Wednesday, July 31, 2019

And So It Goes...

Though the leaves remain green
on all the August trees
still, a few are falling to the ground

and though the forest floor
is somber and still
yet, somewhere, I hear a rushing sound

and looking up, I see
above the canopy
a proud sycamore roaring in the breeze

and so it goes and goes
walking beneath the wind
beneath the sky and beneath the trees

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day! Work for Human Rights!

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees,
you hypocrites!
You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces.
You yourselves do not enter,
nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees,
you hypocrites!
You give a tenth of your goods.
But you have neglected the more
important matters of the law:
mercy and
You should have practiced the latter,
without neglecting the former.
You blind guides!
You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
You worry and fret
about words and phrases and
count the costs to your own fattened wallet
but ignore the cries of the children,
the perils of the poor and marginalized.
Although you were once immigrants yourselves
welcomed in grace
you now turn away immigrants
seeking safety and welcome
Blind guides!
Ungrateful ones!
For this was the sin of your sister Sodom
(don't listen to charlatans who tell you otherwise...):
She and her daughters were arrogant,
overfed and unconcerned;
they did not help the poor and needy.
Don't be like Sodom!
Woe to those who fail
to side with the poor and needy!
Woe to those who refuse
to welcome the refugee!
Judgment will draw nigh!
There will be a swift witness
against those who swear falsely,
against those who oppress the laborers in their wages,
against who cheat at charities meant to aid
the widow and the orphan,
against those who thrust aside the sojourner seeking refuge.
There will be hell to pay!
Now listen, you rich people,
weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you.
Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.
Your gold and silver are corroded.
You have hoarded wealth in the last days.
Look! The wages
you failed to pay the workers
who mowed your fields are crying out against you.
The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.
You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence.
You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.
Do what is just and right;
rescue the oppressed from the power of the oppressor.
Don’t exploit or mistreat the refugee,
the orphan,
or the widow.
Don’t spill the blood of the innocent in this place.
Do not place the innocent in prison.
Tear down those walls!
Free the captive
provide healthcare to the sick
preach actual good news to the poor!
(And not any sort of cheap counterfeit
"stay quiet and accept the punishments coming to you
at the hands of rich oppressors and slave traders!"
sort of "good news")
Preach the real good news to the actual poor.
For what you do for the least of these
for the poor
the strangers
the outcasts
the refugees
those in the oppressed classes...
What you do for them,
you do for and with and alongside God
you do for and with and alongside
your own children and
you do for and with and alongside
your own self.
It's simple
do unto others,
what you'd have them do unto you
and here's a hint:
IF you were escaping hunger and rape and murder
YOU would want to be welcomed in as a refugee.
Do that, for others.
and love
and love
and love.

~The Bible, God, Jesus...
along with just reasonable, compassionate people everywhere
regardless of their faith tradition
or belief system