Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Cross is More Than a Whisper

I wrote this poem after visiting Israel/Palestine. That trip forever changed how I view war and our world. However, a poem uses specificity to speak to universality. These words came from the Middle East but speak to all injustice, whether across the ocean in an ancient desert, or a few miles away in Memphis, Tennessee or just outside my door in Olive Branch, Mississippi.





If our God is for us then who can ever stop us…

If our God is for us,
then who are we
for?

What do we stand against?

I have to ask, because
the bombs are steady falling.
I watch the babies die,
the mothers cry,
the men turned each day
to animal instinct,
to survival at expense
of love, life, peace.

The bombs fall and we
who claim to believe
our God can do anything…

What the hell are we doing?

How dare we debate doctrine
as our brothers die.
How dare we who follow the Christ
throw stones and walk past
the beaten man in the ditch?
How dare we side
with human power?

The bombs fall.
The people cry.
The bodies are broken
and peace will die.

Because we stand by
motionless
and let this happen.

We are letting this happen.

We quote the Old Testament
and Revelation
but never Jesus.
We can’t quote Jesus
to defend ourselves
because deep down we know
that Jesus is ashamed.

How dare we claim
not?

You go to Israel and watch
the agony and hate,
watch as you read
the Sermon on the Mount
and then you tell me
if Jesus is proud
of all we see
in his homeland.

Was the cross only for me?

Was the cross only a whisper
when it’s meant to be a scream?

2 comments:

  1. Peacemakers. Creatives are peacemakers, and this is how we make peace. We don't work on conflict resolution because no one wins without compassion. But we plant compassion steadily until it blooms. Even in just one life.

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