Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Recently on the morning of Palm Sunday a group of Christian men went into a prison to play a game of cricket with the inmates. I had the privilege of being part of the group.
We got through all the formalities and the security checks and at last arrived at the oval for the game.
The prisoners were happy in anticipation, looking forward to a time of sport and good competition. We got the game planned out, organised the umpires, scorers etc, tossed the coin and the game got underway. It was 25 overs each and if a batter got to 30 runs he would retire.
It was a really good day, played in a good spirit of sportsmanship and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
When it came time for the prisoners to bat, several of the prisoners were dismissed without scoring many runs. One of the leaders among the prisoners said something that struck me as being very significant, he said, “You can tell who the sinners are”
What was he saying? You are different to us. We don’t measure up to you.
We are the failures, the “losers” the outcasts the rejects.
There was a perceived gap between those two groups of men on the cricket oval that Sunday morning.
I kept thinking about that mans comment and wondered how we as Christians can reach across that gap so that we as PF visitors can be friends and not different to those who we visit (and play sport with).
I was reminded of a story I read a long time ago where Saint Vincent De Paul was caring for the poor, he is recorded as saying to one of the sisters who worked with him, “We must love these people very much, so they will forgive us for having helped them”.
You see, if you reach down and help me, you are strong and I am weak, there is a gap between us, I am obligated to you.
It is only when I understand that you love me, that your help doesn’t cause me to loose some dignity, some of my identity as a human being.
May we love the prisoners we visit, may our friendship be a blessing to them as we show them grace, and maybe one day they will be brave enough to ask us about God’s grace.
The prisoners won the cricket match, but I think they fiddled the score.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
we are finding ourselves undoing an image of beauty,
but the image became familiar
and with familiarity a false sense of normality,
and we failed to see the lines that separate the pieces.
The lines exist.
The lines exist because of the puzzle’s rhythm,
the deconstruction, examination, construction, contemplation
of the puzzlers’ practice,
like the winter, spring, summer, and fall of Creation’s experience.
Where are the puzzlers’ now?
Some are in the winter of deconstruction, others in spring’s examination,
moving toward the summer of construction and the fruitful season of
contemplation. Yet, some are emerging in their own seasons,
and the puzzle is waiting, simply, for the new image that it will
reveal to the world.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
It takes a snowy Good Friday in April to bring this one out!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Earthdays in the Bluegrass 2007 is a month long promotion of RESPONSIBLE GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP and a celebration of the power of local action. Throughout the month there are workshops‚ films‚ community service opportunities and speakers that will highlight the many opportunities we have to make a positive impact through our daily choices. We hope to see you in April!
Visit this site http://www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/Recycling/earthdays.html
to see what's coming up this month. And here's how to contact Mr. Tedder: firstname.lastname@example.org or (859) 257–2003.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Well she is going to be talking at Jubilee USA's 2nd Annual Grassroots Conference on June 15-17 in Chicago. Learn more by checking out this site: www.jubileeusa.org. And if you get close enough to Ms. Goodman, see if she'll sign your program for the Leffel family.
(from Corpus, Cape Publishing, 2004)
Food for Risen Bodies – I
A rare dish is right for those who
have lain bandaged in a tomb for weeks:
quince and quail to demonstrate
that fruit and birds still grow on trees,
eels to show that fish still needle streams.
Rarer still, some blind white crabs,
not bleached but blank, from such
a depth of ocean that the sun would drown
if it approached them. Two-thirds
of the earth is sea; and two-thirds of that sea
- away from currents, coasts and reefs -
is lifeless, colourless, pure weight.
Food for Risen Bodies – II
On that final night, his meal was formal:
lamb with bitter leaves of endive, chervil,
bread with olive oil and jars of wine.
Now on Tiberias' shores he grills
a carp and catfish breakfast on a charcoal fire.
This is not hunger, this is resurrection:
he eats because he can, and wants to
taste the scales, the moist flakes of the sea,
to rub the salt into his wounds.
Food for Risen Bodies – III
Generations back, a hoard of peaches,
apricots and plums was laid down
for the day of resurrection; treats for all
those dry tongues, soil-caked palates.
Fruit was picked, clad, crated,
shelved in beech sheds.
doors were sealed with wax, padlocked
and left. Children’s children waited.
In the sheds, each fruit still lies
cocooned in careful shrouds of vine-leaves,
tissue, moss. Each is now a dark, sweet
twist of gum, as sharp as scent.
Outside, stripped trees as light as balsa
ring the sheds and knit into each others
roots to stand. Mosquitoes cloud,
as if they sense a storm.
Food for Risen Bodies – IV
The men they silenced
-now heads of tables –
slit their stitched lips free
as if to kiss and bless
the dinner knives.
They whisper grace
through open wounds.
Food for Risen Bodies – V
Cautious and clean-shaven
all his life, the next world
woke him gaunt and stubbled
by the shrinkage of his skin.
He turned down the banquet
-broth to brie – ‘Later, later’,
and went straight for the cigarettes.
‘Do you have any with filters?’
Food for Risen Bodies – VI
Abeja blanca zumbas – ebria de miel – en mi alma
No longer ravenous, they smoke
and sip. Some carry tables out
to get a feel for sun on skin again.
More words are coming back,
so there’s a lot of naming.
Old ones still hold good – oak,
brook, crab, sycamore – but more
are needed now. They mull
potential titles for these new
white bees, as sharp as stars
against the ivories of cherry
or magnolia. Word gets round
the bees were new creations
made in honor of a poet,
so they wait for him to choose.
He’s in no hurry, cups them
in his hands, weighs up the tenor
of their hum. The sun brings colour
to the diners’ sallow skins.
Although these bodies were not
theirs before, there are resemblances,
and flesh retains a memory
even beyond death, so every
lovers touch, each blow or cut
is rendered into echo on the hand,
the lips, the neck. Some fall silent,
while their own phenomenology
is mapped across them.
Others look astonished
expecting their new skin to be
a blank sheet, but the man
who went ahead to find a route
for them came back with wounds
intact and palpable. No pain,
but a record nonetheless, a history
of love and war in blank tattoos.