come?
39 Why should the living complain
when punished for their sins?

40 Let us examine our ways and test them,
and let us return to the LORD.
41 Let us lift up our hearts and our hands
to God in heaven, and say:
42 “We have sinned and rebelled
and you have not forgiven.

43 “You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us;
you have slain without pity.
44 You have covered yourself with a cloud
so that no prayer can get through.
45 You have made us scum and refuse
among the nations.

46 “All our enemies have opened their mouths
wide against us.
47 We have suffered terror and pitfalls,
ruin and destruction.”
48 Streams of tears flow from my eyes
because my people are destroyed.

49 My eyes will flow unceasingly,
without relief,
50 until the LORD looks down
from heaven and sees.
51 What I see brings grief to my soul
because of all the women of my city.

52 Those who were my enemies without cause
hunted me like a bird.
53 They tried to end my life in a pit
and threw stones at me;
54 the waters closed over my head,
and I thought I was about to perish.

55 I called on your name, LORD,
from the depths of the pit.
56 You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears
to my cry for relief.”
57 You came near when I called you,
and you said, “Do not fear.”

58 You, Lord, took up my case;
you redeemed my life.
59 LORD, you have seen the wrong done to me.
Uphold my cause!
60 You have seen the depth of their vengeance,
all their plots against me.

61 LORD, you have heard their insults,
all their plots against me—
62 what my enemies whisper and mutter
against me all day long.
63 Look at them! Sitting or standing,
they mock me in their songs.

64 Pay them back what they deserve, LORD,
for what their hands have done.
65 Put a veil over their hearts,
and may your curse be on them!
66 Pursue them in anger and destroy them
from under the heavens of the LORD.

Footnotes:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Prayer

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
*
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'well done' in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

________________________________

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ecclesiastes 4, King James Version
4

1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
2 Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead, more than the living which are yet alive.
3 Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4 ¶ Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbor. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit.
5 ¶ The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh.
6 ¶ Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.
7 ¶ Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun.
8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labor; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labor, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.
9 ¶ Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; forhe hath not another to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
13 ¶ Better is a poor and a wise child, than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.
14 For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.
15 I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.
16 There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Oh, the agony of watching someone disintegrate before your eyes, ears, and heart.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Can

Can you lovingly give more love?
Can you lovingly receive more love?