18 Months

18 months of travel, volunteering, farming, writing, listening, learning, etc. is coming to an end. I made a list of words, ideas, thoughts, feelings that arose while thinking about the last year-and-a-half. It came out in poem form, and I decided to share it with you:

18 MonthsLoss, grief, death,
sadness, disillusionment, distrust,
despair, abandonment, forsaken. Cross.
Tears. Lament. Anger. Fist.

Root yourself. Be present. Do not be afraid.
Only in silence the word,
    Only in darkness light,
    Only in dying life,
    Bright the hawk’s flight on the empty sky*

Violence, oppression, violence, slavery, violence.
Pain. Weeping. Violence.

Lament And Hope
Prophetic Critique and Energizing Hope**

Neighbors. Non-violent resistance. Slaughter.
The Slaughtered Lamb.
I wept and I wept.
The world goes not well.

The worker, the laborer, the clothes-maker, brick-layer, rock-breaker, road-paver, home-builder.
The last will be first. The first, last. The ones who sit – and wait, and watch, and sit.

Belief. Faith and doubt. Not fitting.
Believers and doubters.
Space to believe, space to doubt.

Mosaic in the 'teardrop' church, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

Mosaic in the ‘teardrop’ church, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem

Consider the Birds. Slavery of Death.
Slaves to fear. Death anxiety.
Fear of death. Fear of enemy. Fear of other. Fear of stranger. Fear.
Othering. Tribalism. Fear.

The opposite of love is indifference.
The opposite of love is fear.

Salvation looks like the freedom to love.

Enemies. Gifts of Hospitality. Way of Jesus.
The in-breaking of the kingdom of God is a shared table and a shared home.


Earth. Birds. Lilies. Raindrops. Dew. Wind. Breath. Beauty. Majesty

War. Torture. Death.

Glory: we will bow down and acknowledge that God loved them.
Glory: it will be theirs.

Sacrifice. Love. Living Sacrifice. Reign of Love.

God. A God that weeps and longs and loves and hopes and beckons.
A hen that gathers. A pigeon that shits on concrete and rusted gutters.
A lamb that is slain.


*From the Earthsea Cycle by Ursula Le Guin
**Terms coined by Walter Brueggemann in Prophetic Imagination

Inspired by David Landt, Krista Tippett, James Cone, Richard Beck, Ursula Le Guin, Christena Cleveland, Debbie Blue, Desmond Tutu, Thich Nhat Hanh, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Peter Rollins, Walter Brueggemann, Michelle Alexander, John Legend, Common, Daniel Quinn, Lao Tzu, Jesus of Nazareth, and all the people we met.


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