Lord, When Did We Call You a Right Wing Whack Job?


Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

-Matthew 25:44-45


When did we see you on the streets, crying out for justice? When did we call you lazy? When did we ignore what you were saying, or rationalize it, or excuse it? When did we sit by while you were being murdered? (more…)

A Parable in Repose

The very old man sits up in his bed and turns his face toward his bedroom window, eastward to where the sun will come up if it ever comes. Only a gritty swash at the soul of the horizon suggests morning. The days bring a little trouble and good God knows what else.

The very old man gets out of bed and snatches a hefty cedar stick – bone white in the darkness of his bedroom. He dips the tip of it into a clay pot of oil by the door to the outer twilight. He then tips the stick into the little lamp by his door and starts a good torch fire. This, he thinks, will be the only light in the whole of the world this morning.

Rolling from the door to his house is a dusty path that peels out to the absolute of the horizon. If the sun rises, it issues from the vanishing point of the road itself. It is this road that the very old man walks now, one hand warmed by his torch, the other tucked into the rough folds of his robes to keep from freezing. The wind tosses about dust and sand and stones and ash and it tosses his great grey beard like tongues of flame.

From behind, a voice calls, “Father, it’s early.”

The very old man keeps walking and says nothing.

“Come back and sleep, Father. I’ll walk you there myself when it’s dawn.”

But the very old man has not slept in many months.

“He’ll not be there,” the boy mutters as the very old man strives away from the house out into the cold and the morning. (more…)

The Whole of God in the Knuckles of my Toes

When I was young, I amused myself on car trips by picking the tiniest detail from the oncoming scenery and focusing all my attention on it – an askew shaft of pussywillow or a sprightly sprig of grass. It thrilled me to think that no one had ever done just this before, had never given such rapt attention to this single, particular nook of creation. We’d drive by it at seventy miles an hour, and my eyes fastened on the twig as if hooked by a line, and I smiled.

I learned later that Hassidic Jews do something similar. Creation can be hallowed, goes the thinking, by exercising just the sort of focus of will that I was mustering as a boy. Concentrate with your very spirit on a thing, anything, and it can – under some conditions – be redeemed from the mediocrity of the mortal coil. There may be something to that, but a question: just what in creation itself is not already hallowed?

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.

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