Reaching People Who No Longer Value the Truth

POWERFUL essay by my friend John Pavlovitz…

trump supporter who also claims allegiance to Jesus Christ:  this is you.

“In the turbulent days in which we find ourselves, our most formidable adversary is not the one who is most intelligent, cunning, or even immoral—it is the person who no longer has need of the truth; who ceases to be burdened by the existence or veracity of data in order to believe what they believe.

When someone has reached this place of delusion, their only pressing commitment is preserving the myth they’ve told themselves—and so their minds for all practical purposes are rendered nearly unchangeable. To reach a different conclusion would involve them rewriting the false story they’ve already convinced themselves of and vigorously defended, sometimes for years. To consider another alternative becomes a threat to their very identity—and so rather than arguing with one’s own mind, the much less complicated or time-consuming task is to simply tell it what it wants to hear regardless of whether or not it is real.”

Source: Reaching People Who No Longer Value the Truth

Burnt Offerings | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This is an older poem, and I really like its rhythm.  Try reading it aloud, for you will find that the sound of the words shapes how you say the coming ones.

These words are my offerings burnt
singed in fires of pain and hurt
written as gouts of bright blood spurt
from my contrite soul.

I take treasure from my heart
pleasures, pains, my every dart
burn them for a brand new start
the incense of my spirit …

Source: Burnt Offerings | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Trump Supporter, Can We Talk? | john pavlovitz

A share of my friend’s blog post, to supporters of trump, says it far better than I can say it

We don’t push-back against this man and his Administration because we believe that by defeating him we will somehow defeat you. It may feel that way when our outrage at what they’re doing begins to spill over into the things you believe to be true.

But anything we win for equality and diversity and opportunity right now is for you to share in fully—which is the point of all this. And that’s why the fact that you see this as a fight with us, that you believe we see you as the enemy is so unfortunate, because this is misplaced anger and misdirected fear and it conceals the truth.

Lost on so many of you right now, is the reality that those of us resisting this President care far more about your children than he does.

We care about you more than he does.

The man who we resist will never want for healthcare, never find himself homeless, never know the struggle of the working poor, never be invested in this nation the way we are—all of us.

He is not for you or for America, friend.

And so to defend us—and to defend you—we will resist him.

Source: Trump Supporter, Can We Talk? | john pavlovitz

Why American Christians Should Condemn “Religious Liberty” Legislation | john pavlovitz

One of the few true voices left, calling us to repentance as christians.


“When religious liberty is used as justification for discrimination or when it impedes the daily life of those who don’t share our convictions, we move from merely having freedom, to demanding that others adopt our beliefs and adapt to our prejudices. We become a theocracy—and Christians, we cannot become a theocracy because Jesus would have had nothing to do with such things.

“He rejected privilege and dominance with every second of his humble existence, and he would be horrified by the bullying being done in his name under the guise of spirituality. It is the very kind of domineering religious shakedown that he repeatedly condemned in the Scriptures from the both the Jewish religious leaders and the Romans.

“And when such religious manipulation targets those already among the most marginalized and at-risk (as it does the LGBTQ and Muslim-American communities), it runs in direct opposition to the core of our faith, which seeks to protect and shelter those that the powerful would swallow up.

“Legislation like this transforms us into the very thing Jesus was pushing hard against.”

Source: Why American Christians Should Condemn “Religious Liberty” Legislation | john pavlovitz

National Day of Prayer: Donald Trump White House Dinner | Time.com

I draw attention to this because every single one of these people at this dinner thinks that transgender people are anywhere on the continuum from “insane and mentally ill” all the way to “demon possessed”.

Each of these people supports discrimination against LGTBQIA people.  Every Single One.

These shills are there with trump the absolute fucker telling him that he is God’s Servant when he is carrying forward towards  becoming law actual statutes that are the equivalent of death warrants for people as they lose their access to medical services and will simply die.

In the guise of “religious liberty”.

The list in 1 Corinthians 6 that is used as the cudgel against LGTBQIA individuals contains many things, ALL of which refer to behavioral expressions of basic violations of human beings by the exercise of power over one another.  The list is not a prohibition of actual things (such as speaking, such as sexual activity of any orientation, such as possession of property), but rather condemns forms of each of the things I mentioned (adultery, theft, lying, malice (which is hatred), and a specific form of homosexual activity that is widely held by all serious scholars to be condemning a specific homosexual relationship that involved the subjugation and oppression of one of the participants in a power dynamic that was akin to sexual slavery)…

Why do I mention this?  Because it is this list that is cited to oppress LGTBQIA human beings…while the same people who do this willingly serve people who lie, steal, cheat, run around on their wives…essentially ANYTHING that cannot be seen or is not admitted to!

But let someone be open about their sexual orientation or gender orientation and they are ostracized, shunned, and often literally physically assaulted.

This is who you have become, evangelical christendom (I will not shit on the word “Church” by letting it apply to you).

In this passage from Isaiah 10, we discover why these actions are a stench to God:

Isaiah 10   New King James Version (NKJV)

“Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed to rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right from the poor of My people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless.

What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar?  To whom will you flee for help?  And where will you leave your glory?

Without Me they shall bow down among the prisoners, and they shall fall among the slain.

For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.”

Did you know that if the current proposed health care roll backs become law that it will result in a transfer of wealth of 300 billion dollars to the people in the country who make more than $250,000?  Yes that is correct:  the top 1% are going to get even richer…

These things matter in concrete terms of life and death…but they also matter in that the hypocrisy of these people at this dinner and every single person who supports these people is now on prominent display…the party of the goats who wail “Lord Lord when did we see You hungry or sick or naked or in jail” is forming up fast.

This is your chance to turn from your lazy, mindless, sinful supporting of an evil evil party and an amoral greedy titular head of that party…and return to your first love.

The book of James says this about “true religion”:
 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Not the flocking to the side of a man who is willing to do your bidding to make it possible for you to literally hurt, destroy and murder the oppressed and the defenseless.

I will not associate or participate with anyone who actively supports these individuals and their leader, trump the absolute fucker.


The day before he signs an executive order on religious liberty.

Source: National Day of Prayer: Donald Trump White House Dinner | Time.com

CHECK THE SCIENCE: BEING TRANS IS NOT A ‘CHOICE’

I am posting this for those readers who still may not understand the complex physiological and psychological factors that work together to form our gender orientations.

In light of the fact that the Bible is utterly silent regarding the so-called “morality” of gender, this article could be especially helpful for those of you who claim you love Jesus and yet treat transgender humans like Hell.

May God spare you the kind of treatment that you have handed out to others in the name of Jesus…but that is not how it works, is it?  The fact of the matter is that the exact standard that you employ to show your rejection and hate of transgender humans is the one that Jesus will hold up for you on your day of dawning…

http://www.ozy.com/pov/check-the-science-being-trans-is-not-a-choice/69726?utm_source=aah1&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=pp&utm_content=inf_17_92_2&tse_id=INF_0b1151f026b511e7ab1b4bd69f1788b7

The Hounds Of Torquemada

sometimes scared I hear
the stink and the hot blood
rushing thru the crowds
like demons on the loose
the hounds of Torquemada

sometimes I see them
all the people in the streets
lost and in a mumble
of pain and crazy jumble
and death in every tumble

and I just wanna lay there
in the streets so dirty
teeming with the garbage
of privileged excrement
and tear my chest wide open

and with my desperate fingers
claw my hurt ribs agape
and reach in for my heart
and rip it from my soul
and hold it over head

and let my blood gush forth
in step with all my tears
and wash it all away
why can’t it wash away
oh Jesus wash, oh Jesus

why is it them not me
i think I’m gunna cry
and cry and cry and cry
while my heart bleeds and bleeds
until it’s bled all dry

The Sound of Beauty Silent

Standing beside gull-force winds
strong enough to blow a waterfall
back into its own face, something
no man has experienced but needs to
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I watch Beauty roll down and meet unbelief.
And I remember all over again how I am haunted
by the ghost that grows when Beauty glows and screams
to the body transcendent and compelling and

then goes silent once again
a waterfall thundering down
and pushed away with every might
and longing stirs all over again

as I just wonder how it is
that God can be resisted, how
that God has chosen suffering, now
in person and in heaven, wonder

that God is…that God is…that

then the song is sung by Beauty’s
absence in the scattering
the scurrying, no one cannot not be aware
and longing for the shelter

of The Safe Wing Stretched Divine
though it feels ominous, and gone and here
the absence of what cannot leave
beauty…or itself.
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a guillotine to answer to the knife in my clenched fist
and I realize I must go thru this once again, this absence
that leaves all things scattered, scurrying, suffocating
in the Stripping of the Altar, in the scattering of all

and the sound of tombs slammed shut
and the sound of screaming triumph
and the sound of darkness looming
and the sound of Beauty Silent

all compel a halt to movement
so we listen in the stillness
to the absence, to the absence
to the looming screaming absence

and the Sound of Beauty Silent

 

 

 

Good Friday 2017

everyone denied it.

that He was killed
that He was alive
that there was a Door
that the Door was closed

everyone denied it.

that there was it.
that it was.
that she was dressed
that she was it.

She knew better
because dawn had done
and blue was shining
in her golden hope

She knew open and empty
were Something.

My Offering Of Violent Worship

Born transgender…
concealed…
in rushes, in tulies
wandering deserts
and walking lonesome valleys…

and we walked around the sun
50 times, spinning, circling
while I, spinning and circling
spiraled out of myself

torn in two
or maybe parted
by Solomon’s Silver Blade
my inner me stifled and screaming
“Give Her Away! Give Her Away!”

as he just shrugged and said
“I don’t wanna be here anyway”

but then to come to myself slow
trickling back home
and draining up and in
before coming out

the sun so bright
the wind so fresh
creation dancing

and the stink of hate and horror
and the sting of brutal spittle
and eyes that bruise and stab

and the cries of the powerless
and the silence of the othered
and the dust of death settling

I dance, I sing, I SHOUT!
I whirl and lift that dust to the wind
as my offering of violent worship
of our Liberty God, Our Graceful GOD
our LOVING GOD

and I hear Their loving strong whisper:
“For such a time as this you were created”

and I take my place with Ester
and take Mary of Bethany’s hand

and settle into this truest truth for me:

“My maids and I will fast likewise.
And so I will go to the king, which is against the law;
and if I perish, I perish!”

Our Sacred Desert Story

We set out on tender feet
and tender hearts to match
and faces become flint as we
determined that we would not faint.

When our sojourn was hip deep in heat
and we were well and away, out to sea
she told me of the heartbreak and the horror
and there how we did rain our tears…

We took turns (while we wiled the desert paths away)
swimming away from the ship of us…naked, vulnerable
and healing in the slick water…further and further
and then return and up and back into our desert ship.

It was in the sunset wrought with haze from distant destinations
that make you think about fire, and about what might have been.
We, perched on that rock solid emanating heat and spitting healing
while the sky, bruised by our advances, turned purple in our song.

It was just Day Umpteen Kazillion in our great traverse of deserts,
we walking, swimming straight by myth and extraterrestrial,
feeding on lizards, trilobites, and our sacred Stories our Communion shared
and we, oh so close to our arriving, our becoming, our sacred Desert Story.

 

Today, Outside the Church Building by John Pavlovitz

“You see friend, if what happens in that building doesn’t renovate what happens outside that building, you’ve failed. If your church were to close down today and the neighborhood around you wouldn’t profoundly feel the loss, you need to change how you do what you do in that building. If the only people who would grieve your absence are the people already in that building, you’re not doing what you’re called to do. You are hoarding blessings from people who need and deserve to be blessed.

“Worship is not really what happens in that building. That is just songs and words and stories and prayers. It is religious activity, well-meaning and helpful as it may be. Worship, is a life lived changed by faith in God and burdened to reflect the character of that God to others. If the songs and the words and the stories and the prayers today don’t move you out of the building and into the paths of hurting people in a way that alters those paths—it’s all been wasted time.”Source:  Today, Outside the Church Building MARCH 19, 2017 / JOHN PAVLOVITZ

The Church That Abandons Jesus

My friend John Palovitz says these things so very well!

“To be honest, I’m not convinced that many of these Republican Christians want their Government or the Church to lift people in need. I think they’d prefer to live with the fictional narrative that poor people are poor because they’re lazy, that those in need, are so because of some moral failing or bad decision. This story allows them to keep the stuff they have, to ignore the call to love their neighbor as themselves, and to feel morally superior in the process.

“Jesus says that whatever we do to the poor and the hurting and the hungry—we do to him. That should be a terrifying proposition to supporters of the President who claim the Christian faith or call the American Conservative Church home. This Administration and the many Christians who co-sign its actions toward those who are the most in need of compassion and mercy in these days, are saying with great clarity: “Move along Jesus, we don’t give a damn about you.”

“This is what happens when the least are treated as less-than. This is what it looks like when the Church abandons its namesake and tells him to fend for himself.

“Forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Source:  The Church That Abandons Jesus

A Disjointed Incomplete Meditation…

This is talking about my own life, my own family…and yours, too…because all of us have this brokenness.  The evidence is irrefutable.

This poem is all about forgiveness…trying to give it and trying to receive it…and the incredible revelation that it is impossible.

There is no trying…there is only becoming.

“…And so now we get down to it:
there is no exit,
no escape from agony,
pitstop from pain…
all we can do is
exchange suffering’s form
and it’s face, from our own
for the pain of another…”

Source: A Disjointed Incomplete Meditation…
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My Exodus

Reposting a poem from last year…any good poem applies at a number of different levels, some known and some unknown and waiting to be discovered…

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I moved away while you weren’t watching
(it was easier than I thought it would be,
escaping past your X-Ray eyes
that look for flesh and blood
and thus missed my exodus)

I live by the sea, now…

Source: My Exodus

Miriam’s Song

A poem from 3 years ago…seems appropriate in light of the marches!


Roll back stormy waters, roiling steely dark and deep.
Roll back clinging finger-waves and the icy grip they keep.
Make a way thru waters where there isn’t any way
And lead me laughing, walki…

Source: Miriam’s Song

Living Above the Curse (Part 3 – The Curse of Man)

Here is part three.

All three parts of this series are written by a brilliant, insightful and passionate human being of the female gender…and she uses the FULL RANGE of her palate to express these truths.

Hey dudes…listen the fuck up!  Pull your heads out of the sands of fear and your fingers out of your ears and shut yer pie-holes from babbling all about the estrogen the estrogen and LISTEN.  You do not get to pass judgement on sumfin cus you are either comfortable or uncomfortable…you are under the same standard of restoration as the rest of humanity…is it the Way, and is it the Truth, and is it the Life? Whether you LIKE it or not…whether it makes you FEEL GOOD or not…

Thank you Jennifer.  Your words are truth and life.

We all know the Venus and Mars stereotypes. Women are complex multitasking nurturers, men are singularly-focused aggressive hunter/providers.

Woman: with the flu, a cramping, hemorrhaging uterus and a baby attached to her boob pushes through her daily myriad of responsibilities to take care of the family

vs.

male: devastated by Man Cold.

Source: Living Above the Curse (Part 3 – The Curse of Man)

Sonnet Of The Phoenix (For JD)

Oh Holy Lightning Strike like Griffin Swift
upon this yearning heart in desperate need
of Your Mercy Severe, Your Holy Gift
Give us Grace to Find the Phoenix-Way!

To rise in faith from Ashes and from death
to self and self reliance, come what may!
On resurrection wings and Spirit’s breath
alive again and all is well this night

that breaks and shatters with the rising dawn…
and not a single fire road in sight,
and what will be well it shall simply be
and what will not be well it will be gone!
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Come Holy Fire, we answer Your Call!
and All Reborn, and Love is All in All,

“Someday…someday the snow will fall!”

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Incarnation (Introduction)

Advent:
the short period
during which all
the years of groaning,
from that first fatal blow dealt
by selfish egocentricity to the
entirety of creation…

which turned off the Divine Light,
are compacted into one designated

thick period…

not “long”, but “longish”
and full of longing.

Thick.
Packed.
Full.
Stacked.
Designated…

to wait.
Wait.

WAIT
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Waiting for the most part is experienced as obdurate dull hunkering down and drinking from the cracked teacups of platitudes…ingesting such sops as “everything happens for a reason” and “this too shall pass”…yeah no…those things will not cut it, to get us thru this night, this absence of Divine Light that lays over all things, this utter darkness of the ego dictatorship.

Waiting…true waiting is become for us an empowered marking of events as they flow, infused by a knowing confidence that we wait for something certain and substantial…we wait for something coming and yet already here…we wait for the joy that veritably strains at the gates of birth to come forth!

We wait for someone…Someone…and every year that Someone comes fresh and new…and full of the very Presence that fits the absence of our existence like a Hand in a glove, like a key in a lock.
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The Ultimate Mystery of Existence is the Incarnation:  that joining of Creator and Creation into one full and harmonious miracle of Being…a joining that was planned and executed before even the foundations of the earth were laid, long ago sometime in eternity past when God in communion with God manifested the Eternal Sacred Heart in Passion Absolute and took up residence forever at the crux and core of all things, all rays, all paths and promises…that begotten presence which chose to be called Son climbed that tree and hung…hung…hangs…and hangs…

behind, beneath, above, within.

In every single cry of horror the cross is at the center.
In every single laugh of promise the cross is at the center.
In every single expression of wonder, every single nightmare of despair

the cross
at the center

And in the most central and deepest Intention is that Union, at the center of which the cross veritably pulsates!!
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It is the Mystery of the Incarnation…which is spoken of most plainly in the lowly caterpillar…or is it spoken of most darkly in the mystery of the Chrysalis? Wait…it is spoken of most clearly in the emergence of the butterfly.

We are that caterpillar, our lives a Holy Chrysalis of Dark Promise, and our becoming the butterfly whose wings we feel pulsating within our breast, that activity of Wonder which flutters in heaving convulsing implications that there must be Something!!

And so this morning, I wanna talk about that…the activity.

The activity of the Incarnation.

During Advent, we can look at the various “actors” in the Christmas Story to take our cues and understand our path forward, onward, higher/deeper, inward/outward…
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Part Two:  https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-incarnation-part-two/

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Incarnation (Part One)

Let us start with Mary.
She is the type for each and every one of us.

Each of us is a potential “Mother of God”,
a “blessed among all women”,
a chosen and fit vessel to carry the Child of Promise, the Messiah!

And Mama hovers, draws near, and watches…She waits too!

Did you know that God waits?
That every single day of time is God’s Advent waiting?

But back to Mother Mary…back to you…who if you will, can choose to “be” Mother Mary.  She said to God “Be it unto me according to Your Will”, and “my soul does indeed magnify God”!

OH!  The shockwaves of that declaration continue to ripple still!  And she did indeed receive the Child into her inmost self, and God took up residence there and joined Themself to humanity forever and always, and the butterfly was born…the God-human, the human-God…that indescribable uncanny union of the Divine and the human, which is spoken of as “the new creation”.

And Mary brought forth that Child…after a 9 month Advent of gestation…and that Child is the Deliverer of Creation.
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And this is the first phase of Advent Activity…and your first task.  Make room within your being for the Child to come and be implanted within…and bring forth that Incarnation of human/Divine life into this world in everything you do and say and think and are…you yourself in a very real sense “Mother” God…birth God…and it is your divine calling…no…your Divine RIGHT to birth God this Christmas, this year.

And what exactly would that look like, to bring forth God in your life?

Well…who is it that you want God to be for you?

That is who you must bring forth to the world.

It is the activity of Advent as an individual to birth and bring forth the Divine presence that only you can bring forth.

Oh Chosen Mary, blessed among all humans…search yourself, and make room…for the Incarnation within to come forth…
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Part Three:  https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-incarnation-part-three/

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Incarnation (Part Two)

Out in the cold, living in fields…Looking after animals, in the dark of night…

Lonely, stiff and cold, hungry, sleepless and miserable, surrounded by slumbering insensate beasts who couldn’t even begin to give a crap about anything except their own comfort and care…full bellies and security from wild beasts even if it meant being captive to their comfort and thus forever doomed to the dust-life…and never a dawning of even the beginnings of wondering what is Wonder…
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…it is there we meet the shepherds…who are aware…ALL too aware of these things.

I mean, c’mon!

The story tells us they were living out in the fields!
They had no homes.
They had no place to lay their head.

Except in the fields…with the beasts they cared for…and their own sense of wonder…wondering why the rich sat at ease in their cedar lined homes…wondering why their bellies were so empty when the refuse cans of the rich were so full of excess and waste…wondering why the stinking Romans had authority to take and break and dictate…

wondering why God was silent, absent, insensate, indifferent…
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and into that dark and lonely discomfiting despair came a Divine breaking in and breaking thru!!

In the midst of the darkest, most silent, most still, most absent of hope, most slumbering unaware time…came Heaven’s declaration that a Child had been born!  A Child had been Given!!

And His name was Wonderful!
His name was Counselor!
His name was Prince of Peace!

He was The Everlasting Father (yet an infant, meek and lowly)!
He was the Dayspring, the Bright and Morning Star!

Ahh…Morning Star…that Star that presages that night is drawing to a close, is ending.

And then the shepherds were given His core name, His Heart-Name…

Emmanuel.

God with us.  God with us.

God is with us.
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Go to the lowliest place, for that is where God chooses to appear!  Do you not realize that everything you wish God to be God IS in the revelation of Advent?  He chose the lowliest, the weakest, the most foolish…and in that place was born…in a feeding trough…a manger.

You do get that, don’t you?  The Bread from Heaven was laid in a manger (another name for trough from which cattle eat)?  And broken there for us…to “eat”…to “ingest” and have Him become one in essence with us?

The shepherds were told to go and see the baby, and then to go, and tell it on the mountains, tell it in the valleys, tell it everywhere there were hungry ears…that EMMANUEL HAD COME!

And they did.

Thus we see the second activity of Advent:  you are called, as a shepherd, as one who is aware (regardless of whether you are full of hope or full of despair…either one is the sign that you are an “aware one” and thus are chosen and blessed)…to go.

Go.

Tell it on the mountain.
Tell it in the valley.

And keep your eyes open to spot the Child!  You shall find Him in your neighbor…that “asshole” down the street that drives by you everyday, eyes fixed forward and exuding anger and frustration…that “airhead” in the cubicle next to you who is seemingly obsessed with her makeup and her dating life and fashion…
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You will find Him in that hopeless one next to you on the subway whose beautiful incredible skin is the wrong hue in this culture and whose shining incredible heart is so wounded and bound by the hatred of others…

You will find Him in the transwoman on the street just trying to live in her skin…in the homeless youth whose vision is more obscured by their hair than it is by their heart…

This is the activity of Advent for the shepherds:  find the Christ Child…in all His mangers…and proclaim that Child’s Name:

Emmanuel:  God is with us.
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Part Four:  https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-incarnation-part-four/

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Incarnation (Part Three)

In a foreign land, early.

Not early in the day…or even early in the year…

…but early in the Kairos of Significant Appointed Time!

And with Open Eyes…there waited Wise Men…who watched the skies, looking always upward for the arrival of…SOMETHING…they knew it not, what they sought, but they knew it had to be…because of the ache inside and the absence of something that caused the ache.

And then…there it was!  A star appeared in the sky, and in that quadrant that allus presaged SIGNIFICANCE!

And as they watched intently, behold!  It began to shift!  And as it shifted, so too within them something shifted, something began to be drawn…something…SomeONE…was tugging at them, pulling them.

And they left their homes, their places of comfort and familiarity…and began the road trip of all road trips, one that some scholars theorize lasted a couple years!
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Do you see this?

The incredible events of Advent that happened within the scope of 9 months for the principle actors and happened in one night for the shepherds…

…began as much as two years earlier for the Wise Men!

Talk about Active Waiting!  Their waiting involved a journey as well!

They passed thru many lands, and as they were men of means and wealth and influence, their entry into the various kingdoms and lands thru which they passed created a stir, even consternation!  But only because it was…odd…strange…unusual.

Until they got close…to the land for which such things held great import…that land governed by an evil and malevolent pile of egocentricity.  In “The Fox”, it was as if all of the original assertion of ego which extinguished The Beginning Light was concentrated and distilled…and this small, infected and diseased pus-ridden pimple of a human being who was so full of hate and fear that he even killed children in his attempt to maintain his power was jolted by the arrival of these men and the implications of the Star, and the shockwaves that were about to break.
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He was cunning, unctuous, viscous and smooth of speech like a cobra hypnotizing its prey…but the Wise Men were, well, wise to him…and they held him at bay with deference and deflection…and journeyed on after giving him the impression that they would indeed abide by his word when in his land…

and then they at last came to the place over which the Star pulsed and danced…

a baby…in a humble hovel stinking of beasts and despair…and their open eyes beheld Him.

They gave Him Gold…because they saw He was High and Royal, above all beings.
They gave Him Frankincense…because they also saw He was a Priest above all Priests.
They gave Him Myrrh…because they saw something hidden, from all others…until it was manifest…

…they saw that this Baby was simultaneously there, in that manger, and also at the crux of all, and hanging in agony, in Passion, and that His blood was the Spring that watered the very roots of the Universe…

and the Myrrh was burial spice…for by His death our life is.

They knelt…and worshipped…and were changed…by Emmanuel…the Incarnate One.

After awhile, they chose to depart…but did they obey “The Fox”?  Did they come under the rule of government?

No…they had been changed forever, and they now were serving the Agenda of heaven and they resisted the intention of the earthly…and they departed in “civil disobedience” in order to preserve the life of God With Us.

And that is the activity of Advent declared to you in the story of the Wise Men.
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Part Conclusion:  https://charissagrace.com/2016/12/19/advent-reflections-the-activity-of-advent-conclusion/

Advent Reflections: The Activity of Advent (Conclusion)

You must find the way that the Child calls you to live a life distinguished, transformed…changed after your encounter with the Incarnate One…

Encountering Emmanuel first within yourself, and bringing Him forth in the manger of your life…
Encountering Emmanuel next within others…and telling those who still languish in darkness that Emmanuel has come…
Encountering Emmanuel then in the World…and living in a way distinguished and different, resulting in the establishment of His Kingdom, the government on His shoulders, and His never-ending rule of Justice and Mercy Kissing…

This is the lesson and activity of Advent for us…may it be Living Bread for us.
Amen.
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Advent Poem: The Season of Enough

My Favorite Advent Poem!  From 2014


It’s the season to journey
to places we know so well
but haven’t been to…
and now it is time
in this never enough world
to declare the season has come:
it’s the season of enough!

ENOUGH!

Enough of the certified baby so boring,
our “gentle Lord Jesus so timid, meek and mild”,
enough of the muffled mage soft-spoken and sage
who wouldn’t say shit even if He’d a mouthful!…

Source: Advent Poem: The Season of Enough

Advent Poem: The Season of Hope


I set off on this journey full of hope.
And wrapped in splendours of belonging here…
or there…it doesn’t really matter there or here
which far exceeds being nothing nowhere

But a…

Source: Advent Poem: The Season of Hope

Advent Poem: Away With The Gimmicks (echoing ‘Away In A Manger’)

away with the gimmicks
we’re done with your crap
the lies that you laid down
the manger a trap

we want a tradition
that’s living and free
and songs of thanksgiving
and fresh liturgy
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that’s ancient and yet new
and still relevant
so profound, so simple
so “un-sycophant”

Entrance, proclamation,
the Eucharist true,
sending out, gathering,
preaching Good News
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Restore the New Baby
the Time Bomb in time
the Bread come from Heaven
the Living New Wine

away with the gimmicks
the scripts and the lies
So faith, hope and love can
come open our eyes.
New Covenant

Advice In The Maelstrom’s Commencement

These are vulnerable, slinky damp days
exposed by the scalpels of fear.
So steady yourself in the bones
of the grey granite cliffs and the mist
of the dizzy array of events
that are reeling like carrion crows
while the weak light fast forwards
to night.

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Stay deeply centered, just stand
in yourself as you engage a world
that seems to despise its true center.
Remember yourself, be that point
that is present, for you and for others
in the mushy immediate world
that’s careening and swirling
around us.

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Ravenous tides of malevolence
thirst for your blood, your breath and your song
and would drain you dry, crumple, discard you
and destroy your rock steady sereneness.
You must simply refuse to be buffeted!
Shine brightly and stay softly confident
in your hard commitment
to truth.

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Stand strong, and keep your eyes open
to see who can stand with you, who can’t.
In your stillness be free to jump higher
and to mount up on wings in the long winds
and rely on the ones who just love you
with great tenderness, keep you in check,
cus we all need the tension
of both.

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There is no need for undeserved compliments
and a great need for unrestrained love.
Know whatever your loved ones experience
will affect you, yet is not about you!
so keep orienting yourself towards
your truth, and keep letting that truth
shine through all that you are and
you do.

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Sands and Shadows and Pearls, Deconstructed

So I wanna give a lil glimpse to how I weave poems into poems…this is Sands and Shadows and Pearls, but taken apart into its strands…you can read each strand, and then go back and look at how I juxtapose to create Poetic Harmonics…this should create some depth and distance in the metaphors and implications of waking, dreaming, shadow, sun and what casts the shadow.

I hope you will work with it some… ❤

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I do shed tears, these days
I also shed dreams too
I dreamed, last night
I also shed tears too

I think…yes.

I dreamed that I walked lands crying
and my tears fell on red sands glistening

my tears

my tears on red sands sizzled
because I had no shadow,
they had no shadow

and then in that glaring sun unbridled,
that staring star unfiltered
they became pearls
of white
and ivory
and pink
they
became pearls
of My Mother,
the Mother of Pearls

and then I saw,
Her, walking there,
sowing in tears
and reaping in pearls
with nary a diamond
in sight
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and She turned to me,
She bid me pick them up
and take…eat…and I did
and where they lay
the sand was gone

and green grass jumped lush
into my eyes with verdant glee!
And the pearls tasted like honey

and the pearls
became glory within me
and I rose up on glory,
I rose up in glory,
glory within me
and glory in the air

and I saw my shadow,
distant and crumpled
and pinned to the ground
for always by arrows
and spears and the knives
of those children
of red sand and shadows.

And just as I began to wake
I realized that ever
would they gather there,
around that shadow
pinned and empty
of all save their vitriol and hate

while I walked free but achy
across the red sands,
with no shadow
between me
and that stark sun
except for the glory
that’s given by pearls
plucked from green grass
so verdant that used to be
red sand so hot
on which was shed precious
tears without shadow.

So I wake, each time

I wake and realize
I do not need a shadow
to stand between me and the sun
and some something
to tell me that I am, I am.

I am.

I just need those tears
shed on sands red and glaring
become pearls from my Mother
to wrap me in glory
and glory wrapped in me
and no shadow my shadow
forever

and pearls
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(and nights…it is strange
to wake and find the wet
residue of sorrows dried
and digging at the corners
of my eyes),

(like tears).

(last night…it is strange
to wake and find the dry
remnants of dreams moist
and pressed, pushing into
the spaces between me
and my pillow)

(like dreams).

(my tears glistening,
not the sands, they lay leering,
skulking, glaring flat and angry)

(the ones in my dreams,
the ones with no shadow)

(the tears and me,
not the sands and dreams)
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(my tears)
(like the armpits of abalones,
who also learned to live
without shadows)

(my tears,
not the abalones,
or the red sands,
or the shadows)

(born of tears shed on red sands glaring,
tears glistening and without shadow)
(not shadows or sands)
(because diamonds have shadows
and slinky songs and glittery platinum
brittle best friends)

(the pearls, not
sands and shadows)

(like shadows flee daylight)
(and clear thirst-quenching
shadow-clearing life)

(and the pearls of my Mother,
not the sands and shadows)

(not to day,
not in night,
I wake to me)
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Bones

I hear those glowy bones glowing,
those bones of mystery-menace bright
so dark inside their red cocoon
but white unto themselves alone
and full of lively light.
Incarnate Dead
The blood of bones in oceans vast,
the breathing moon’s silent contrast,
earth sweats her dew cooling and sweet,
rising to meet all thirsty feet
and bones stirring at last…
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To taste again of Love’s Birthright
and resurrection echoes loud
and everything restored, made new
from glowy bones Faithful and True
Bones blazing, Bones of Light
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To All From My Past Who Read Here

Hi.

If you are someone from my past and you read here, I want you to know something.

You are welcome to read here.
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If you are someone from my past, and you are genuinely open to learning new things, updated understandings of the ways that technology has revealed realities regarding gender and DNA…if you are willing to meet me…Charissa Grace White…and truly receive me as you would any human being you had met and were getting to know, then you are welcome to be in contact with me.

But know that my choice to transition is not up for debate…it is made and done.  To debate that with you would be as silly as debating with you whether or not it was the right thing to marry the person I chose.  So I will not allow this…I will not put myself at the end of your firing range to become your scapegoat for the social ills you so deeply dread.
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And finally…if you are someone who reads here while thinking of me as that freak who is a “man” but is deceived and deluded by the devil and is now under demonic influence for thinking “he is a woman”, then just GTFU…ur dum.  Holding this position is like boasting about how stupid, intractable and ignorant you are of the incredible body of literature on the subject.  You ought to be asking yourself why you are so deeply upset over this!  Why does it bug you so much?

I am by far a better person than I ever was before…more of what people have always loved about me and less of what people have always despised about me.

Just go away if you are in that latter category…I don’t care how long I have known you.  The length of time you have known me is directly proportional to the ought you are obligated to in connection with me!  You ought to be more compelled to read the literature…you ought to be more compelled to know the open flower and stop worshipping the tightly closed bud.
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There is a male who flat out broke off a relationship that was over 3 decades old, because I “had crossed a river he would not cross”.  He has had zero contact with me since.  This in spite of how his actions violate the very gospel he claims to love.  This in spite of the countless hours we spent together, the countless actions of service and love and support, the walking thru darkness on his behalf…

…clearly the issue is on him.

But I bring him up to tell you that his is the party you want to go join if you are in that latter category.

I am me…free…and flying.  You can fly too, if you would actually take responsibility for your choices and your failures to choose…your fate is in your choice, and may you find surrender to Love as you choose…
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That Eye Unblinking (A Holden Lament)


Last year a wolverine broke loose, came slashing and gashing, ran up and down
canyons and cliffs and crittering quick up tree-trunks with such fierce red claws…
Snarling and yowling the haunting roar raged, moaned and cursed with such
hunger, such fury, that flurry of wood-thirsty teeth insatiable, free from hiatus and

running heart birthed straight from Their Great Altar There which purifies
all things with Holy Fire so freeing, so cleansing…wafting austere like pure Incense
arising, in billows and plumes and ash, ASH, everywhere and in perpetual
Wednesday, marking the Cross on all things there…within.

the fire had time to make up…
One Hundred and Fifty years to turn…and it was said to be
A Great Mosaic Burn.

At last to feed its need to cleanse a forest fat with care, beneath the watchful eye of
Moses there, beneath his rod extended, as if the sun stood still again, and trees grew
up and great in grit and girth like Children of the sun, see how fat they had
become…See them, their indifferent eyes unblinking, safe, satisfied and

self-centered and all together, such a stand of forest land, secure, untouched…
so sleepy, nodding off with rusty Time’s tock-ticking Heartbeat softly crooning
to ossified great forest stands so very grand that didn’t know they needed
Severe Mercies to come with fire and hot kisses from the Phoenix.

It had not chosen cleansing
It did not know it’s need
for resurrection, for refining

For fire comes to cleanse and make new everything it can consume and challenge all
it cannot touch to understand that TRANSFORMATION’s the destiny
of every-thing with the courage to crawl out from underneath the letter and run
from the rod and leave behind the tyranny of the typical to the flames…

and walk away from Moses, into freedom in liquid-gold fireworks,
free from the cares of the world that cling so fierce and so easily entangle us,
choke our lives in hoary growth and lullabies lulling us fast to sleep,
a Sleeping Beauty Bride on her bower of soft and easy privilege.

She like an eye unblinking
safe in her cloister so fair
deaf to Her loud Divine Dare.tumblr_nfiksuYzYz1twolrlo1_500
And (just like that forest or Sleeping Bride), there amidst that red hot bloody conflagration set another eye, a forest eye, unblinking sightless eye and
woke up wide awake in terror tribulation, hushed in dread anticipation and fear and with helpless petitions arising, not like incense but like signals…smoke signals…

to Moses?  To God?  To the Universe Fire come down to feed?  Protected by roads
cut with care and foresight, that Eye Unblinking sat there in fright…
and Holden its breath and leaning against a wolverine dread come at last to
consume the dead, to rip that forest wide open and slash the woods to crimson rags

dripping bloody with flame and red flurries…
wrapped in silver sheets reflective, shiny
(or were they merely space age burial shrouds?)

It never blinked, that Eye, and all was shrouded safe, cocooned within
and underneath the rod and the Letter, striding secure thru the Red Sea Fire
escaping the sharp teeth of wolverine the Eye remained preserved amidst
a work that renovates the face and gives a skin-deep makeover, but leaves

the sleepy years untouched and undisturbed on laurels long gone brown
with age and loss of life though all appearances would say that Holden is
alive and well and safe from that destructive hell of fire and fear…yet
none could name that something still so desperately needed a root canal of flame!

for all the Who’s in Holden sigh
for yesteryear, forgetting that it’s
the thief that steals tomorrow.

And this year, one year later in the same Unblinking Eye I rolled in on the waves
and wind (Charissa, meaning “Grace” but named “Char”-issa, “Ashy-one”) seeking
to drink of the life that flows through a village untouched by anything that fell
outside the Mosaic burn and no longer shrouded outside but just maybe mummy

rags still wrapped so tightly around a heart perhaps long grown so slack, so sleek
and oh so fat just like that forest was last year before God gave a wolverine to rage and feed, and cleanse, renew…I saw History on display and windfall fruit rife
on the ground and satisfaction ruled the day, and familiarity won the race

and wore her shiny tangy plumy purple tinsel crown…
Golden Apples, everywhere and casual and everyone was on the in,
societal, and fire roads cut secure and ohh soo straight.

So I said Hi and reached with blinking eyes that squint into the light,
oft times in fright of storms and lightning flashing forth…and found
my blinking words rebuffed by cool and hooded eyes that had seen it all,
eyes satisfied and cynical cus been there done that, ho-hum…done much worse

I ran aground on fire roads and that Moses curse of long ago still Holden Court
over long hearts that found consuming fire fearful, dreadful and to be avoided
at all costs by any means…and thus She stands this very day…Holden Village
on cusp of…petrification?…or on that hot edge of the Phoenix Way!

Holden, Eye Unblinking, ensconsed
in the forest, last year just as this one,
in a forest cleansed to living bone, and Holden?

I heard the Spirit resounding The Word that Fire must fall upon a village that mirrors the forest that kneels all around…She said that She has a fiery crown and Holden is that forest fat and ready for the Refiner’s Fire, the Cleansing Burn that
resurrects those vital dry bones waiting…but She must choose that fate and blink…

Yes, we must welcome Fire Fate from God and let the dead wood burn,
and blaze, and feed Mosaic Ways to the flame and trust the Good God of the Fire
to keep her safe underneath Their Name and resurrected, cleansed, renewed
and ever delivered from stain and shame!

Let the rod be cast into the fire hot and be consumed!
For Moses died on Southside, short of Zion is his tomb!
And find us Lovely on the Northside, once again the Spirit’s womb!

Letter cannot take us there, nor blaze of past great glory fair
We must eradicate those roads of preservation that we wear!
They trap and capture us and cut us off from Grace unhindered
so we, like the forest, turn dull and dry, reduced to deadwood’s kindred!

I see Holden cleansed by Fire, and crying Holy tears when Holy
Spirit has free reign again to fall in fires that restore
and interrupt Sleeping Beauty’s snore and dead trees gone,
that speck removed and blinking eyes await the Dawn!

And animals can come again now welcomed
and bathe released in Grace and Precious Holden,
His Eye now blinking free and shining fair in Jesus’ Face.

Oh Holy Lightning Strike like Griffin Swift
upon this yearning heart in desperate need
of Your Mercy Severe, Your Holy Gift
Give us Grace to Find the Phoenix-Way!

To rise in faith from Ashes and from death
to self and self reliance, come what may!
On resurrection wings and Spirit’s breath
alive again and all is well this night

that breaks and shatters with the rising dawn…
and not a single fire road in sight,
and what will be well it shall simply be
and what will not be well it will be gone!
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Come Holy Fire, we answer Your Call!
and All Reborn, and Love is All in All,

“Someday…someday the snow will fall!”

Taking Communion At Pride

In the 57 years I have spent on this planet, I have taken communion tens of thousands of times.

The most recent of those times was at Pride in Portland Oregon on June 19th, 2016…served to me by Pat Christiansen while a gypsy troupe danced to insistent almost militant drumming behind us…

I closed my eyes as I took the elements, just as I always do, and looked to Them to see Them, to taste and SEE that the Lord is good…and I saw the Sacred Flaming Heart Icon…pulsing…beating…THROBBING…in time to the militant drums, and I was certain that this is the heart of the Risen Lord who wears the Two Edged Sword and Eyes like Fire…

The Heart was pulsingpulsingPULSING

There was a frame around the Heart, and it was getting bigger…and it was pushing against the frame.

The frame began to splinter…and then at last, the Heart gave a MIGHTY PULSE and burst the frame, shattered it and splintered it, and then grew bigger and bigger until it utterly enveloped me and I knew it was off to the far reaches of everywhere.
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The nightclub’s name is Pulse.  The city is Orlando…which means “Famous Land, Land of Renown” and lesser meanings of Times of Importance.

I find the entire experience prophetic and insistent…and I wonder…
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…are you going to stay inside the frame?  The Heart has left, departed…gone outside the city gates.

Are you going to sit and imagine Jesus coming to earth to kick ass on all the people you do not like…yunno, sort of like the Pharisees did and when Messiah showed up and punched them square in the conscience they got so mad they killed Him?

Or are you going to understand that God is stirred in Mercy and Compassion to the point that those things become the consuming fire of Light and Love and each thing they touch responds according to its matrix of being…if it is true it becomes pure and if it is not it simply is consumed.
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Stand with The Sacred Pulsing Heart.  The time is now.

If you wanna be in the “next move of God”, it isn’t with the so-called prophets and evangelists who seek after gold dust and commit adultery on a mass scale while the crowd has what amounts to a spiritual cluster-fuck.

No…it is in the highways and byways, where Mama compels to come in, and the Heart races to rush out.

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Bullets Flying Everyday

Nightmares.

That’s how I have been…lately.  See, someone asked me “How have you been doing, lately?”

Nightmares.
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It was a common question asked in a common way.  When I answered that Orlando had really shattered me, she shrugged and said that the world was going to hell in a handbasket and that we just had to deal with it.

Indifference mixed with derision that I was “emotional” and “unprofessional”.

And I flinched under a fresh hail of words which might end up being something else…let me explain.

Here is why I have had these nightmares of being chased, being hunted and slaughtered, being tortured and tormented and left to suffer and die:

Because this man took action in the real world as an avatar of what our culture throws every single day…words.

Every.
Single.
Day.
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As you read here…people from all walks of life…you statistically are cis-normative and as such you swim thru the waters of our culture with the current, finding it easy to slip and slide thru waves of words which wash over you and pass downstream without even a scratch.

But that is not the case for me…for millions in the LGTBQIA community…for tens of millions of others who are not privileged…and ultimately, it is not the case for you.
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Every day words are slung around by trigger tongues shot from missile silo hearts loaded with radioactive fissionable words and those words destroy over and over and over.  But bodies do not drop to the ground right away and we think that there is no effect.

I have read hundreds of so-called christian messages that say God hates LGTBQIA people, that God is punishing us for what we have “sown” (but it is implied that God doesn’t punish a cis-normie cus they are not … what?).  I have read people who are celebrating and saying they wish he would have killed more people.

In a strange way, I think this man was more honest about things than the vast majority of haters, because he actually did it:  he actually took instruments of death, and looked human beings in the eye, and shot them down in hatred, in horror, in fear.

But you?  You who use your words everyday on others and shoot them dead in the heart?  You who sit three thousand miles away and use words to hurt and silence and kill?  You who cast stoney words?  You who use chemical weapons of mass destruction in the name of “hating sin” and call that “loving the sinner”?
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You are him.  And anytime, anywhere, any of us indulge our evil and hating hearts with our words?

We are making our Our Own Private Orlando.  Our own little abattoir of blood and bone and terror.

I read a FB friend who was so eager to decry the so-called terrorists of radical Islam that she momentarily forgot to carry the slaughtered in her heart…a gentle and indirect prompt stirred her, thank God and to her credit she took down the post and remembered the true enemy…but I tell you this:

Every single slur, every single sarcastic remark, every single angry slam, every single troll comment is a bullet.

And I have nightmares because all this man did was precipitate into the physical world the death and destruction and rape and violence and horror and rage that surrounds me, assaults me, overwhelms me every single day.
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Yes…I remember the days before I came to myself…and I was like any other typical white privileged christian who thought they did not hate anyone and yet made casual callous jokes and had no awareness of anyone different than me as a hurting human being…and I will always bleed over those years of blindness, for they indeed qualify me as chief of sinners.

But no more…and now I can see how each and every time christians say that God is punishing the LGTBQIA community with actions like this, and that God is angry and pissed off because They feel mocked and thus slap us down, and that we are reaping what we have sown when in fact we had nuffin to do with how we are made…each time this is the attitude?  They have made the sacrifice of Love that Jesus made for us on the cross null and void…

…and they nail us up there…and they nail their shadow and sin there…and they are the ones who vent their wrath and fear and loathing…on us there…and they have made Jesus sacrifice to be in vain.
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What I am trying to say is this:

Each and every time you speak in insensitivity, unawareness, privilege, hatred, anger, prejudice, and judgement?

You are the Butcher of your Own Private Orlando and the hearers of your words your victim.

I am gonna go out to the world today and walk in that hail of bullets, that storm of bullets flying everyday.

And when I show how they wound me?  I am gonna be the one jeered at, the one others recoil from with the forked fingers thrust at me with the christian evil eye ward…
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When you stop killing with your words, creatures like that killer will not have nearly the power waiting to channel as an avatar of a culture of hate.

Nightmares.
I am having nightmares.
I am a pincushion of death-words thrust into me…

Let us wake one another up, for the hour is getting late.blood_moon_forest_by_pastorjwallen

I Await Your Sacred Steps

I dashed this off…
well, actually it just
shouldered its way
from my soul
and forced me open
and muscled forth.

No…
it is not polished,
or even much good,
but it is insistent
that it wants to be…
just as it is…
unfettered,
untamed,
unedited…

on fire and fierce.
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let its blood
trickle across your tongue,
down your throat to infuse
you with starfire unquenchable,
with the seeds of birth that come

when nebulas collapse
so that new stars
can be born.
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Will you let
something new
and unkillable
catch fire
in you today!!??

Will you rise
up unshakeable
though ye tremble,
undefeatable though
ye weep?
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Yea, weep
and mourn,
grieve and wail
on the mountains…
and drink this philter
as you pour your tears
like rain upon these bloody
sands so desperately needing
the touch of falling stars to ignite
the birth of light again in this dark night!
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Carry this fire inside
you, Prometheus returning
to those gods weak and beaten
and frightened in a pulsing night
cowering before their creatures
unfettered and held hostage
to hate and darkness…

bind it to your forehead
bright diadem of Hope
and going past the fallen
crumbled thrones of old gods
doddering and wetting the bed
of their comfort and ease…

and hail
to the Halls
of the Risen Lamb
slain and shining ever
in Love, our Sun/Son/Lion!!!
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We march
on Saturday.
We march
on Sunday.
Friday,
though you be bitter
and seem so final,
you are nuffin to me!
I have fought
thru 5 decades
of Fridays
to get to this
time and place.

And
I see
Abraham shining…
I see
Martin and Martin
there, glim’ring…
I see
Susan and Harriet and Joanna…
Joan and Hildegard,
Thomas and Peter
and John…
I see them,
a sea of those
gone before
who beckon,
exhort…

A panorama of the Milky Way over Indian Head Cove in Bruce Peninsula National Park

Yes, weep…
pour it out,
and then
TAKE IT UP,
your tears now
jewels of fire
and precious
and eat them,
living coals
feeding the fires
of new stars
in your souls…
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I await you
in the streets of life,
and I shall never
be silent,
I shall never
stop or waver…
forward!!
Onward!!

We have come this far by faith,
and we shall not turn back now.

See the enemy posture…
covering that cowering fear
as we loom, our faces bright
and fair with Love
and Mercy and Justice
our diadems and Mama
and Jesus Avatar of Love Eternal
our Sovereigns…
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I await you.
This is your time.

Come out this weekend, ye privileged!
Cast your crowns in the gutters
so they can find purchase and grow
and their roots tear down
the walls of Massa’s farm.

Come.
Out.
Ye.
Shining.
Chosen.
Singing.
Ones.

I await your sacred steps.
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Unfurling From A Set-Free Throat

I still struggle to dig it out,
that splinter you shoved into me,
down my throat without so much as
a shot of whiskey or
a shot in the dark.

and you are so certain, sure
of how to walk the world
and all her streets unfurled
when really you are justifying
dwelling in your fear.

But you look so damn normal and together
while I am flailing in the maelstrom of myself.
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Here is what you do to me:
Idealize
Exoticize
Misunderstand
Validate
Vindicate
Vilify
Victimize
Re-traumatize
Reframe
Take out of context
Murder mysteries

You lecture me, slay me with
hidden sneers and resurrect me with
empty scripts and steal my mystery…

and mysteries become stories
and stories become reality
and stories shape the mind
that tells and gives them shape.

stories about “them”
stories about “me”
stories about “you”
stories that isolate us,
separate and set us apart
from the world at large.
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You simply have no clue of how
the mind can terrify, filled up
with anguish, upset, turmoil, fury,
the mind makes meanings out of shadows
and is too easily taught
to fear what it does not know…

And that is your biggest blindest blunder:
You do not know what you do not know
and thus you fear the healthy YOP
unfurling from a set free throat!
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Your mind assumes what it cannot
make out clearly or take out easily.

It’s a survival tactic.

But it inhibits you from being open to learning.
It inhibits you from being students of life.

You’d be well-served to sit our assumptions down.
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A Potent Surrender

Trusting is just such a powerful challenge
to lay down my life without knowing for sure
it will ever get picked up again…by…anyone.

a potent surrender to God (and to others)
that commends my only possession (that’s me)…
to the Hands and the Head and the Heart of all things.
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A turning away from the will to possess,
from power and reflex to cling and to clutch
with brazen heart, hard face and bravado whistling…

afraid in the night of the Breaking Day Coming…
the willing embrace of a breaking that gives birth
to wholeness and health…well…trusting is just such

a challenge
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Nomad Wanderings

Nomad…such
a lonesome word
a wanderer, thru cold
crowded tangy deserts
drifting, homeless thru
fudgy thick neighborhoods
traveler in time and yet never
home in any singular moment.
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Feeling like
the darkened sky
could swallow me up
in seconds, under silent stars,
I feel the same way “Nomad” sounds
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I am a wanderer,
a refugee in this
gulag archipelago
of google connection,
a stranger in a homeland,
a foreign and yet familiar land.

I have a suspicion
we are living but
as aliens estranged, from
our thin past, from
our strained culture, from
our oh so tragic country, from
our neighbors (as ourselves), from
our friends and family, from
our deepest self
and from God.
wind
Nomad…
walking in the silence
of an anguished lonely prayer,
lost in the distraction that
constricts and consumes years,
hopes and dreams annulled
by all that alienation welling up
within us…and yet…

*there is always an “and yet”*
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and yet we wait
estranged and encouraged
in hope that all is not yet
as it will be, we wait in hope
Hoping in that blue Promise
that promises are real and full

and yet we wait
and know that Nomad
can only mean there is a home
we wander from and
wonder back home to.
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A Whole Bucket Of Water (Dedicated to Allyson Katsufrakis)

 

three women
are left widows

Ruth
Naomi

Orpah
(hers a different story)
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one left (missing tooth in the wind’s mouth)
one bereft (missing river in the bank) and
one rooted in the cleft (present)

Naomi without water
on fire with despair
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Ruth without a plan
on fire in the air
choosing simply never leaving
just simply remaining…

there
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no matter what the cost
allegiance to the weakest
boasting in the vulnerable
feeding the dessicated
and comforting the desperate
and calming those who rave

when women stand together
for the sake of one
no matter what the cost
they stand, they hold…they save
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it reminds me of the marvel
the wonder and the mystery
of Jesus in humanity
at home in shared adversity…

we all of us “Naomis”
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As Jesus walked among us
“the very least of these”
and chose to share our horror
and chose to face our death
and bears now on His body
the marks of His great love

He shows God’s solidarity
He is our loving Ruth
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The Difference Between

the difference between living and dying
can be found in the difference between
the Grand Canyon and the Milky Way
Another way to say it is

mutual dependence
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Living               Mutual Dependence               Dying

We need the solidarity of the reaching skies
in swathes of silk and shades of grey
to close that gap completely
all the way
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Solidarity…
Mutual Dependence…

trump cards over torture and unbridled ego…
habits that engulf so many with such ease and lack of effort

Adversity sometimes coaxes out
the best and the most beautiful
in human beings but only if
the sky can partner them
thru the gap
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between

that unrelieved thirst
that threatens to engulf

and the utter madness
of misdirected sanity.

Ah…and the skies like banners unfurl
The Difference Between
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On Living The Gospel

It is not so much our slogans and statements, our creeds and commitments as it is the way we walk them out with our flesh and blood.  Documents are empty hulls of potential…and every single day that we truly live those commitments we give them flesh from our flesh and blood from our blood.
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The challenge posed by staunch commitment to broken people is that you then will have dealings with broken people.
This can be troublesome if you unconsciously expect that broken people will live and act unbroken. If you dribbled a crystal globe, and it shattered, and then when you touched a piece and it cut you or poked you, the challenge you would be facing would be full blown in how you reacted to being cut.
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That is where the reality of creeds, statements and slogans truly emerges…the ones who react in shock or outrage or horror are the ones who thought that globe was a basketball. The ones who recoil in horror or anger or disgust are the ones who believed it was a soccer ball.
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That is the distilled essence of walking out the Gospel: realizing that it is a message that attracts the hungry, the lost, the broken and it is not the creed which transforms but the living Presence of Christ IN that creed that does the work of healing and restoration.
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Which means to live the Gospel is to be inconvenienced, to be confronted with wounds that stink and are infected, to change the emotionally and spiritually incontinent…and to do it in patient joyful tenderness.

Someone can make their point with stern words and terse actions…it is not hard whatsoever to understand a point that has been made…and someone else can walk their love with gentle hands and consistent presence, and then ask for whatever they want as the broken heal, and slings are discarded and casts are cut off and the lame begin to walk.
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And then…deeper…closer…at the pulsing core…the revelation that is couched in those words from the cross “Forgive them Father…they do not know what they are doing.”

Those words have such compassion and understanding in them…they assume that most people would do good things if they REALLY KNEW the impact their troubling actions are having.

It’s such a good thing that we are coming to the place where we can even see that our statements and commitments and creeds have a unique calling to be expressed in our current climate…

it’s an even better thing when we count the cost…

it’s the best thing of all when we keep going and the word(s) become flesh.

Such A Long Way Home

I have such a long way home
such a long league of the sea
the last one, longest of them all
as I swim home to my True me.

I have come so far across
the desert sands so red, so hot
no water any where to dip
my tongue, my pen, my deepest thought
But here I am, the sand and sea
embracing in an endless dance
where there is both and neither here
as I transform in this final chance

to swim the promised depths, my home
in waters full of mystery
I have such a long way home
but I will get there, true and free

Afloat In Holy Black

it’s a thousand points of light
stark against the black
reflected in my eyes
refracted in my heart
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a thousand thousand times
in gold, in yellow hues
embedded in the sable soft
stuck in molassess skies

amber warm and endless sloe
i feel the tête-à-tête
vibrate around me, in me too
and I begin to know

that I will never fade, burn out
or disappear in black
for I’m a thousand points of light
afloat in Holy BlackThe stars on the ceiling of the vault. Mosaic (mid 5th)

Meditations On Suffering

The journey difficult and hard,
black and blue and bitter cold
upon the road thru long days old
and vales of death and darkness.

In hardship and travail we walk
and most of us will quit before
we reach the end, and yet that end
is still a mystery so vast…
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It strikes me that of all the ways
to make appeal to human hearts
They chose to magnify the cost
and left rewards as afterthoughts.

What exactly is Their point?
What is promised with this pain
and sacrifice…and…what?  Comes next?
More mumble mumbo turbo trouble?
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Fatigue and hardship hand in hand
in times of darkness shared in light?
Not the cheery words that humans
think they need and want, but turn from.

Jesus looked at His best friends
and told them that in this hard world
they could be promised suffering
and then He spoke a miracle:

“Have courage, My dearest friends,
faint not! For I have overcome
the world and all that is there in”
And pain’s denied sour last say!
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Somehow the Son of God joins us
within it all and thru it all
So what exactly is success?
Is it simply winning? Tell me!

Because something shines beneath!
Something lurks Gold and Beyond!
I smell victory past defeat
and virtue is its own reward.
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Sanctuary– For JD

Remember Litter-Mate…the fact that they other and police you affirms your authenticity!!

 

30 Years Previous (For JD)

UPDATE:  I have edited this a little…because I always had to force it to make the other one a part of it…truthfully, he ghosted, present by proxy but I never ever saw him walking in the crucible…he was an outside lurker, a skulker, and too shamed and hangdog to enter in…and skert too.  Skert that he was so bad that there would be nuffin’ left of him once the cleansing fires got their way…and maybe even more skert that there WOULD be sumfin left…
*****

Dearest Litter-Mate:

I think of you…nearly every moment of the day while I am fully functioning, doing other things…I can smell the burning singing smell that is so acrid to the natural nose, and is the sweet incense of devotion unto the One who walks the Heavens and searches the earth.

“Precious in the Eyes of the Lord is the Death of Their Saints” said the prophet of old…he knew his shit, that dude…

But you are there…deep inside me, in those lonely caverns that I have wandered, those places of the soul that the force and floods of horror, of rage, of desolation, and of utter defeat have worn so smooth over such a long time.tumblr_ntxz2cvGXA1s5neh1o1_500
You are there…and it may seem so utterly dislocated and strange to you that you sometimes are bewildered, sometimes bemused, and always befuddled that the failure of humanity and the fucked-upness of specific humans can simultaneously be so powerless and so crushing.

I have not seen anyone else in these places.  I say this to you to encourage you…and also to disabuse you of the notion that there is any exit except death…there isn’t.  And that is such a good thing.  I am dead-living proof!!  No, you do NOT want to have come this far only to have some small parts of yourself left alive to be like “trichinosis of the heart”, just parasitically causing you to vomit up the food that God gives, the bread from heaven.

There is a company that forms in each generation…it is the company of the dead-living and it is the opposite of the living-dead.  There are not a lot of beings in it at any one time?  And yet there are whole halls of heaven that are full of nuffin but these royal noble cavaliers!  Hebrews 11 is the way they are described in the bible, but I prefer to see them for what they are:  anti-zombies.
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You have figured out why zombies are such an attractive modern myth, have you not?  I mean, think about it:  dead people, who ambulate, and are compelled to bite other people and infect them with the exact death they shamble in…or, given whatever mythos you subscribe to, they may even eat the brains, or consume the flesh, whatever…the point is, they take other healthy people and reproduce their death in those people and enslave them to the same doom.tumblr_nq5vc0hxpU1qz9v0to5_1280

Well “anti-zombies” do just the opposite.

But how is it that the dead-living can accomplish this work?

You know…now.  You know.

We must die…die the death of the One who has gone before, and be resurrected in that One now dead to ourselves and alive in the Living One’s life…and there is nothing that can come thru that except thru the gate of death…thru the Eye of the Needle…nothing else but you can get thru.

Thus the layers…thus the experience of getting burned, thinking okay this is the last level…then a new level of sorrow, thinking okay that was it…and a new level…and so on and so one.

My love…do not lose hope or feel sorry for yourself.  Behold what manner of Love the Father has given unto you!  Turn!  Look around, see who is remaining, and look into their eyes, deep!  LOOK!!!

*Charissa stops typing, waits*

Who else do you really want?  You have been thru the fires!  You have seen the worst, and the best thing about that is it is so ridiculously benign and dorky…it is now ready to become lovable and precious and your absolute best asset.  We are promised that Their Perfect Strength is perfected in our weakness, and thus it is that we begin to literally and honestly boast in weakness so that Their strength may be made perfect!18c3032daf033968d7ebd9cd091f3a2e
Anyway, as I was saying, I am aware that myriads of our company has been formed in a manner like unto the same one as I have endured…but I have never seen anyone else wandering the particular halls that have been mine to both haunt and inhabit in grace…and there you are.

I think perhaps it is because Mama has given me to be the “Virgil” to your “Dante”?  Weak Metaphor, but the notion of one who has been in the crucible, died a few times in the crucible, and been raised/risen after these deaths and now ready, willing, and able to encourage, exhort and edify you as you make your way along the path of losing all to gain Hearts Like Theirs.

I wish I could do more…I wish I could give you sumfin, grant sumfin, wave my wand and holler out some magic word that would “get er dun” and release you into the freedom found only under the mercy…but that would leave the work incomplete, and your faith and trust would be in me rather than in the only One who can grant that very thing but in the form which lasts eternally and transforms wholly other into that New Creation of which Immanuel is the first fruits and older brother.

What I can do is leave you lil packs of food…leave you canteens…make my slash marks on the barren tree-trunks and scratch my hieroglyphics on the walls of limestone so smooth, so implacable…they look a bit like bones, don’t they?  Cool to the touch, smooth, lacking flesh or any hint that there was ever any life in them…and yet…barcelona_above___revisited_by_coigach-d9h3eeg
…and yet, place your fingertips upon their surface…see how they shimmer when you do!!  See how they pulse with promise and throb with anticipation of the coming flames that are the Phoenix-Flames.wg441_ghost_1This morning, I was remembering a particularly difficult stretch, waaaay back in the 80s…it was so strange back then, to be so young and feel so old and weary…and there were the oddest collection of souls that came my way in various places and times and ways and means.  One of the best was the New Wave groups that became somewhat popular during these days…Talking Heads, The Clash (yes, I call them New Wave and Not Punk), Joy Division, Public Image LTD (the implosion of the Sex Pistols birthed that group)…and one of my very faves Echo and the Bunnymen.  Their music got me thru so much.

Take a listen to these tunes…and you can turn the music up and SCREAM THE LYRICS AT THE TOP OF YOUR FRIKKIN LUNGS!!!  Giggles…it is soooo freaking freeing.  And as you listen, think about young Charissa, wandering the halls even back then, and now a topsider who walks among zombies uninfected tho not unbitten.
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When your head pop out of the ground, it will be to spring, for you will see no shadows.

In the meantime, know that you are never alone…not for a moment, because I am thinking of you, carrying you like a beloved book-bag, holding you like a precious journal that must be written in everyday, and scrawling my prayers onto the Face of God like I desperately scratched my thoughts onto the livres of that long ago tome.

I have just re-read this…there are whole outlines inside each sentence…if you want them, they fall vertically from the words, and are hyperlinked to your shut eyes and open inner vision as you think, as you listen, as you weep…and know that the tears shall be sweet and cleansing, and you will be glad in the Lord for every single ounce of suffering.tumblr_llz2o0zzP51qisir0o1_500
I am not blowing smoke…I am not giving you platitudes.  This shit is real, and you are gonna lose all things…except for the things that are you and are the flesh and blood gifts of the Goodness of God.  But all the things that need to go because they keep you allergic to zombie-venom and thus vulnerable to becoming one of them?  They are gonna go…up in flames, thru your fingers, gone.

And you will find yourself still here.  And pretty soon, it will be time for the gathering of stones (now is the time for casting them away).  And it will be time to light the grill, and cook some fish, some turkey, whatever…and beyond that?  I don’t see anything.

Wanna know why?  Because there is no beyond that!!  That is the whole point!  It is then that the what-you-do’s and the things-you-say’s are so ordinary to you, and so extra-ordinary to those who need medicine in the soul!

In the meantime…here are a couple of songs from one of the cadre that kept me alive in the 80s, and the knowledge that other feet have trod the paths of the dead…and emerged laffing our fool heads off!tumblr_nyhozchyuh1qat5pio1_400
I love you…and JD…what can I say to you that we did not already say before we knew we knew one another?

 

The Song Of Loss And Gain

Steeples and graves stand marked in memory,
by a crucifixion making way for the last to be first,
and the guilty pardoned, making way for
the creature and The Creator

(the Dying/Living One Living/Dying,
dying/living here, within me too,
I who lack in every grace
to just die already,
so full of Great
Grace to live
always)
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it’s a sign so mysterious and standing
at the core of history the core of the world.

CORE:
suffering,
death, tragedy,
and sad sorrow He
(Supremely human He)
submitted willingly hanging
doggedlybroken and bleeding
holding our infirmities in
His bloody Holey Hand
(He’s Got The Hole
World In His
Hand)
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it’s a gift of forgiveness
and assurance, depiction
of the depth of divine mercy
and hope of God and us.

Is this querulous song enough
to quiet restless running thoughts
and ease unanswered questions’ ache,
that burn so cold in hearts laid low
in suffering, hearts whose hope is seized
and despair left laying in its wake
(suffering-wake)
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But we must willingly carry
defeat and thirst and emptiness
through to the end of darkness, to
the end of self, and to the world’s long waited end
bringing meaning to suffering and peace to hearts in pain

in this symphony of blood
in that song of loss and gain.
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Advent Poem: Seeds of Sorrow

The end of exile and darkness
began at the manger of Jesus,
where seeds of sorrow sprouted
(sorrow Theirs and ours)
in Joyful Birth, and drawing
near to earth from heaven
as angels’ song is hushed

in holy hesitation
as Jesus Christ is born.
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He, God’s seed of sorrow sown
into the earth in Hope
of such Divine rejoicing
and harvesting of many
children returned Home
and exile at last over,
that exile self-imposed.

My Baby Loves God Like A Boss!

My Baby loves God like a boss!

She ain’t no red-light winker
or Fleet Street wanker
when it comes to
loving Them, HELL NO…

She’s a street walking swinger
as long as that street glows golden
and is called The Way, or just plain
Beautiful, or if that street is a market

and she will buy Their wares…
pearls here, pears there,
peas and poultry right next
to peace and praise…

Ahhh…

My Baby loves God..loves God like a boss!!
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Advent Poem: This Waiting Time

Sometimes frost grips limbs
once lean and limber in the wind
now long grown stiff and creaky
and I hear them crack and groan
in those sticky clutching fingers
cold and frosty, fingers
cold and frosty.
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Sometimes ennui (cold)
grips my soul (grown old)
and in its grip I groan
(groan old) and my soul
(my waiting soul) runs
around my heart and
around my heartas the clock’s tail
ticks and twitches, chases
its tail like a cat relentless,
(useless) and that (waiting)
that frosty cold difficulty of waiting
remains there clinging tightly
in the fading day.
But Advent…

Advent
Advent comes again
and gives her gift.In the cold and dead of winter,
trauma seems to sting much deeper,
and healing for the broken parts
of my life…and the people that I love?
Seems so much harder to obtain…
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When it comes to these things
things so staggering and important,
healing, peace and goodness
on the earth, freedom from suffering,
well…waiting is hard, so hard and painful.

But in these moments I’m remembering
I’m troubled in soul and looking
for something transcendent, greater
than the hurt and pain and suffering,
something, someOne warm enough
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persistent, faithful, warm enough

to breathe on us
to break the ice
and give us life
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Long familiar sweet hymns play
wherever I go, I remember
I am poor, imperfect, waiting for
the God Who comes down,
Comes Down, God With Us
Emmanuel! Hosanna!
In the Highest Holy Fire!
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and I feel again
the gentle nudge
of a knock deep
at the door
of my small
and icy lonely
heart.
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Advent is the time of waiting
waiting for the One (the One)
Who embraced body, embraced sorrow
Came to show us all the fullness
of just being home, present, and real.

And we are long reminded in
our cold dolorous longing
what we’re longing for actually
a WhoWho, Who we long for,
God…always coming nearer to us.
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I have found a place
inside (in Advent, inside you)
that place where once
you die, you…
you come Alive…
A place where pain
and pleasure weigh out
just the same
and all that’s left
is only Love,
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And every sorrow touched
by the wild gold Promise
that in this very place
(of waiting)
Jesus has been born
(is born)
and will be born
again and again,
and again
breaking thru
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that icy grip
thawing out
our longing hearts,
melting all
our sin and deaths
so we can
laugh again.