Jesus feeds the multitude

When I read the accounts of Jesus feeding thousands of people, his abundance and miraculous powers are preeminent.

But there are other things as well. He says that the disciples need to feed them.

He demands the impossible of the ordinary.

He has not provided (that we know) consistent meals and snacks. He waits until they are truly hungry.

He exhausts the resources of the ordinary.

He predicts that without Divine intervention they will “collapse on the way.”

He knows the limits of the ordinary and is willing to push those limits.

We are so ordinary.

I am particularly ordinary.

And I need to face my ordinary hunger, my ordinary need…

For this God, this extraordinary Savior. Jesus, who defines himself and winnows us by proclaiming that in his body and in his blood is the fulfillment of every human hunger.

With or without a little boy’s ordinary lunch, Jesus satisfies, Jesus is able to feed, every human heart.

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Pamela Anderson’s Story

It is profoundly telling that we allow/promote a woman’s prerogative to overexpose her body for sexual purposes for years, but do not provide safe harbor for that same woman to tell the story of her childhood victimization.

I don’t care if Hugh Jackman dressed up like Wolverine for Halloween (..and no one noticed..), but I do care if Bryan Singer sexually assaulted teens and no one noticed.

The same rule applies to Ms. Anderson:

Not only do we need to examine why her body is of interest to millions of men, but we also must question why the identification and prosecution of her abusers is of interest to none.

If Anderson could not tell her story until now, how many other victims have been forced into silence?

And at what cost?

The Hole in my Chest

Four years it’s been since I knew I had an invisible arrow lodged in my ribcage–what comes of adopting “damaged” children.

We are all damaged somehow. Who can repair us?

I knew the answer–arrow or no. I knew the power of my salvific God.

But the arrow remained.

Sometimes it would hurt me less. Sometimes more–the ache rising with the deep regret of the past or knowledge of our frailty.

And then I began to wakeboard.

I learned that having this thing I could throw myself at would keep down the ache of the wound. I had let my children down. I had lived with a costly illusion for years.

Who else would he harmed before he was done? And who can fix such a broken soul?

The arrow remained
Lodged in my chest.

Last week I fell wrong off a kicker. I confronted the fear that had kept my mind off the arrow, and landed in a fast tumble.

Panicked, my son said, but I knew it was just speed and my characteristic lack of control.

No one tells you how much it hurts to hit water fast.

I think it is a cartilage injury to my left chest cavity. It makes some things harder.

But the arrow in my chest
Joined by a real wound now
Seems less intractable
Less lonely

With each small, survivable ache
I remember
The spear lodged in His chest
Eternal wound/God of resurrection.

What Good Does It Do?

There are only a couple people I have ever met who I have wanted to actually kick.

I say a couple in case I am missing someone.

The one person I know I wanted to kick was my adopted son after I found out he had molested children.

We took him in.

We cared for him.

He violated children.

How do you get past that?

You don’t.

You go through it, and it changes you.

I did not kick him. No one did. In fact, very, very, few people confronted him at all.

It is hard to confront evil.

The other day I was standing in a beautiful place surrounded by people I admired, listening to the blast of a radio station–the foulest, most misogynistic rap I have ever heard.

How could someone write, “sing,” produce, edit, air, or listen to such explicit “music?”

Outside of hell. Each “song” seemed to be reminiscent of the soundtrack of hell.

Literal hell.

I was once chided for objecting to a hip-hop song with lyrics about infanticide- my fault for listening to the words in the first place?

As though it were a moral ideal to simply avoid the existence of evil.

I write all of this because it is worth pondering what exactly Jay-Z did to incite his sister-in-law’s wrath.

I have lots of family members who are real weenies but I don’t want to kick them.

You want to kick someone when they really hurt someone you love.

Do you love Adrianna Waller? Do you even know her story?

Can you face the pain she faced alone? A helpless baby.

Can you face the man who tortured her to death? Or the inevitable waves of pain, grief, and anger his actions unleashed in the lives of every single person who had to live past his aggression?

Can you reckon with his unrepentant soul?

Can you factor in the role of pornography in his premeditated rape of a baby? Or the pain and confusion of her agonizing death?

I cannot.

For the first month after I found out that my adopted son had molested children I cried. I yelled, ranted, grieved.

I will never even be able to reckon with his unrepentant soul.

And so far, his victims have survived his evil–scarred but whole. Lonely and aggrieved, but alive.

If we cannot face evil, how can we begin to overcome it?

And if we do not overcome it: what good do we do?

Atonement

This weekend my glasses snapped–broken down their center line.

My friend helped fix them temporarily with a bit of purple tape. It was not my most fashionable weekend.

But I was catching glimpses of the crucifixion–reading chapters from the gospel. Little snapshots–Jesus betrayed, Jesus beaten, Jesus mocked, scorned, tried.

At what point would he have lost his glasses? I do not believe he needed them, let us be clear, but the question lingered–at what point did the story of the death of Christ become unbearable?

Pretty early on.

Jesus suffered agony and humiliation in my place. He took on more pain than we can bear to even contemplate.

Our mistake. We should.

Because the Cross was agony we have the glimpse and promise of heaven.

Jesus paid it all.

For us, with the rank winds of hell at our backs.

Bryan Singer: compromising positions

When I first read about the accusations against Bryan Singer I thought–why does a grown man party with teens? Alcohol? Drugs? Young men?

But I also acknowledged that the alleged victim was waging an uphill battle. The gold standard for predators is they have a modus operandi. And modus operandi means multiple crimes.

In this case–multiple victims.

Now that a second young man is alleging abuse, the Bryan Singer story should be big news–criminal charges big news.

And yet it is not. Cutesy stories about celebrity posturing dominate the news, while all the usual suspects look the other way and assiduously avoid asking the obvious questions–is Hollywood populated with older men preying upon the young and vulnerable for sex?

‘Cause that kind of sex has a name–rape.

Sir Young, Judge Howard, and the myth of the “atypical” rapist

This one is a doozy– a female judge in Texas sentences a man who sexually assaulted a teenager to a laughably light sentence that included volunteering at a rape crisis center!

This is Texas, people, and just like the affluenza case, it happened in Wendy Davis’ stompin’ ground.

And it is an affront to us all.

Not only is Sir Young a very typical and completely excuseless sex offender, the mythology of any of these losers being somehow “not your typical” rapist is an atrocious fiction.

An atrocious fiction that hides an egregious truth: in Texas and all over this country rapists and pedophiles are getting light-to-no punishment for rape, not just because of shoddy law enforcement and incompetent judges. No. They are dodging sentences, jail time, and felony convictions simply because the states, counties, and local jurisdictions do not want to be responsible for the cost of their incarceration and supervision.

We need to clean house and make the perps pay the legal price for rape. The perps, not their victims.