Unknown source. Please e-mail me if you know the artist.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Love into Solitude or Community?

The following was composed about half a year after my awakening in the struggle to work out the complexities of love.

“Love the Lord your God,”
and we’re drawn to solitude
“Love your neighbor,”
and we’re drawn to community
“Love others as yourself,”
and we’re drawn back into solitude

Solitude or community?
How do we find them both?
Must loving our neighbor
always draw us into community?
Or, can it also draw us into solitude,
into prayer,
for neighbor to discover on his own?

Loving neighbor is a tricky mystery
Love guides into wholeness
Wholeness means surgery
But neighbor refuses surgery
and wants a drug

Love doesn’t give drugs
so we offer surgery
and neighbor cries,
“You don’t love me!
Love doesn’t hurt like that!”

Oh, but love hurts
Love is the supreme hurt

December 3, 2005

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Unforgiving Usurers

Once upon a time, a certain king in a land of ease wished to settle accounts. Usurers who owed billions were brought to him. The Usurers had bribed the gullible into burdensome loans they knew the debtors could not repay. Floundering beneath the loans, the debtors scoured nickels and dimes to pay what they could. Since the debtors could pay neither quickly nor substantially, the Usurers added new fees and even higher rates of interest.

 When small lenders worked kindly with those seeking loans, the Usurers anted up their bribes and squelched the small lenders. They even bought out the loans of the small lenders, forcing those who had avoided the Usurers into debt with them anyway. Before long, most of the citizens of the land were indebted to the Usurers.

Eventually, the burdens of the debtors were so great, they crashed and could pay no more. The Usurers’ game had boomeranged back to them and they were no longer winning the game they had invented. Seeing their own debtors’ prison before them, their eyes grew wide with terror.

So the Usurers went before the king and said, “Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything.” And the king felt compassion on the Usurers and bailed them out. But the Usurers went and found their debtors who owed thousands and seized them and began to choke them, saying, “Pay back what you owe.”

So the debtors fell down and began to entreat the Usurers, saying, “Have patience with me and I will repay you.” The Usurers were unwilling, however, and went and took their houses, their cars, and all their belongings, and threw them out into the street.

For a time, the king permitted the Usurers to mistreat the debtors and did not require that their bailed out new wealth trickle down to the debtors. So the Usurers returned to their bribes, and they lured in new debtors. And the process started all over: the Usurers grew rich again, the debtors floundered again, and they stopped paying again, but now, the Usurers owed trillions.

But this time, the king, who had been paid by the indebted citizens, was also broke. For a time, he had a magician make money under a funny euphemism no one could pronounce. But it sounded something like “calculating easier,” and, naturally, everyone in the land of ease liked the sound of that. Eventually, the people discovered the euphemism only meant that the king’s money was worthless, so his wealth and his coveted bail-outs came to an end.

Many had loved the land of ease and, when the ease turned against them, they met with despair. A few had sacrificed their citizenship in the land of ease for the rocky quest into land of the cross. Once ease turned into trial, those who had taken the rocky route were hidden.