Repost of A Call To Repent

From 2016…my thoughts on the popular evangelical christian “shotgun passages” they use to blanket condemn anyone who is not cisgender and heterosexual.  I am reposting this because I sense that there are many readers from the past, several of whom have issued blanket condemnation of me and others like me…and who I have not seen or exchanged a single word with for many years…and yet they somehow know the state of my eternal destiny and current connection with God…

It makes me so sad…but not for me, actually!  For THEM!  So cocksure, so sage and sad, caressing their chins ever so mournfully and yet so piously, rubbing their beards…and wallowing in their own human pride and selfish piousness.  People who claim titles like apostle and prophet, pastor and teacher…

people who Lord it over one another and practice a spirituality that is actually “homo-sect-uality”, and in fact the epitome of that abuse of power that Paul describes in the 1 Cor 6 passage, wherein an older powerful man exploits a younger and vulnerable boy…

I have seen (and experienced) that very exploitation myself.

It is my true hope that scales would fall off their eyes, as they did my own…where I discovered that the REAL transition of my life was transition from a self-righteous pit of death and striving towards a humble and broken compassionate vessel of the Love and Generosity of God.

There is also a link to a blog post by John Pavlovitz, and his listening experience to true christians who have been condemned by others…

“…Now, let’s see: I spot behaviors in this passage, behaviors that all focus on choices of the will…choices to commit various sexual sins (still not talking about orientations), choices to break commitments made to God and to other human beings (adultery and idolatry, which is a VERY tricky and subtle fault), choices to be envious that result in theft and coveting other people’s possessions, choices to become drunk and pursue a lifestyle of choice to indulge escaping from mature and fruitful living, choices to speak with anger and intense hatred in bitter speech to other human beings (yunno, like the comment section of articles), choices to THREATEN PEOPLE INTO DOING WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO…like the shunning that YOU REGULARLY DO to those whose ORIENTATIONS are imagined by you to be behavioral choices…

and yet somehow, ALL of the above choices you extend Grace and Mercy to, and almost all of those choices you have almost certainly been blood-guilty of yourself!! But you sit cheek and jowl in the pew with your fellow “unrighteous” and allow for yourselves and your cohorts in unrighteousness to participate in the Righteousness of Jesus and thus not only be forgiven, but in your mind EXCUSED from scrutiny…and you are content with the understanding that each person must scrutinize themselves with God (oh wait: Paul said that he did not judge even himself, for God is Judge)…”

Source: Love Wins (at John Pavlovitz’s blog) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Blind Bartimaeus and You | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am reposting this prose essay that I wrote in 2015.  Based on current readership, I think it might hit some hearts that are perhaps now harrowed by grief and plowed by sorrow, and tender, softened by trial to receive seeds of humility that may grow and blossom into the fruits of compassion.

At least…I hope so.

May we all find the grace to become as Bartimaeus.

It is clumsy and has arthritic hands when it speaks and cannot hold small fine brushes or move with nuance, and so it paints with a broad brush in generalizations and caricatures…it is cartoonish, buffoonish…it is guffawing and backslapping……and the absolute worst is that it advocates the very hatred and othering and policing against others that has wounded and killed so many in LGTBQ circles.

Somehow, hatred and othering is okay because “they have it coming”.

I would say that I am embarrassed for the individuals to whom I refer, except that I am so deeply dismayed embarrassment is too embarrassed to show her face.  I think it is clear that hatred is a human heart problem…and will never ever be conquered by more hatred…ever.  Hatred can only be driven out by love, and when love is met with more hatred, the only secret weapon it has in its employ is grace, as displayed by forgiveness and then more love.

Constance:  if you fail to grasp this essential truth, then you will be doomed to circle the constellations in this galaxy of ideas and ideologies that provide us with cosmic meaning and orientation, and you will dwell in one thinking it is finally the one with no idiots or haters present inside it…until you hear the voice of hate and bigotry emanating from within the very halls you hallow and inhabit!

Source: Blind Bartimaeus and You | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Political Dealing: The Crisis of Evangelicalism | Fuller Seminary

This post goes out to any reader who claims to love God in the “traditional, evangelical sense”…who believes in the Apostles Creed, who believes that the Great Commission means that your life as a christian is defined by how much you witness, how often you go to the building referred to as “the church”, and who sees themselves as “one of the saved” regardless of anything else because of a sinner’s prayer prayed in the past.

Jesus said that there would be deception so great that even the elect would be deceived, and He told a story about how the sorting of the saved will take place:  who and what people were doing with “the least of these” being the winnowing fork.

If this fits you, then you turn from reading this article at your peril.

What I have posted below is an excerpt.  I recommend clicking here and getting to the speech directly.

May you be awakened from your anti-christ position and support of ttaf (that stands for Trump The Absolute Fucker)…and may you find the grace to return to your first Love, and actions befitting its expressions.

This speech was given by Dr. Labberton at a private meeting of evangelical leaders held at Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois, on April 16, 2018. The following has been edited from his notes for clarity and to give context to excerpts that have been disseminated elsewhere.

“…this is not a time of pressing on. I feel a personal urgency to stop, to pray, to listen, to confess, and to repent and want to call us to do the same.  Only the Spirit “who is in the world to convict us of sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8) can bring us to clarity about the crisis we face.

“…As I have sought that conviction, here is what I have come to believe: The central crisis facing us is that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been betrayed and shamed by an evangelicalism that has violated its own moral and spiritual integrity.

“This is not a crisis imposed from outside the household of faith, but from within.  The core of the crisis is not specifically about Trump, or Hillary, or Obama, or the electoral college, or Comey, or Mueller, or abortion, or LGBTQIA+ debates, or Supreme Court appointees.

“Instead the crisis is caused by the way a toxic evangelicalism has engaged with these issues in such a way as to turn the gospel into Good News that is fake.

“Now on public display is an indisputable collusion between prominent evangelicalism and many forms of insidious racist, misogynistic, materialistic, and political power.

“The wind and the rain and the floods have come, and, as Jesus said, they will reveal our foundation.  In this moment for evangelicalism, what the storms have exposed is a foundation not of solid rock but of sand.

“This is not a crisis taking place at the level of language. This is not about who owns or defines the term “evangelical,” and whether one does—or does not—choose to identify as such.

“It is legitimate and important to debate if and how the term “evangelical” can currently be used in the United States to mean anything more than white, theologically and politically conservative. But that is not itself the crisis.

The crisis is not at the level of our lexicon, but of our lives and a failure to embody the gospel we preach.

“We may debate whether the word “evangelical” can or should be redeemed. But what we must deal with is the current bankruptcy many associate with evangelical life.

“This is not a crisis unfolding at the level of group allegiance, denomination, or affiliation.  The varied reality that is American evangelicalism is evidenced in this room.

“We have no formal hierarchy, leadership, or structure and form no single organization, but are sorted and divided today as we have been—for better and worse—for much of our history.

“This is not a recent crisis but a historic one.  We face a haunting specter with a shadow that reaches back further than the 2016 election—a history that helps define the depth of the sorrow, fear, anger, anxiety, and injustice around us.

“Today’s egregious collusion between evangelicals and worldly power is problematic enough: more painful and revealing is that such collusion has been our historic habit…

“Today’s collusion bears astonishing—and tragic—continuity with the past.

“Right alongside the rich history of gospel faithfulness that evangelicalism has affirmed, there lies a destructive complicity with dominant cultural and racial power.

“Despite deep gospel confidence and rhetoric, evangelicalism has been long-wedded to a devastating social self-interest that defends the dominant culture over and against that of the gospel’s command to love the “other” as ourselves.

“We are not naïve in our doctrine of sin that prefers self over all, but we have failed to recognize our own guilt in it.

“Our professed trust in Jesus has not led evangelicals to die to ourselves, but often to justify our own self-assertion—even when that means complicity in the suffering and death of others.

“The scandal associated today with the evangelical gospel is not the scandal of the Cross of Christ, crucified for the salvation of the world.

“…it is the scandal of our own arrogance, unconfessed before the Cross, revealing a hypocritical superiority that we dare to associate with the God who died to save the weak and the lost…”

 

Source: Political Dealing: The Crisis of Evangelicalism | Fuller Seminary

The Leap

I laid down on a rock
to have myself a sleep
the lichen whispered in my ear
of mystery-wonder deep

and even though the clock
spun round, toward death did creep
the rock just waited, patient, near
for me to make the leap.

This Moon-Drenched Love-Slick Night


Come down to the old brown barn with me.
It waits under the milky moon dripping, travelling,
the pearly moon freshly dunked
in far and sighing opalescent seas
and then come flying, fat and flitting swallow here,
to these far mountains and awaiting our arrival,
peaceful you and shivering me.

Come dressed in silks and sighs
and nothing else remaining.
Come adorned with slings and arrows
to lay down long at last in love
unfeigning, unfainting here,
in the end of battle.

The barn sings low and swinging
all our wonder up and ever outward
while the silver moon is clinging
wringing high and deeply dipping down
into the gulf dividing us asunder
from the gods and from ourselves…

and the mountains…
ahh…the mountains there
so tall, so stark
and unrelenting in the dark
the mountains dare to root down and reach up
and hold everything together
as it twirls, spinning.

beneath the stars so bright
the mountains hold us tight
and all together in
this moon-drenched
love-slick night.

Carapace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this 4 years ago…a lifetime ago…when I first began to see I really really REALLY had a shell over me…and that it was possible to live free.

I want to challenge you today, especially if you are cis-gender and not transgender:  what shell are you living in?  What transition must you make as a soul, one that is not a transition of gender, but your own answer to the call to “cross-over”?

Are you called to cross over into creativity and leave behind the world of grubbing for money?

Are you called to cross over into true relationship with God, leaving behind the shell of conservative evangelicalism that is nothing more than a gateway to the gas chambers, with a sign over it saying “Welcome to Hell?”

We all are called to trans…from death to Life…from works to Grace…I pray you find your courage and begin!!  Cus the water is fine.


“It caged me in its cold confining bars.
Long have I been its lost and longing thrall,
its tenant-serf of weary plodding on.
It’s clung, tentacled round my throat, my eyes,
and darkness was its cruel confederate
who caged my strong uprising Ne’er-Say-Die…”

Source: Carapace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Wave | Charissa’s Grace Notes


wave ever rising
hanging there eternally
wave ever falling

Source: Wave | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Fog Like Still Joy | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This, another poem from last year, comments on life like a vapor, yet must be captured within you, there in your body…

the fog gathers, nesting
over the deep quiet glen
dialing down sunlight
damping every sound

in this gloam my supple soul
nestles in, gives up control
and ceases struggle to be good,
or important, or subtle…

Source: The Fog Like Still Joy | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Where The Light Passes In | Charissa’s Grace Notes

From last year…I really love this lil beauty!


Do you know the place where the light passes in?
That’s where you’ll find me when darkness is seeping
from crevice and cranny while Spring trudges weeping
I sit in the place where the light passes in.

You’ll find me there singing of beautiful life
and of faith like pure gold burnished shiny with hope
as my tears fall like diamonds so soft in the wind
In that place where the light, where the light passes in…

(continued at Source: Where The Light Passes In | Charissa’s Grace Notes )

The Straight Way So Crooked

look for the off kilter doorway
find where the street has no name
enter between the curb and the gutter
to stand in the light just the same

as the saints and the mystics before you
had to stoop and to crawl and to cry
for the straight way that looks oh so crooked
to the jaundiced and natural eye

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…”

via A Disjointed Incomplete Meditation…

Situla (Sans Images)

I admit I am surprised that there has not been more interest in my recent poem “Situla“.  Perhaps it was layout?
Situla means “a bucket for Holy Water” by the way…Here is the poem, laid out without any images…

 

Just after dawn…
but before sunrise
I wait
ajar
a jar
of costly
perfume

I hear the sound
of music stilled
and waters hushed

hushed beneath
frost crystals clasping
roses’ leaves…

I rise and
wait, hushed and
clutching me

my
alabaster
jar

this
empty
situla

still reeking
of sorrow and nard
of fragrance and tears
and deep joy too.

I guess the guests
are still around
the table, I think

the gusty crowd
is still sitting in
the dark and staring
(eyes shut)
at the inside
of the veil…

as I travail
in silence,
as I writhe
in ecstasy

and groan

for separation
to give way
to liberation
and this coming
fragrant day.

The frost
gives way
as light and heat
sing gently ’round
the edges,
as the roses
are anointed
and

the alabaster jar
breaks open
yet again

and I
pour
out my
soul

Her
situla

Situla

Just after dawn…
but before sunrise
I wait
ajar
a jar
of costly
perfume

I hear the sound
of music stilled
and waters hushed

hushed beneath
frost crystals clasping
roses’ leaves…

I rise and wait,
hushed and clutching

me
my
alabaster
jar
this
empty
situla

still reeking
of sorrow and nard
of fragrance and tears
and deep joy too.

I guess the guests
are still around
the table, I think
the gusty crowd
is still sitting in
the dark and staring
Image 004
(eyes shut)

at the inside
of the veil…
as I travail
in silence,
as I writhe
in ecstasy

and groan

for separation
to give way
to liberation
and this coming
fragrant day.

The frost
surrenders
as light and heat
sing gently ’round
the edges,
as the roses
are anointed
and

the alabaster jar
breaks open
yet again

and I
pour
out my
soul

Her
situla

Some Older Poetry That I LOVE

“talking with you
sometimes is either
a slap in the face
or a slammed door,
and yet the Void…gaping gulf,
it is but exhalation
in the Light of your shadow!

And falling
into that seeming nothing,
yawning and gulping, well
it is but a dropped stitch
in the Banners over me
of You.”

The Fall of Ancient Time (A contemporary Re-write of Psalm 5)

****************

“…Barcelona, City of Bones
Baking before the gates of the Sun,
I sacrificed my purity for thee, such as it might be
(my purity, not my sacrifice)

Purity…
of thought,
of mind,
of heart and soul,
purity of
song and deed
and strong intention.

Barcelona, my sacrifice
so droll, so dirty is actually
sterility masquerading
as purity and thus is merely

the absence of jazz,
the absence of spice,
the absence of that
jagged noise of exultation
and thus there is no
purity and nothing
quite acceptable
enough…”
barcelona_above_by_coigach-d9gyhp2
City of Bones

*************

“like the way
you touch my ankle
when we sit upon
the floor there,
by the fire
in the speckled-star-lit night
gathered close
outside the house
just like a mama bird who nestles
down so gentle on Her chicks…”
tumblr_ny9okxgwbf1rsj4s9o1_1280

This Speckled Star-Lit Night

A Look Back That Inspires

Something happened today which prompted me to want to repost something that I wrote in January of 2014…so long ago, and yet only 4 years…

In order to understand where I am at emotionally and spiritually in light of the event which transpired today, you need a bit of a refresher…an understanding that the repost at the bottom of the page was written BEFORE so much took place:

I wrote the words I am reposting before I wrote about the beginning of the shunning from the spiritual culture as defined by the vast majority of Christian Evangelicalism…these words, which talk about the nearly total experience I have had with Christians from my past (there is one…ONE person who has verbally, physically, emotionally and spiritually received me who is from my past.  She did so with tears of joy and literal kisses all over my cheeks and forehead, and was stricken as she thought back to the prison I was in and she was amazed that God had loosed this captive so wonderfully).
I wrote them before I wrote about a baby step of coming out that was looming…and ended up being a devastating attack and shunning by the time it played out.

I wrote them before I wrote about the shunning that happened on a monolithic totality in regards to every single friendship from the past which happened when I came out…I received a letter from a person that I had known for 30 years…a person that I had worshiped beside, shared many meals with…a person who had lived in our home…a person who I had walked alongside as they sojourned thru the valley of the shadow of an addiction which nearly destroyed family and self…a letter that shunned me in the Name of Jesus, The One Being who welcomes me constantly and says that His Blood is enough and more than enough for me…

I wrote them before I wrote of the public shunning that happened, when it was the searing abandonment in public circles.

I wrote it before the 21 Gun Salute took place, that professional execution I endured…that death, and the subsequent resurrection from those Phoenix Ashes…

I wrote about it before the horrid attacks coming from supposed Christians which were filled with literal perversions, profanities, and exhortations to kill myself…all given in the name of Jesus of course.

Yes.  That literally happened.

So what happened today that precipitated this reminiscence?

This:  there is a man from my past, a person that I met in the late 80s and who I was in close proximity with until the year 2005…this man operated (and perhaps still does?  I really do not know.  Lord knows that I have grown up, been pruned back, become more and become less, been adjusted, and healed of terrible blindnesses…so I do leave room for the possibility that this has happened with him as well.  But I do not hold out a shred of hope, or a scintilla of expectation that this has happened, for the need of those who are deeply in thrall to a certain assumption and paradigm to punish me and punish me utterly is far greater than the ability to actually live out the sacrificial Love of Christ that went straight for every single person who was “yet dead in sin”…and not just to the so-called righteous)…

This man operated under a deep orientation that assumed all the doctrines related to “submission”, and truly felt it was the loving thing to enforce that notion…I have many many hurtful memories of those years, from the comments regarding my supposed “cheesy grin” that I supposedly wore (likely, it was whatever mask was on me during the deep dissociation of living trans in a male role and carrying the burden of remembering every detail so I could forget that I was a woman, and thus related to the fracturing events of early childhood) to the interactions which accused me of seeking to utilize my role as a worship leader on Sunday morning in service of self, to the utterly devastating final blow given in such “sad sorrowful tones” which said that my father was suffering and dying in the way he was because I was not properly submitted to “the leader” of this group…

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that every single one of these actions was done from true conviction that it was the right and loving thing to do, based on the paradigm in which he (we) swam…indeed, I myself interacted with people who approached me for help and counsel as they struggled with their sexual orientations in light of the teaching assumptions we were under…and I gave the “answers” I had learned…and I grieve over that…so deeply…

I myself bought into attitudes and distortions of good teachings that I sincerely and 100% believed, and I thought those with other understandings to simply be sinners who were seeking to justify remaining in sin yet still retaining connection to God, and I simply…well, I simply did not have an ounce of compassion…

I shared the privileged view of the privileged…and had NO CONCEPT of the Other…

And it wasn’t until I was no longer “one of them”, not because I resigned membership in privilege, but because when I transitioned I was executed swiftly…

In the personal-relational realm
In the spiritual-religious realm
In the professional-economic realm…

So I know that the intention of those times was, within his own heart and self, “good”…

We also shared many other times too…good times where somehow who was submitted to who wasn’t that important and was never even thought of…such as working on each other’s houses…putting out a fire that started on a hill and nearly burned the entire area down…eating meals together…

Those years…I believe it was about 17 years…during those years I did a lot of dying, and had a lot to die to…and that place was the crucible of purification, in which I gained much wisdom thru death to self.  I was so fractured…so young…and so deeply in the grip of dysphoria and dissociation which was the hidden reef under everything in my life.

He did not know anything about this…neither did I.  And looking back, sooo many things just SHOUT it out so loudly, and while it is occasion of grief and mourning looking back, it also is comforting to know that at least there was a reason for it!

Well…Charissa’s Grace Notes is a public blog.  And this man is a reader…regularly…how frequently, I really could not say, but based on my own internal tools I have as the creator, I suspect it is fairly regularly.

How did he even know I had a blog?  I have not exchanged a word with this man for years…a good 7 years before I even transitioned, and certainly not a word since transition….God forbid!  I am pretty sure he would not, and I KNOW I would not because I decided in 2014 that I would never again submit myself to spiritual abuse and attack from anyone to whom I was a priori a demon-possessed hell-bound apostate.

It is obvi that he found out about my blog via word of mouth…because it is funny:  the biggest evils that scripture has volumes of teaching about (the tongue, the heart) are so easily ignored in Christendom in order to condemn the phantom evils which scripture never even speaks about (gender variance and orientation)…and wowsa did the word spread like fire!!

In fact, the person mentioned here even swore to me that he considered it his spiritual service and duty to God to out me to every single person he met, lest he be tainted by my “sin” of intentional self-deception and thus have my blood on his head.  Yes…these sorts believe this:  “If you see your brother approaching destruction and you do not restrain them, their blood is on your head”.  They interpret this old Proverb as the license to attack anyone doing anything that is to them “a sin.”  He told me that he needed to warn every single person he could that I was anathema and not to be received among “the brethren”…

try and imagine how this felt, and feels…

So anyway, I know that the man I am writing about this morning found my blog fairly easily, but after hearing the words of the tale-bearers, those morsels of gossip that go down so sweet and titillating…

But he has stuck around…and has been reading…for a long time, if I am guessing right…and because I am made who I am, and because of my heart towards God and understanding that I have been made thusly to break down walls and uproot lies and then to plant and build true kingdom attitudes, I have held out hope…a very very teeny tiny shred of hope…

…that maybe he has done the work, read the research…maybe he has examined the scriptures and his own assumptions…maybe he has the courage to know that in spite of anything he might believe about gender variance, the person he knew was truly a child of God and is still one now…that maybe he has met other transhumans…

I am not optimistic about this, or myopic…the odds are VERY slim.

But this man has done something, not once, but twice.

He has contributed money to my transition fund, each time choosing an amount which is significant to me as the number of my name.

But I am leery.  It is not inconsistent with the old assumptions of that paradigm to do acts of charity or service for those considered lost and perishing.  It is thought of as heaping coals of fire upon the head…it is thought of as setting an example…and sometimes it is flat out a genuine expression of God’s heart of love.

How do I know this?  Because I have been there, done that…myself.  Previously.

I am also skeptical and very wary because one of those donations referenced my children…and there is a huge assumption in play in those circles that a righteous relationship with God is able to be detected in the condition of relationship with one’s children and other family.

(Remember the remark about my dad suffering because I was “not submitted” and “rebellious”?)

It is not by any means whatsoever a stretch to see that particular donation coupled with that particular remark about my children as the “coin of unsanctified pity” and ultimately as a dig, a cut, an arrow shot in hopes of providing a wound that cleanses and restores…and if it was that, it was an arrow that shot and wounded and brought death because there literally is not a cleansing and restoring relatable to gender variance and orientation.

God knows there are plenty of areas in my heart that need adjusting and cleansing…it just so happens that being a woman who was assigned male at birth is not one of those areas, anymore than anyone need repent of their gender orientation, or their hair color, or leg length.

So I am very wary.  (Oh yes:  the donation this morning simply said “thinking of you”…and that was both a very simple comment and a very pregnant comment.)

The first time it happened, I accepted the donation, spent it on my legal costs in fact…yeah, dude…you helped me change my birth certificate, a great day in my life!!  LOL!!!!  But I did not reply or interact with the person, because I do not expect that interaction to be life giving and healing, but rather to be a battle and ordeal.

And then it happened again, this morning, and this one is significant to me…

…you see, just before the end of the year, on New Year’s Eve morning in the early morning, I dreamed about this person!  In the dream, Jane and I had a place we were building up in the hills.  We went up there one day to do some work in our structure, which was framed and roofed and wired and plumbed, but lacked sheetrock or siding and finish work trimming…and when we got there, we were shocked to discover that the entire area around us had been developed and had structures on it of various states of completion…all told, the area had around 30 houses, where there had just been ours and a lot of wild land.

We looked around a bit, confused and concerned, when who should approach us but this man who donated to me this morning!  He walked up to us and called out to us…and looked me full in the eyes and greeted me with “Hello, Charissa, may I walk close to you?”  I was very taken aback that he used my true name rather than my dead name and that he knew he needed to ask permission before moving close to me!!!

I said yes, and watched as he approached, and saw tears in his eyes.  He extended his hand to shake hands, and I impulsively brushed his hand aside, greeted him by name, and gave him a hug.  He did not shy away from the hug OR from the double reminders of who I truly am…and then he broke the embrace and held my by my shoulders at arms length and said that it was really good to seem me, Charissa…and his tears were streaming down his face.

I motioned around me and said “So what is happening here, and why are you up here?”  Meaning the development and his presence where there had been nothing but our house and no one but us.

He looked down in what appeared to be sorrow or shame or conviction or regret, I really couldn’t get a good read on it…and then he looked up and said to us “I am so sorry, and I have been wrong.  God has been working in my heart…in our hearts…and we wanted to learn.”  I said “Who is the we you refer to and what are you sorry for?”

He said he was sorry for all the same things that I sorrowed over about what I used to think regarding LGTBQIA issues and Christian teaching, he was sorry about the same things I sorrowed about in terms of the expression of God’s heart in such a cancerous and poisonous way that evangelicalism has become…and that most of all he was sorry that he had automatically condemned transgender people to the label of (fill in your favorite slur, I am not using it today)…

and he said that the “we” he referred to were all people from this little group that grew up, insular and inbred, from a “school” that he helped to start and keep going…that around 30 people all had this deep repentance and wanted to walk away from that old set of beliefs, and that he had bought all the property around us, in order to live close to us and learn from us…

…and would we please teach him, teach them?

Well, Jane and I looked at each other, shocked, suspicious, wary, and on the verge of running.

(Credit: Tyrus Wong
Tyrus Wong, Bambi (visual development), 1942. Watercolor on paper)

But one this is so clear to me…more clear to me than nearly anything I have ever heard from God:  It is completely and utterly inviolate to me that God Themself planned and intended to create me as I am from the start:  A Transsexual Woman, who would grow up wounded and fractured and driven to God as my only hope of salvation from despair and ruination…and that it was a very sobering thing to Them to do this, for They knew full well the horror and pain this would be to me…and each of Them stepped forward and said “I am enough for her”…and the reason for this is that They had assigned my life destiny to be a prophetess to the people of God who forgot the Heart of God…to speak to them of God’s Heart for the ones who are slaughtered in every realm and sacrificed on the altar of gender…

and that it should be easy for those people to receive me and God’s message, for in those old days I doubt any of them would have thought I was hell-bound, and in those days virtually all of them thought that I heard from God regularly…even though “there is so much wrong” with me LOL!

And so because of that mission, that quest…and yes, the desire to set them free of their blindness and prejudice and hatred, we did not run…but stayed…and said that we would consider it, but had many things to be worked out, many boundaries to be defined…

The man was joyous in our response and agreed to this…

and then I woke up.

Of course, since this was a dream, I interpret the details and events symbolically. I got up from bed and sat and thought and prayed for awhile, wondering what in the world I was dreaming about that dude for!!!???  I had not even thought about him for a couple of years.  Jane held similar puzzlement about it…and we both thought that it was talking about “a neighborhood of understanding/teaching/thinking/transformation” rather than an actual sub-division, and we saw both the man and the people he referenced as symbolic of that whole group of “white, cis-gendered, straight, evangelical Christian conservative” human beings who literally have NO IDEA how much they are bequeathed things on the basis of their race, their sexual orientation, their gender purity, and their religious understandings.

So we said a quick prayer…and I promptly forgot about it.

Until this morning.

Here is this comment “Thinking of you” and this monetary amount…and the dream rushed back…along with all the wariness, suspicion and other emotions which come from the experienced trauma and trial of those years.

The crucial thing to know is this:  a bell, once rung, cannot be unrung.  A woman who gives birth is always a mother, even if the child dies.  There is no “going back” because there is no back to go to.

It is this way with me:  I will never go back.  He is dead, Caterpillar Dude…he is no more.  He is the “back” and is gone.  So there is no “going back”.

Any “kind indulgence” will not “induce to repentance” because there is nothing to be repented of in terms of my transition!  As to repentance of any kind?  Oh yes…the continual joy of beholding Jesus and being transformed by degrees from the glory of the letter which kills to the glory of the Spirit which is life…yunno…the same repentance we share in common.

I am not sure what I will spend this amount on…probably on my HRT, and this is a valued and well received gift.

I am always open to the generosity of heart and spirit that flows in God’s economy from they that have abundance to they that have need…and would always in that spirit welcome such donations/gifts…other gifts I have actually passed on to others in far greater need than I.

But if the spirit and intention of the gift is anything related to “getting me to go back”?  To “repent” of “gender heresy” and “assume my old name and role?”

There is not a chance.

Those things are further from me than East is from West.

And if that spirit and intention is thus impure, then I consider the donation to be “the spoils of Egypt” and still put it to good use.

Wow…what a ramble, eh?  If any are still with me, thanks for reading patiently.

Blessings to you today from our wonderful counselor and our comforter and the lover of our souls,

Charissa Grace White
God’s Graceful Gleam

 

via Updates about my life

Nina Simone Sings It True

This is from 1976…and how I never knew about it until today is beyond me.  I have mocked and mugged over the song “Feelings” since it first hit the air waves…it is a piece of crap song.

But listen to what this incredible human does with it…what she says with it…what she doesn’t say…

Please…this is what I want to do with my Poetry

When Christians Defend Predators (By John Pavlovitz)

“Yet as ugly as followers of Jesus creating distance from him is, it’s a far more vile act, when in depravity they claim proximity; when they stand proudly in the world and commit the greatest of atrocities upon humanity—and contend that Jesus consents to it all.

It’s hard to imagine a greater illustration of Christians losing the plot than when they defend predators. There are few bastardizations of the life and the message of Jesus, as complete and grievous as taking the side of rapists and pedophiles and genitalia grabbers—but this is where we are now.

“With the Evangelicals embracing Donald Trump and with those now rallying to the defense of Roy Moore, this is what we’re watching in America: the least of these being thrown to the wolves by the supposed shepherds…”

https://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/11/18/christians-defend-predators/

Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina)

It is clouds…just clouds, hanging nowhere,
in nothing, like smoke curling quick
in Blue extending here and there
(and Here to There too…yeah)

and then pulling, parting, LO!  Beyond the blue It Comes, it comes,
The Pig steps forth majestic, shaggy, Wild with Wonder,
Pig of Power Looming larger than the sky from which it bursts
in sounding sniffing grunting thunder hooves a rumble tumble tango
striking sparks in their first touch so terrible and taut with cracking
sound of sizzle snap and clacking tap-dance Prince Pig prances slapping
touching earth, made into holy place, and touching down in France
and also somehow, every other place as well…
‘Tis red and ruddy, bristles stiff like forests, thick like brambles tangled
heaving bunching with each lurching hidden graceful step…

Mille Chiens!!!

What is this Thing, this Scion stepped down from Beyond and then stepped in,
this Archetype, this Power pulsing reddish brown totemic wonder
of an Uncreated Creature Come to sniffle, root the earth
and dig the children of the clay out of their seedbeds into day
where they will grow in deep delight of our Delight and Love and Grace

pig…Pig?

deliberate it shrinks, so slow and funny, so intentional,
soon become short, ordinary, just a snuffle huffle snorting
porcine pot of piggy, trotting almost dainty, dancing
deep connected to the wonder hidden in this ancient dirt
so new and old and full of life just waiting to be sniffed out, found
discovered there deep in the wombs and be drawn out from earthy tombs…

look quick and see it…hiding there…beneath that “used pig” thin veneer
and human truffles laugh and jeer yet if you listen you can hear
the Pig inside the pig just laughing as it shuffles, snorts and sniffles
each and every human soul (human truffles if you really wanna dig deep into Truth)
the Pig roots rough and ragged thru the forest, sniffing, grunting, rooting
sloughing with its trowel snout deep thru the red red red rich dirt
running deep down to the core and in the middle of the deepest
scents of mother earth the scents of birth, the scents of womb,
oh, NOT a trifle, scent of truffle waiting to be sent from tomb and tussle…Image result for sheep grazing in a vineyard
the sheep are walking gracelessly, unaware and grazing in among the vines
and looking down their noses at the rumbly Pig
deep in the fields and forests pregnant…

sheep so sleepy, unaware that buried there are toads both dead and yet alive
and full of death and parasite that’s also camouflaged, disguised
to look like truffles…sheep cannot discern, distinguish which is which
and what is dead, relationship of death and just a rancid bond…
and what is still just waiting, still, to be uncovered in its shell and be delivered here…no trifle!

But the Pig, it knows the secret of what really happened in the forest…
that smells like roadkill lacking graces to just let go and return, that tastes
like tin foil soaked in vinegar, metal, and electric acid anti-truth
the Pig, it knows those puffy toads so poisonous…but leaves them buried
deep entombed where they belong…to root out truth found deep in dirt
so red, so rich and truffly and toothsome to the soul…

Toads or truffles, that is what
The Pig came down to give to us, a choice…our choice…
but we must be rooted out and snuffled deep
and ripped into our very bones and breathe so deep
the earthy scents of just becoming

Just…Becoming…

as blood like liquid dirt that pulses,
courses thru our veins like rivers,
rivers in our noses

just like truffles…
rooted out…
by that disguised
and worn out
old Used Pig

Going Out Weeping, Returning Rejoicing

Yesterday…it felt like a dream.  I was thinking of that beautiful Psalm

“When the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, we were like those who dream! Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongue with singing! Then they said among the nations that the Lord has done GREAT things for them.

“The Lord has done great things for me…

“She who sows in tears shall reap in joy. She who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing her sheaves with her.”

It was like a dream to me…or rather, it was like waking up.
I think that is what death will be like…we shall fall asleep, and when we wake, we are shocked and stunned at the THICKNESS OF REALITY that we are swimming in!! What we shall see…what we shall hear…what we shall taste…

…talk about #SOULSTROLLING !!!!!! Kayce Stevens Hughlett !!!

But yesterday…the children are seeing me, and it is spreading like a case of holy measles or chicken pox lol!! My lil shadow cadre is growing…and I have spotted some little torn ones and sent them the message without words that they can talk to me with words or with eyes…and that is a good and sacred Mama thing of which I think I will not speak…but it is VERY good.
Let’s see…what did I do? Well, I am working for a brilliant young teacher who frankly has a chance to really make a mark in teaching should she discover this as a life long and intense passion. The fact of her name is also a promise to me…of this I maybe can write about later.

This teacher is giving me permission to help, truly help and I lack the words to say how this feels, after being in a place where it seemed that other agendas dominated the subtext.

At recess, I played soccer, I told stories…oh by the way, I am WAAAAYYY OLDER than a thousand years old!! I am so old that I know the stories of every single tree around our playground, and I know how to hear the language of all the little grasses and bushes that the trees protect…but I am NOT a MILLION years old because then I would be a dinosaur!!! (Yes, I did say all that, and I DID turn into a dinosaur, but very briefly…I quickly was me again laughing and joying!)…

I taught them how to walk on this little divider/container that looked like a balance beam, and soon I had 20 plus kids walking this little balance beam that probably was a good 200 feet or even MORE, all around the play structures…and OH MY GOD!!! It was soooo fun…
They were using gross motor skills, FINE motor skills, and in their minds???

Sometimes we were on a high wire at the circus…sometimes we were suspended over a pit of ALLIGATORS…sometimes we were suspended over a pit of PUPPIES wanting to lick our faces…sometimes there were people watching ready to give us medals if we stayed on…it was truly fun. Truly. FUN!
Did you have any fun yesterday? Like…FUN? Did you play yesterday?

Human beings need to play…every single day.

Staff is genuinely warm, welcoming…all things are going well.

It is only two days in…and these two days feel like waking from a dream…waking from the captivity of purification.

It’s always worth it, friends…the purification…so much so that you can even seek it out, if you are a Fool like me LOL! You can intention for purity…do something that is a ritual for you…it really doesn’t matter what it is, because it is the intentionality of your being which attracts Mama’s Eye and Heart…

I used to burn incense…but as my asthma got worse, I once asked Mama if I had to do that and She suggested that it was the incense of my Song She loved the most…and BOOM!!

Now I just burn me…

It is important for you to know that as I write these things, I sit in stunned wonder and actually laugh out loud at the ABSURDITY of it all!!

I GET TO PLAY…and I GET TO LOVE…and I GET TO TEACH…and I GET TO BE…

and in the moments, yunno the ones…when a little is flummoxed or triggered, or their lil brains have flipped and they cannot process the rationality of things…and you just sit there and say “omg Mama wtf am I gunna do???”

And She drops something down like a feather…or it PLOPS up from the soul-geyser and splats into your mind…or you sniff the inner breezes and smell Her near…or you notice some lil cue…

IT IS HER!! ANYONE CAN DO THIS!!!

Mama says this morning “Whosoever will, let her come to Me and come quickly, for it is your DESIRE that determines your DESTINY! Desire will determine which path your foot finds, and once you find that path it will pull you along, push you along, draw you in and up and IN AND UP…until…”

…until you laugh like Charissa.

I am like one who dreams.

Oh, one last word…yunno those verses I quoted above? Those are saying something very important.

She who goes forth weeping, sowing in tears, sowing her seed? This speaks of a very important principle in farming and also spiritually…

See, Mama and Jesus and Father (insert your own name(s) for Divine God here) give us food yes…They give us bread. BUT THEY WANT MATURE WHOLE FRIENDS TO WALK WITH!! Because Their Love and Joy is Great, and They LOVE to share that. Each person who comes merely multiplies EXPONENTIALLY the available Love and Joy to be shared…so yes, They feed us…but more importantly They TEACH us and DEVELOP us…just like I am teaching Their jewels.

And so here is the key: Besides the bread, They give us SEED too!! We generally finish the bread…quickly. And when our tummies rumble like Pooh Bear, we nibble a kernel of grain…and WTF that is YUK!! Tasteless, toothy-breaky…what do we do with THAT!!

And we toss it away and sit, feeling forlorn and lost and abandoned and have ourselves a pity party and invite our friends over and have P when we should be having T (make the joke in your mind)…

But after awhile we notice that those seeds we tossed away are growing!!! And Mama instructs us in the lessons of seeds…

Jump FORWARD…and NOW look at she who walks, weeping…and yet sowing seed!! She has learned that she cannot discard the seed corn!! She has to keep it, and she has to walk, weeping to water what she is sowing.

Did you know you have to water your dreams with the tears of your broken heart? Water what seeds you have with tears, copious and wept unafraid and unashamed…you can FLY at Mama with tears, of rage, of fear, of sorrow, of grief, of pity-party-ing, of whatever…

Just.
Weep.
Them.
As.
You.
Sow.
Your.
Seed…

and behold…you shall DOUBTLESS come again, REJOICING, and bringing in your sheaves behind you.

Your sheaves are NOT stalks or wheat or ears of corn…your sheaves are your OWN littles (mine are these jewels of Mama)…yours are…well…

What ARE your sheaves? Only one way to find out: go forth with your tears into those barren fields!! Your tears shall wash away the salting of the enemy and purify the dirt…EARTH…and behold, your seed will fall from your broken hands which feel as if they shall never again hold joy in them…

but I promise that you will, as you weeping walk and sow…and sow…and sow…and just when your bag is empty you shall be back where you began…but at a DIFFERENT PLACE ON THE SPIRAL!! (you DO realize that history does NOT repeat, but rather it spirals?? And in your personal history, you revisit places over and over and over…except that you are “higher” or perhaps “lower” or perhaps “deeper” or perhaps “on dry land” or perhaps at last “swimming or flying” or…you get the drift)…

If your hands are full…start tossing seed…it is your promise of future harvest but MUST be sown in order to yield to you the fullness of your dreams…and weep…weep…weep…

And if your hands are empty…then dry your eyes, square your shoulders and look again…and again…and again…peer into the darkness intently…

and when you get discouraged, think of Silly Charissa…and be encouraged, for I tell you truly: If They will do it for ME???? I freaking GUARANTEE to you that They will INDEED do it for YOU, because I am truly the least…the very least of the baubles in Their Treasure House.

Love to you all this morning…LOVE to you in thick creamy schmears!!!!

Kayce Hughlett – live it to give it_blog – On grief, owls, & pilgrim’s pockets

It was a year and 9 months ago, give or take, that I first encountered Kayce Hughlett…she and a friend, Betsey Beckman were to lead a spiritual retreat that I just knew I was supposed to go to.  The tale of how that all worked out is a wonderful one to be told some other time.

What I am trying to say is that as a result of encountering Kayce, I gained a friend, a sister, and yes, a mentor of sorts…she is deep waters without being brackish or strangely tinged with divers minerals…She has written a novel that I absolutely adored and endorse…you can read a review at the link, and of course find it on Kayce’s website and Amazon.  It definitely had me mindful of a college text called Three Faces of Being which was an existential psychology text that influenced me greatly.

Anyway, Kayce wrote this particular piece a year ago…and she used language that I found myself using yesterday morning on a post I wrote for Facebook…a post that I was writing before I had read or even knew about this post of Kayce’s…it was when I was finishing about the last third of my post that I saw she had posted this on my wall…and I kept typing, eager to see what Kayce had sent me.

After I posted, I clicked thru and started reading, and I was delighted at the synchronicity of Mama’s mind, and the flow of things that spiraled from a year ago ahead…and then back to three years ago…

I highly recommend Kayce’s writings…please consider being a regular at her website.

❤ you always, Soul Sister!!

Source: Kayce Hughlett – live it to give it_blog – On grief, owls, & pilgrim’s pockets

Mama You Told Me | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem is the sister poem to another one I wrote on the exact same day, several minutes earlier.

It was three years ago, and it was the day of my court hearing which would change my name legally…it was a huge day of excitement and anxiety…and it led to my professional execution less than 2 weeks later.

Ohh, but even in the loss of so much, it is worth it…for in it were the seeds of becoming.

I hope you enjoy one of my own personal faves

…and me…spit up and emptied
and waiting for You
to fill the silent spaces
that ate grace and jeered
while feasting on my food.
me emptied, waiting …
and my heart,
ego-stained and washed clean,
captured
by Your face,
Your gift,
Your grace…

waiting…for that one grain of sand
to start an avalanche within me
of hope, nay!
of Hope…

Source: Mama You Told Me | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Eclipse of the Super Moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

It was a couple years ago that the rage was the coming “Super Moon”…

This was my heart poem for that event…

“i sat in peace, calm and still
while whirling around me
excited and thrilled

the people stirred, woke up
and looked outside at the moon
hanging serene in the sky and unchanged

pictures were snapped…”

Source: Eclipse of the Super Moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

i am the moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I really like the moon metaphors…

*****

“…and i am the moon
growing in silence
fattening on gentleness
increasing with time
and in finding myself…”

Source: i am the moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Like Mama | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This was written the same day as “For JD” which I just told of my horrified discovery regarding how it was defiled and twisted.

Catch the irony that on the same day that I wrote that poem, I also wrote this one, which describes the very deepest desire of my heart.

and i must find the courage
to smear me on the world
like oranges on the morning
smeared on the fingertips
that pry with nails sharp

 

i must be resolved
to be spread thick and creamy
on hearts so dry and crumbly
and tasteless in their leaven
like butter sweet and salty

Source: Like Mama | Charissa’s Grace Notes

“Scars”, the Illustrated Version

Sometimes I am asked if I illustrate my poems…but please PLEASE note this:

All images are found online unless I specifically state otherwise that they are either pics taken by me or drawings done by me.

This particular illustration is from a major book I am working on for my friend.  It is unique and one of a kind.  It will be the only one, and were I to illustrate it all over again, the exact same poetry, it would look completely different.

I am really really happy with Scars though…I think I might never attempt it again, as it feels like it captured it. Oh…and for you who need a lil help mining for the diamonds, here is a lil “key” to the poem.

Singing In My Holy Heart | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Ahhhh…last year I wrote this to try and express how closely the ecstatic and the erotic dance in me as I connect to poetry and the words enter, flow and exit…

I’m asked sometimes if I write erotic poetry, and I allus laff and ask “Why?”

The question is like asking someone if they are eating McDonald’s french fries during the best feast of their life…

So anyway…this poem is about Poetry, about connection with the Divine, and yes, it can be about connection with the person you love to…connect with.

PS:  this selection is towards the end of the poem…there is a staircase that gets you there, but you have to decide whether you ascend these steps, or descend them…either one is wow!!
…I am buried living-forward
I’m resurrected dying-backward
I am stained forever always after
with that pungent glory,
with Her Glory running down
my chin and from my lips so wet
and thus I shiver deep within
all the way from my down-low throb
to the very roots of my
ecstatic shining hair…

Source: Singing In My Holy Heart | Charissa’s Grace Notes

On This Shore I Break,We Break | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this for the first human other than my dearest darling to really see me, Charissa…she has never not seen me.  She has never seen him, even though she knows all about him, and I have told her everything about him that matters and also that she has asked…

I would tell her everything without reservation…but sometimes, she simply is bored by him, because he is an absent caterpillar and she loves the butterfly.

By the way…where do caterpillars go when the enter the chrysalis?

I love you Dani…you are my first friend and my dearest heart of friendship…special and distinct from the many friends and sisters I now have.  ❤

PS:  Pay attention to the line length…just a hint

Listen…
you can hear
my words in waves
breaking on your beach
and celebrating…

lament at long last left limp
in clammy depths
‘neath the surface of seas
of blessed forgetfulness
and chuckling…

midst the shells and sand swirling,
rejoicing surf returning resurrected,
remembered, sanctified by sorrows
faced and sorted…yielding
wholeness certain, sure…

on this shore I break,
we break,
on this shore gently
and joyfully too
we break…

on that shore
that someday shore
we will unbroken break
on that shore and in that circle
by and by…in that circle

by and by…

Source: On This Shore I Break,We Break | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Maybe So, Maybe Not

I think prophetesses are cray cray,
sometimes cackling, always peering
deeply into foggy noggins
past the eggy soggy boggins
at the slick silver toboggans
shimmering in dancing air
to run the ride down truth’s face fair

and standing in the circle broken
hearing profound wholeness calling
symphonies of glory sounding
Mama all around in Wonder
spilling, splashing peeling thunder!

All the while the people slumber
neath the broken blankets lumber
over shards and nails and thorns
while Wonder blows her Golden Horns
and wholeness plays that glory

oh that glory

Yeah, we cray cray,
looking at this shattered world
blemishes and ugly cuts
just like punches to the gut
so why do we think differently
and call out so instictively
that this is not the “Supposed to Be?”

Why do we think we were fashioned
made for wholeness, transformation
by a beauty big enough to
embrace life as well as death
that gurgles in the swamps of dazed
and drunken creature comforts crazed?

It’s seen, a fleeting flashing glimpse
in roaring subways rumbling
a quiet act of kindness given
a cup of water cool and sweet
to quell the fires and cool the heat
of hurt and hate and slaughtered meat

just dim glimpses, visions dark, muddled
when we see the face of God
and recognize what we have yet
to see, and know we always knew it…

Cray cray?

Maybe so
maybe not

The One Who Knows | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem is the antidote to “The 25 Hour Yesterday”…and it is attempting to write about redemption, and how it is only relational and never NEVER legal.  You want to see changes in this world?  Then change your relational dynamics…with yourself…with others…with the Divine…

“…It is the Valley of Dry Bones,
the charnal parched and bony strand
with bone-dust laying down for sand
that walking comes The One Who Knows
and singing re-creation songs
and the truths we tell make harmonies
to reach the very stars…”

Source: The One Who Knows | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I Lost Time Today | Charissa’s Grace Notes

PLEASE:  Read this out loud, and zero in on the rhymes as the key to where to place your meter.  Lovely, lovely effort, this.


I lost time today…misplaced it completely
as I sat, wondering how
the lavender takes body and position
in the skies above.

Does it wish its way up there?
Does it woo with song and dance?

Notes so sweet floating on air
to paint and wash and seize its chance
to smear its bloody beauty stain
upon the sky’s face once so plain
just blue…and now in wonder-grains
of beauty brief that won’t remain…

I lost time today…

Source: I Lost Time Today | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Butterfly And Bone | Charissa’s Grace Notes

And again…aren’t we all?  Butterflies carved in Bone?I’m a butterfly carved of bone
white, bleached, sun-baked bone

my wings are just my lungs
spongy-red and wet but free
inside my chest is open space
soaring chasms awaiting light

butterfly, bone, breath over breadth
I’m a butterfly carved in bone

I am diamonds in the night…

Source: Butterfly And Bone | Charissa’s Grace Notes

After More Than 20 Years as Conservative Leader, Paul Williams Comes Out as Transwoman

This story is very parallel to my own.
I encourage reading it, especially for the understanding
of a Gospel of Incarnation rather than a Gospel of Law.
“Transgender teens with unsupportive parents have a suicide rate 13 times higher than their peers. They are the most at risk group in the nation. Most of those unsupportive parents are Evangelicals.

“I have been in personal contact with thousands of LGBTQ individuals and their families from seven countries on four continents. Almost without exception these souls are Christians who have been ostracized from their churches and/or families. They always ask the same painful question, ‘What do I do now?’ I feel the weight of the responsibility.

“In my previous work, I hoped to save people from spiritual suffering. In my current work, I hope to save people from dying.”

Paula went on to state: “I do not care about their (evangelicals’) brand of orthodoxy.””I have no interest in debating it. It is of little interest to me.

However, I do care about their orthopraxy, how they practice the Christian faith. I find it lacking. I find any religion lacking that leads with judgment instead of leading with acceptance and love.”

Source: After More Than 20 Years as Conservative Leader, Paul Williams Comes Out as Transwoman

Has Evangelical Christianity Become Sociopathic? | HuffPost

I just have to share this article here…I hope you reach into your suitcase of courage to read this look in the mirror.  If you consider yourself a christian, I challenge you to repudiate these tendencies in your own heart…and if you do not consider yourself a christian, I wish to apologize deeply for the horror show that has been inflicted on you by those who claim the Blessed Name…and do so in utter vanity.

“The 2016 election demonstrated an especially high level of insincerity, shamelessness, poor judgment and pathological egocentricity among Christian evangelicals. James Dobson, who once said of Bill Clinton, “Character does matter. You can’t run a family, let alone a country without it. How foolish to believe that a person who lacks honesty and moral integrity is qualified to lead a nation and the world,” and then said of Donald Trump, “I’m not under any illusions that he is an outstanding moral example. “It’s a cliché but true: We are electing a commander-in-chief, not a theologian-in-chief.”

“The evangelical Christian message is loud and clear. They care for no one but themselves. Their devotion is to the version of Christianity they have created, which calls for ruthless abandonment of immigrants, women, children – even their own – and anyone else who doesn’t fall inline with their message. Social justice, which is mentioned in Bible verses over two thousand times, has been replaced with hardline political ideology. Principle over people. Indifference over involvement. Judgment over generosity.

“Every generation redefines what it means to be, or belong to a religious group. Religious ideologies, interpretations, and doctrines are fluid. But whatever it is, or whatever it becomes, is made by the people who belong to the religion and what they collectively decide to make it.”

Source: Has Evangelical Christianity Become Sociopathic? | HuffPost

Some Older Poems | Charissa’s Grace Notes

A few older poems for you ❤
Constance, I am working on a poem right now that is soo luscious and really just sorta pouring outta me…I am not trying to stopper the flow or even shape it right now.  It is just the gushing…

Source: Some Older Poems | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Summer Snapshots in Haiku | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Over the years I have jotted down uncounted numbers of haiku…
because it is a powerful tool in capturing imagery and heart flows…

and recently, I have been trying to focus more
on the process and reason why haiku is that tool,
that “turbo-charger” of the imagination, if you will.

I think it is that deep awareness of the nature of “nothing”
that one finds in the heart of much eastern spiritual thought.

Here are some of my attempts to find
the confluence where east meets west

and the waters mix.


rain-filled ruts reflect
an apple red summer sky
that highlights brown hills

in the wind my skin
revels amidst bitter-sweet
echoes of that day

wind, you will have a
terrible time smothering
my soft clarity…

Source: Summer Snapshots in Haiku | Charissa’s Grace Notes

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

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
Image result for waterfall flowing backwards gifs
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.
Image result for a guillotine
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

 

 

 

ever Spring, ever Autumn

My own poem from last year…I do really favor this one.

it looks the same to you
whether you stand
in winter or summer

…the gate of my heart…

The Great Gate

Source: ever Spring, ever Autumn

The Fog Like Still Joy

the fog gathers, nesting
over the deep quiet glen
dialing down sunlight
damping every sound

in this gloam my supple soul
nestles in, gives up control
and ceases struggle to be good,
or important, or subtle

and she feels the fog like still joy.

if you wish to care for the soul
you must decide it matters
more than human life
and simply know…still

 

Resurrection In Purple Flow

Sometimes when
I am in the presence
of the royal mountain

I can’t help myself.

I run purple, violet
I feast on fallen blossoms
(somehow the fallen sing more
of loss, of all that comes before

Resurrection
in purple flow).

Let’s Stop Pretending Christianity is Actually Relevant, Okay?

Irrelevant
A recent Barna survey reports only 18% of Millennials find Christianity relevant to their lives. That’s not surprising if we’re honest. After the Supreme Court decision regarding the ruling on gay marriage things got really weird.

“Some Christians put up “straight pride” profile pictures on social media and reminded people of what the Bible teaches (which, just for clarification, the church is currently split over because of how they view the interpretation). It’s a strange practice to ask people who don’t hold the same beliefs as you to conform to your morals because you quoted a book they don’t read.

“My friends that aren’t Christians have never tried to force their morality on me, so this is an odd practice in Christendom. Even Jesus didn’t blame pagans for acting like pagans. Yet, many Christians insist their beliefs apply to the culture at large even though most don’t share the same beliefs. With the Supreme Court ruling in Oklahoma, Christians raged about how the government was “forcing their beliefs on them and how they were no longer allowed to have theirs anymore.”

“Well, no, it was Christians who forced their views in the public forum by putting the 10 Commandments there first (if we look at it objectively). And never mind that as of late, many evangelical Christians care more about keeping refugees out of the U.S. despite what their sacred literature teaches.

“What we need to face is that public perception has shifted. We live in post-Christian America where we’re no longer relevant to the culture at large.”

Source: Let’s Stop Pretending Christianity is Actually Relevant, Okay?

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

When Words Are Written Here

there, in clouds and nothing but clouds
above and below as I…walked?  Or did I
swim, or fly, and in the distance
hearing songs of you…and clouds

obscure and yet they also part
and thru the silver mist She came…
Her Heart and Ears and Eyes (the singing)
stilled and still and still She came Singing

and in this cloudy parting is the only knowing needed
that I am Her child, Her emissary
sent to bend what thinks itself straight
and straighten what is broken, bent.

Me the paper, pen and ink
Mama, unsayable, beyond the think,
the clouds, the parting, emerging and wordless
song…and She the emerging and yes

the clouds parting

when words are written here

 

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)