A Disjointed Incomplete Meditation…

houses of grey blank walls decked out in smooth rich wood
panels and pictures of picnics and parties…
banal bacchanalia, all splattered in Blood.

Beds of spikes, hidden neath down comforters,
and wool knitted afghans of colorful,
threatening sinister pattern.

Houses in neighborhoods bereft of neighbors,
each one is serving themselves and alone
in community of this alienation…and all is
destroyed by their own bloody hands…

the work of rough hands…even rougher grave throats.

Our eyes are still bloodshot from staring at visions
of genocide done that we didn’t see coming
but now we continue to watch, in foreboding

but hoping in vain that the cute lil houses
are what’s really real and not all the horror,
lurking beneath in destruction and gore.

we are really in fear and wondering…
what happens when a killer comes home,
or (gulp) even worse

if that killer had never left home?

what then?

what happens when victims
*widows orphans*

and murderers

look each other in the eyes again?

what then, and who blinks first and looks away in shame?

What are these wounds on your chest?
The wounds I received in the house of my friends.

What is greater:  the pain of being violated
or the bitter agony of forgiving?

a valley of dry bones cannot be forgotten
even in the face of forgiveness so costly.

This impossible for me to try to describe
or even conceive of apart from the cross of Christ.

Because forgiveness is also
it’s own rare and exquisite
form of great suffering.

And so now we get down to it:
there is no exit, no escape from the agony,
no pitstop from pain…
all we can do is exchange suffering’s form and it’s face,
from our own for the pain of another…
and us become willing to be bashed and broken
by those very ones we so desperately want
to reach out to and reconcile and leave pain behind.

This is the agony of a tortured soul wrestling
and a wrecked body there…offered in prayer
on the altar of sorrow…for the forgiveness
of torturers’ torments in this dank dark world
of violence and victims, laboring heavy
beneath weights unspeakable and even greater,
the weight of the cross.

And Him?  The Reproached?
The Betrayed, Who was Broken?
Him The Despised and King of All Criminals,
King of All Victims, King of All Shame?

Perhaps He knows of the path thru this valley
of broken dry bones full of dust, full of death.

Perhaps He can see those small signs of life
that are hidden from eyes filled with blood, hate and rage
and only seen by the eyes washed clean with tears
of repentance and wonder to look for our Spring

and the signs there so gentle
of a coming glad day of Resurrection…tumblr_ni0sfjatWG1qzq0kvo1_1280

The Problem Of Sin And It’s Not The One You Think Part 1: Definitions | john pavlovitz

The Problem Of Sin And It’s Not The One You Think Part 1: Definitions | john pavlovitz.

Constance, as you have figured out by now, I deeply respect, admire and trust this person John Pavlovitz, even though we have never met.  His words are strong evidence of his integrity, and I suspect that an examination of the fruits of his life would reveal far more that come from Mama than the fields of the carnal being.

Please…read.  Think.  Act.  Support.

Thanks, Brother John…and that is a title I do not use lightly or reflexively.

In deepest gratitude with much respect,

Charissa

Some thoughts on Homophobia and the definition of sin

I was just now thinking…it seems there is a huge virulent reaction to homosexuality in most of conservative/fundamentalist/evangelical christendom.  It is thought to be immoral and sinful to “be homosexual”, and if you act on that orientation, regardless of how chaste and monogamous and full of integrity you might be, you are doubling down on your sin quotient.

Hmmm…let’s consider this:  First of all, for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume for the moment that being homosexual is sinful in and of itself (I do not think it is, btw).  That said, can we grant that there are many many many MANY other sins present on a regular basis in the people who comprise the body of Christ?  I believe even a brief moment of thought will reveal this is true.  And I would furthermore assert that these sins are even present regularly right smack dab in the middle of the congregation on Sunday Mornings during meetings!  Sins of gluttony, gossip, greed, lust, lies, and I don’t really need to go on do I?  THEY.  ARE.  ALMOST.  ALL.  THERE!!

And yet I have heard sermon after sermon which gently and compassionately reaches out to the so called sinner with grace…while at the very same time a virulence and abhorrence of homosexuality is railed out the likes of which is almost shameful in its implications…that perhaps even the precious Blood of Jesus is not enough to save a gay person!  They have to get clean FIRST, and then…just maybe…suspiciously…we may accept them.

Why is this?  Are not all sins of equal moral weight in the eyes of God?  (yes, they are)

Here is my theory:  so many things that are egregious failures of God’s good standard of whole relationship are interior states of being, or thoughts, or hidden attitudes, and not actions.  It is quite possible to live in christian communities looking beautiful and white on the outside, and yet within be a tomb of death.  But “no one knows”, so it is “okay.”

Homosexuality on the other hand, or for that matter being transgender, is something observable, visible, and obvious, and it is also something that can be hidden…either by not talking about things, or living a full life, or engaging in the cross-dressing that a trans-person is forced into when they are policed and othered for dressing as who they truly are.  And thus comes the judgement.

The heart of this approach considers sin to be defined by actions:  wrong acts = sin, and those acts defined by a list that is derived from a selective reading of behaviors spoken of in scripture…in the OT it is a capricious selecting of things from the law that one desires, and in the NT it is usually behaviors that are mentioned in descriptions of what life is like after we have an existential encounter and transformation of our being! 

In truth, sin in the large and most deadly sense is simply separation from God.  Period.  Last word.  When this is understood, one sees that no matter WHAT one does, or refrains from, it does not address the fundamental issue, which is restoration of our relationship with the Ones who made us.  After that relationship is restored, the word for sin changes and means simply “missing the mark”.  Once we are truly adopted and resurrected within with Jesus, we are set free from law…completely free.  If you do not accept that, you need to re-read Romans and both Corinthians and Galatians.  Paul makes some very bold statements about law and spirit and sin.

When one is in the very common error of attributing moral status based on actions, one is in grave error, and I think this is the root of the hatred of homosexuality above all other “sins” (again, it is not a given to me that it is sin)…because it is an easily identified behaviour and one can consider one’s self “sinless” merely by avoiding that behaviour!!

Here is a suggestion:  let’s get our own house in order.  Let’s spend our time and our zeal within ourselves seeking deeper connection with Them, deeper character development, deeper sacrificial attitudes towards all we meet…ok?

Love God.

Love yourself.

Love your neighbor.

Amen.

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