Faith: the substance of things hoped for
(not wished for, God Forbid!)
the evidence of things not seen.
Those were words that controlled us,
an electric fence to wandering minds
and to our quaking bodies.
a theology that’s bold enough
to voice a serious objection
to the status quo of fear
and to the slavery it breeds.
We took our crowbars optimistic
to that verse, we treated it
as if it pertained just to us,
jarred loose so juicy from its story
and community in history.Once loose, we used it as a tool
to pry history from its flesh,
from its life pained, pulsing in time.
We used that verse
like a two dollar whore,
distorted it, individualized it
into half truth to keep ourselves
from considering anything less,
or contemplating anything more.
more slot machine than Sovereign,
each prayer a greedy pull
upon Their Heart but for our lust
and we there, fake, beatific as if
answers were dependant on our shining phony faces
smiling dutifully in Canaan but saddened by the selfishness
that haunted in our hollows.
we needed a miracle
that would erase life
as it had become,
misshapen and ungainly
our gaudy costume faces
we needed a death
that would restore us
a healing to deliver us
and language that was steady
not the dodgy bob and weaving
of a fickle weak theology
of self and self fulfilmentit was the language of lament that cut us open swift and true,
gave us honest prayers and angry prayers
grief stricken, low and lowly and we, finally laid low by loss
at last found the road Beautiful,
the road bloody and difficult,
the way of just the Cross.
Our confidently spoken truths
were just too good by half
and thus just mere half truths
that couldn’t go one pace beyond
into the place of fiery testing.
Thank God we got delivered
by gradual and sudden
loss that transforms everything
and quickly sobers up the dreamers
drunk upon communion wine.
We got our invitation and
we broke past that temptation
just to tarry in the safe and feast
on fat and easy answers…
we pressed straight thru to honesty
and wrestling with the mystery
of our Christ Crucified and big enough for everyone,
finally became big enough to die to self
and small enough to live here now
in stark repudiation
of our youthful indiscretions
so full and yet so empty.
We dwell now midst the paradox
of Living, Reigning Savior
in this woeful place of dying
we set our dark face like flint to walk
in living faith straight into ever after…