Too Wonderful For Me / gospel meditation

Wholly unholy were my human hands
when you took them into yours,
pierced though piercing light into dark lands

Now what stitch must be at your side
from the joyous laughter of new children
despite a spear in your rib did deride

Oh, how all things work together —
every thorn and trial and trembling —
we are God’s children now, forever tethered

Yet this image bearer is an image seeker,
hands marred red from the clay of Adam’s stain
and wrestling with Eve’s grasp ever weaker

Carefully-knit creatures we are wonderfully made
to laugh at the thought of betraying purest love —
but for this treason in darkest tomb our Maker laid

Oh, what mind could fathom or heart ever embrace
forgiveness sweeter than honey, more heavy than gold!
We are known by the Salvation bearing man’s face

This heart of stone and its edges cut my lungs
Every breath shamefully spent for a world’s false love
The deadly reach for the poison where fruit once hung

Yet now this tree is cut down, three nails and two beams
crossing the barrier of the unwhole and Holy
Death defeated for my unfaithful heart to redeem!

Oh, that you sought me, red and wretched and weeping,
and to let me gaze upon your beauty all the days of my life
What sweet surprise: rags traded for the robes of a King

Sons of Sacrifice: A Study of Christian-Islamic Polemics

From their births Ishmael and Isaac entered the world under very different biblical tones, the start of the division between their descendants. Ishmael, as an angel of the Lord declared over him, would be “a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”[1] He and his lineage are foretold as a nation of warriors and of princes, one with which God blessed multiplication. But quickly in the Genesis narrative Ishmael is overshadowed. His half-brother Isaac, borne by the matriarch Sarah (Sarai), not the maidservant Hagar, belongs to the superior, everlasting covenant between his father and his God. Already Isaac is founded in glory and the expectation of this child is higher. What’s worth more: fathering twelve princes or fathering a nation rivaling the stars in number? Certainly these brothers will have their own branches of the Abrahamic family tree, but only one is scripturally thought of as greater. Continue reading “Sons of Sacrifice: A Study of Christian-Islamic Polemics”

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever / on Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
for His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to your King and Friend,
for He has not let you stray too far,
for His steadfast love endures forever.

Gives thanks to the One who formed you from the dust,
for His steadfast love endures forever,
to He who has never stopped perfecting you in the fire,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
who has never allowed the fire to destroy but only to shape,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
to the Author of not only your faith but of your salvation,
for His steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of the universe,
who cares for every hair and molecule of your body,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
to the God who would not let you finish your life,
for your time is His that He has given to you,
for His steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God whose breath is in your lungs
and will not let it extinguish until you will be with Him again,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
to the God of Jacob and of Israel,
to the God of your past and your future,
for His steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks with your whole heart, whole mind, and whole spirit
to the constant pursuit that is of the Lord,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
and remember His name when floodwaters rise,
or when riverbeds dry, or when all seems lost,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
and remember where you have been,
your own Egypt, your own slavery,
for His steadfast love endures forever;
see your freedom to be His and feel the drawing near,
for nothing earthly can satisfy,
for His steadfast love endures forever.

Praise and honor for the Only One who would bear nails in his hands
and set us on paths of righteousness. Blessed be the Redeemer.

a response to Psalm One-hundred Thirty-six

A Dangerous ‘Beast’: FTC Should Restructure Facebook

For a tool that originally connected people and helped topple dictatorships, it’s a crippling insight into human nature that such a revolutionary good can become a weapon. Perhaps more sharp is this adjective: “Facebook has now turned into a beast,” according to United Nations special rapporteur for human rights Yanghee Lee.[1] In submitting a report to the Human Rights Council in early March 2018, Lee expressed concerns over the media giant’s role in the ethnic cleansing and mass refugee crisis of the Rohingya Muslim people group in Myanmar. The crisis, in which Time reports nearly a million have fled to neighboring countries since August 2017 and at least 6,700 were slain last year, was “substantively” fueled by the promotion of violent content and hate speech on the network.[2] A chairman of the U.N. fact-finding mission into the crisis condemned Facebook for being the medium in which acrimony spread between the persecuted and a party of ultranationalist Buddhists. [3]
Continue reading “A Dangerous ‘Beast’: FTC Should Restructure Facebook”

I am Forgiven / on Psalm 032

Evil one, why are you still here?
I told you to go but you reside in my fear.
You’ve been evicted, kicked out.
Still you’re wicked, and you write hooks
like a heavy weight bout, right hooks.
Get it?

You write hooks, music to my ears,
telling me all the things I want to hear
but never something I need.
So you open your palm, never a psalm, and say “Feed,”
as if I’m the livestock you prod around,
leaving scars all up and down
the sides of my soul.
Who is really in control?
But that’s the irony, isn’t it?
Although you treat me like livestock,
I am truly dead inside if I leave the flock.
I belong to you no longer, Satan.
O, I am the LORD’s; my paths he will straighten!

a response to Psalm Thirty-two

Past is Past / on Psalm 025

It’s been forty days
since I’ve felt the sway
of the silent waters
It’s been too damn long
on the same old song
I needtobreathe again

Let me not write prose concerning some ghosts
when beautiful surrounds, rejoicing abounds,
and yet greater things are to come

The roar of the silent waters echo again,
the old sailor returns to the ocean’s open tides.
Seafarer, you’re a captain, no servant of sin;
the sea’s fairer than what desire denies and hides.
Islands of man are shaped by miles of the I Am.

Am I still that sailor adrift,
the glassy blue I’m amidst?
Is loneliness from my own vain image
or is it a sort of pilgrimage?

a response to Psalm Twenty-five