Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

The Liar Speaks in Halfsies II

Remember that you are dust that lies

upon the bookshelves of the earth

a forgotten chore by a forgotten god

who never liked you much anyway.

This poem came out of me all of a sudden like a cough. It makes me wonder how long has it lived in me, lodged and leaking poison. It’s not a great, but it touches on a concept I find interesting: Satan can make us feel absolutely awful about contradictory lies. In the poem, God is dead, a non-existent historical artifact, and at the same time he doesn’t like you. I wonder just how many people, specifically lapsed Christians, carry around the weight of doubt while simultaneously carrying guilt and the suspicion that God hates them for no longer believing in Him.

Soon after I became a Christian, I remember sitting on the front porch steps crying. My friend came out and asked me what was wrong. “I know God loves me,” I choked out, “but I don’t think He likes me at all!”

Half true: He does love me. Half true: I am dust. Half true: God is dead.

Rest assured, however, in the rest of the story, which includes the plot twist that Christ is alive and that He likes you. He really, really likes you. A lot. I don’t mean to trivialize His love or bring it down to our colloquial level and sentimental hungers. But in some aspects of the definition, is the incarnation a trivialization of divine splendor? From the Latin, triviālis: “appropriate to the street-corner, commonplace, vulgar.” The Message translates part of the Johannine prologue, “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” Perhaps if Jesus moved into our neighborhood He might stand on street corners, talking to unsavory characters. And He would like them. A lot.

Your body, your dust, is not your own but grafted to and through the work of His dust. It is not yours to claim or even articulate outside of His expressed, express expressions of delight. So blow about, in the wind of the Spirit, like the beautiful and loved mote you are.

No comments: