Monday, March 2, 2015

Marshall Smith

I sit outside your tomb, o god, in sackcloth and in ashes,
mourning the death of the eternal:
you whom I have sought and followed, thou giver of
light and life, now buried;
you, sought with prayer and fasting and denial,
you, sought with wine and song, now buried.
Lo these many years I nursed you, setting your broken bones
and helping you to stand again,
hiding your infirmities lest I see for myself
your weakness, o god in decline.
Now, o god, you are fallen and shattered, dust to dust returned,
and I alone am left, singing dirges:
O god of my fathers, you are gone!
O god of  wrath and vengeance, you are gone!
O god of myself, you are gone!
O god of all, you are gone!
O self, what is to become of thee!
I sit outside your tomb, o Lover, in expectancy and hope,
awaiting the resurrection of the eternal:
you who were parent and teacher, thou giver of
storm and suffering, now become
Lover, bathed with perfume and clove and aloe
in the dark and heat of night.
Now, o Lover, be risen and awake, eternal to eternal returned,
and I will wait for you, singing songs:
O Lover of my heart, come forth!
O Lover of deep breath and strong desire, come forth!
O Lover of myself, come forth!
O Lover of all, come forth!
O Self, what may become of thee!
I sit outside your tomb, o god, and mourn your death
with dirges. For with childish imaginings did I imagine you,
and build your idol in my image: dust to dust returned.
I sit outside your tomb, o Lover, and await your resurrection
with songs. For now with different hopes do I know you,
and seek the wisdom you now would give: eternal to eternal returned.
O Lover of my heart, come forth!

John 4:39-42 Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the womans testimony, He told me everything I have ever done. So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.

         Both his critics and his followers would have said Jesus violated all sorts of religious instruction and dogma on his trip through Samaria, but because he did, the people of the Samaritan village had the opportunity to believe his good news. Because his disciples followed him in dangerous faith, they had another opportunity to witness the Masters new way of living.

         Pope Francis said recently, There are two ways of thinking and of having faith: we can fear to lose the saved or we can want to save the lost. Even today, it can happen that we stand at the crossroads of these two ways of thinking. For Jesus, what matters above all is reaching out to save those far off, healing the wounds of the sick, restoring everyone to Gods family. And this is scandalous to some people! Jesus is not afraid of this kind of scandal. He does not think of (those) who are scandalized even by a work of healing, scandalized before any kind of openness, by any action outside of their mental and spiritual boxes, by any caress or sign of tenderness which does not fit into their usual thinking and their ritual purity.

         Do I follow Jesus out of a belief that is built only upon religious instruction and dogma, or much worse, do I follow Jesus simply out of societal convention or tradition? Do I try to confine God inside my tiny mental and spiritual boxes? Or do I follow Jesus in a dangerous faith built upon his new way of living, and do I allow God the freedom To Be in my life? During Lent, is there anything in my ideas and beliefs about God or Jesus that I need to abandon so that I can live ever more fully into Jesus new way?

What about you? Do you need to sing dirges for god? Are there resurrection songs to learn?


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