Tinderbox

Something quivers under his skin
Blood coursing barely contained
Hands fisted twitching to sink
Feet stamping barely restrained

“Give me back my pen
You stealer, you thief
I hate you godly men
You do not do as believed!”

“I’m just keeping it till end of class
Why this anger, why this fuss?
Told you not to stab in the past
Calm down, you’ll get it back, don’t cuss”

Hot tears run rivulets down his chin
Wild words hurl above the din
Such raw anger I have not seen
Just a 9 year old, but hurting mean

A pint sized mite, yet he unnerves me
Such distrust and defiance disturb me
How this ferocity came to be
What shaped this tinderbox before me

When did sweetness and light grow dim
And bright spirits turned a bitter dark tint
I feel inadequate and stupidly dim
To handle the young with eyes like flint

Some are worldly cynical wary
Others are bowed cowed weary
Many are raging bull angry
Almost all are hurting badly

Want to build you up, but you tear me down
Want to free your yoke, but you’re tightly bound
Have to turn you around, before you spiral down
Have to lift you up, before you hit the ground

Lord help me find the words
Lord help me heal the hurts
Lord help me show your words
That they’re not alone in their hurts.

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LGBT

When I came across this acronym, I was bemused
With each sound bite, I grew more confused
For some, they are unequivocal in their views about it
That this is sinful, contemptible, no two ways about it.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
In some quarters viewed as a lewd offender
Reduced to an initialism, to be spoken in a whisper
For same-sex union is not God’s plan, they thunder.

The church does not disapprove if the love is ‘chaste and faithful’
Which means one must remain celibate, or deemed sinful
This is where the rhetoric obscure rather than illuminate
An oxymoron which only serves to obfuscate.

I have friends who love as such
To come out, even today, it takes much
I cannot condemn love pure and monogamous
I cannot be judge and condemn it outrageous.

We strive for the agape love of Abba, our Father
An unconditional love for all sinners no matter
Yet we cannot get past the eros love of human nature
And lose sight of the souls we could have nurtured.

When we fail to reach out, we fail to save
When we fail to speak out, we fail to brave
To break free from self-righteous condemnation
To proclaim and practise our message of redemption.

Prejudice or Instinct?

He was sightless and liked to hold hands
With all and sundry if he can
Twice I offered and twice I shuddered
Strokes and caresses I can’t stand.

Is this my neighbor Lord seeking a friend?
Is this my neighbor Lord needing a hand?
When I averted my eyes like the rest of them
Did I too fail the test and be damned?

Good touch, bad touch it’s hard to tell
Was it prejudice or instinct that made that call?
Pray tell me Lord how to break down walls
That stop us from following your call.

Other women said the same
He used his status to snare dames
That he thought they were fair game
And would take it meek and tame.

I thought I was behaving cruelly
Neglected my call, my duty
Now my heart no longer beats guilty
Thank you Lord for answering me truly.

 

 

Selfless vs Selfish

You can be a little selfish
Cos no one understands your wish
You want to sow some goodness?
It’s alien stuff, this selflessness.

The ways of the world is selfishness
ME first and obliviousness
Who cares about all the faceless
It’s alien stuff, this selflessness.

You can be a little selfish
Cos no one understands your wish
You want to sow some kindness?
It’s alien stuff, this selflessness.

All are afflicted with blindness
No see, no feel, it’s madness
No one remembers goodness
It’s alien stuff, this selflessness.

You can be a little selfish
Cos no one understands your wish
You want to sow love in the masses?
It’s alien stuff, this selflessness.

Sacrificing self to selfishness?
You won’t get through they’re thoughtless
Just expect ungratefulness
It’s alien stuff, this selflessness.

 

Do Not Live Like Bats in Darkness

So here I am, rereading this article with such a great hook of a title, ‘Pope Tells Christians Not to Live Like Bats in Darkness’. Being insomniac, batty and also dark like the Batman of recent years, naturally I’m drawn to this April 24 homily, like moth to a flame, or a bat to an echo beacon.

It appears, Pope Francis was speaking out against ‘funeral Christians’ who prefer sadness to joy, whose life seems like a non-stop funeral and who live like ‘bat Christians’ preferring darkness over the light of the Lord’s presence, afraid of joy and defeated by the cross.

I’m coming out of the closet here, taking tentative steps out from the comforting darkness, to confess that, “YES I’m one of those bat Christians!” Yes, I would like to be all sunshine and joy and this is in fact, one of my new year resolutions … But alas, I’m doing poorly here.

Other than being more than a little eccentric, brooding, with a voice in my head that spouts vitriol; I’m also cynical, pessimistic and mopey. Definitely living like a bat in darkness here!

I think everyone and not just Christians would like to live life joyfully as if it were a nonstop celebration. Many have dissected and discussed the Happiness Index, read about the Bhutanese way of life and I have even watched Pharell’s Happy video 24×7 to understand how to do happy. My mind is quick to buy this, but somehow my emotions and physical self are slow on the uptake. I do not feel the happy buzz, the smile is forced and the manner snarky.

Truthfully, I would give an arm and a leg (or wing) to be bursting with joy and spread happiness as easily as wind pollination or infectious bat droppings. However, I think it would be rather shocking to all if my carefully cultivated Clark Kent alter ego (unfortunately I’m not heir to great fortune like Bruce Wayne) suddenly sports the mega-watt Tom Cruise smile (I’m smirking here) and perhaps get a little euphoric and start jumping on sofas.

It is not that I prefer darkness over light, or sadness over joy, it’s just that over the years, this shield to not feel contentment, nay happiness, has thicken and harden to this impenetrable gloom and doom. The Pope is right. We are afraid of joy. In my case, there has always been this restraint, this self control, to not give in to wild abandonment for fear of the greater fall after an impossible high. Do not be too happy as depression will soon follow!

We are also bat-like in that we try to conform to social mores which today hold in high regard, the wearing of pain and suffering like badge of honour. It’s outside the norm to be happy. Cutting, tattooing and confessing our pain is de rigueur! And so we become colonies of dour sack cloth wearers living life as a nonstop funeral.

And perhaps too, given that blind faith is seen as a negative, we are afraid of believing that God is near, to let go and let God. We let ourselves be beaten and burdened by life’s crosses. By and by, with conditioning over the years, we become distrustful, defeated and disbelieving. We become morose and live in darkness not seeing the light.

The Pope is right. We live like bats in darkness. Hopefully, I can start by letting go my fear of joy and letting in my God of light. Hopefully, with self examination and the will to change, I can transform myself from a bat Christian to a better one.

From the Mirror to the Core

I live in front of the mirror where I make up myself. My looks, achievements, my made up self. The image reflected is the ideal I want to be. The image reflected is the who I want others to see.

I live in front of the mirror where I measure myself. Constantly asking, “Am I good enough?”. Constantly finding I’m not good enough. Wanting affirmation to feel good enough.

I know, that God accepts us wholly as we are. I know, that God loves us wholly flaws and all. I know, but I have not internalized this. I know, but I have not accepted this for me.

I know, it is not about building up, this image in the mirror. But of tearing it down, to my inner core. I know, it is not about deserving it, this love of God. But of receiving what is freely given, evermore.

I want to imagine the Father looking at me. I want to imagine the Father loving just me. He says, “I accept you and love you as you are”. He says, “I take delight in you, just as you are”.

I want to live outside the mirror and be myself. I want to live outside the mirror and really see myself. The image reflected is the image of God. The image reflected is loved by our Lord.