Saturday, December 17, 2011

the worth of a soul

December evenings linger long past dusk:
the streetlights have been trading their watch since before suppertime.
below them, a man pulls cars off a transport and into the dealership lot.
snow falls upon the toque his girlfriend bought him,
filters through tree house rafters across the street.
within the house, three brothers are fighting for bathtub space;
their mother has baby oil and pajamas at the ready.

over on the first concession,
a farmer stretches his toes inside a fresh pair of woollen socks,
rakes calloused hands through hair in need of a barber.
his wife's fingers undo the bow at the back of her apron
as they have every evening the same;
punch faded numbers onto a telephone keypad;
reach toward a jar of balm and the music of a daughter's voice.

it's a night just like any other in December: cold, dark, wintry.
yet each moment -- every place -- is teeming with humanity:
scarred by the day, brimming with hope for the morrow;
loving and wanting and resting and toiling,
all conflicted and radiant.
each person is writing a new story.
every person is working toward a goal.

but what does it matter if the car guy saves to buy his girlfriend a ring?
does anyone care if some farmer's daughter gets to chat with her mom?
old tree houses and fresh haircuts and warm socks and wet bathroom floors --
they don't amount to much.  everything we know is so small.
(even those shiny new cars getting snowed upon.)
...carved into a hillside, long ago and far away,
stood a stable where a baby was born.

because his mother was rejected and his father was acquainted with grief,
he had no better place to lay than a feeding trough filled with hay.
yet every star in heaven held its breath as angels shrieked their amazement
at God Himself, tucked inside a poor girl's arms.
His life would show us the power of the Spirit;
His death, the depths of evil;
His resurrection, the height of glory.

but in that little hillside stable, the soul felt its worth.

this was my Christmas reading the other night... i'll bring it to emily's, too.

Monday, December 12, 2011

onward, Christian Soldier!

my dear Christian Soldier,
have you ever had a doubt?
or is virtue what's guiding you
to sit, and frown, and shout?

could it be your heart's unsettled
at the things you preach?
might the pledge of "faith alone"
be a little out of reach?

our world's two thousand years removed
from Mary, James and Paul.
your friends are asking whether those folks
ever lived at all.

if that thought hurts your comfort zone,
then this one might explode it:
your neighbours haven't read the Bible;
don't even know who wrote it. you?

you weren't there when Earth was formed;
never saw Christ with your eyes.
didn't help Luke write it down;
haven't seen a dead guy rise.

how DO you know your Bible is
The Book of Authority?
are you SURE Creation happened
in one week... literally?

if these questions irk you,
here's a good way to get even:
DON'T shake your head, walk away
and say, "you need prayer, heathen."

doubt is not the enemy;
it's here to challenge you!
do some research -- look around --
discover what is true!

tell me, which worldview best explains
mankind's depravity?
his conscience?  need for song and art?
respect for charity?

get to know Science.  he's a friend
of those who wish to know
how old the rings of Saturn are;
how peacock feathers grow.

"childlike faith" ain't mindless:
it asks until it knows.
then, once hard work yields its fruit,
you'll have a peace that shows.

now onward, Christian Soldier!
rise up and take a look.
you've quite the task ahead of you...
it's time to hit the books!

...will you?

(you've probably guessed by now... this letter is addressed to me)

there are lots more letters here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

skyscraper sigh

i live in a world of smokestack elevators --
the glory of man, scraping a sky he longs to control.
borrows recklessly and lends like a villain, that ugly man does.

i live in a world of soggy stilettos and lipstick cigarettes --
the beauty of woman, cellophaned and stocked upon shelves.
consume herself to death, that poor woman will.

the voice on the line calls me "Valued Customer,"
but i can't make out her name, half a world away
and getting paid far less than is legal around here.

i'm told, "Spend Less. Live Better," then i'm phased out.
the signs say, "Shop Local" and, "Made in China,"
and, "Do Not Pay* 'til 2013!"  always, an *.

i sigh.  i sit.
i sit on my couch -- just over a year old, splitting at the seams.
i sit on my couch's expired warranty.

i sigh.

think i'll sit on emily's couch instead.