You worm Jacob

Isaiah 41:14 NIV

[14] Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Badass Isaiah walks naked through the streets of Jerusalem, stopping occasionally for a tuna sandwich and thinking about clothes. Clothes of the invisible God. Clothes of the kinsman-redeemer. Clothes eventually gambled away at the foot of an impossible Cross.

Who trades a God for a worm? Who does that?

A fisherman, I guess.

Luke 5:10-11

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Winter Storm

Over my shoulder I hear the PBS lady tell my sons about blizzards, how they are just snow storms unless the wind is strong and fast. Here in Texas we have driving rain, not driven snow, and it is the percussive light which wakes the dogs in the night. Poised for a fight. Hurricanes have the eyes of Quint’s soulless sharks as they roll across the landscape of childhood and wakefulness I will momentarily regret the home I left in fear. Regret what I did not leave there. Regret what I did, but not the winds. The winds around the eye, the deceptively calm eye, of every storm that changes the landscape

Of who we once were.

Darling-I-Count-Sheep

This started as a break up but ended with old friend, Wakefulness here in the dark, in the storm

It was a dark and stormy night! But it was the dogs that kept me up

Dogs of the past

Dogs of war

That dog whose name* I can’t remember who re-enacted classics like The Prince and the Pauper.

When names and sleep elude you, there are sheep. They start out chalky, outlined, and two dimensional, but they elaborate

In depth, complexity, and general fluffiness, but also about the weather, dogs barking at night, and all the ways it was and wasn’t my fault this chance we took hurt so much.

*Wishbone

Thigh-High Hell

Lauren Duca, famous for “thigh-high” politics and damning people to hell, has reminded me of a very old joke-

A person is ushered into hell and told to choose between two rooms. In one people appeared to be stuck head-first in a solid foot of manure. In the other they are standing, with coffee mugs, in several feet of manure. Upon reflection the newbie chooses the second option. As soon as soon as the choice is made, a disembodied voice says, “coffee break over, get back on your heads!”

But in all seriousness, hell is no joke. Neither is death or AIDS or anti-semitism, or abortion or sexism or segregation or war.

Lauren’s comments about Graham illuminate her anger and her politics. Calling anyone an epithet like “shit” or “bitch” is an act of dehumanization and should elicit questions about why the speaker is that angry.

So I read Graham’s biography. He was just a guy. He did some brave things, he made some big mistakes. He was flawed and occasionally made public comments he regretted or private comments he regretted even more. A public figure of mixed repute who said or did things he sometimes regretted–not that different than Lauren Duca.

By my estimation Duca is in her 20s, which means she is a cool three-quarters of a century younger than Graham. She is young, young and apparently angry.

I wonder if Duca would have said what she did had she been older or done some research on literal hells.

I am a lot older than Duca and a lot younger than Graham. At fifty my regrets come back to me, chalky outlined ghosts of all my squalor, all my terrible, ordinary sins.

What if hell were just that? No fire and brimstone, just all our dead deeds come back to us forever. Just all our paid-for-with-this-glib-t-shirt dead.

We would wish for what Graham claimed to have–

An unequivocal Redeemer.

Job 19:25 NIV

[25] I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.

True.

Psalm 68:4-6 NIV

[4] Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds ; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. [5] A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. [6] God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

The Weirdest Thing

The weirdest thing how brave not knowing makes you. Not knowing the crash. Not knowing the presence of wrong. Not knowing the feral son has been a monster all along. He will not turn into a real boy instead he will be ever-so-carefully excised from the picture of the ordinary house, where trees have grown a rampart around all

who survive him.

Tim Davis’ Inexcusable Excuse

No doubt an abuse victim himself?

Tim Davis either has inside information about someone abusing Salling as a child, in which case he should report that immediately to the authorities or he has just perpetuated the kind of ignorant, baseless assumption about abuse victims which makes it so difficult for the victims to heal.

Again, if Davis knows Salling was abused he better call the police.

And if he does not, he owes every last victim of sexual abuse (including Salling’s) a retraction and an apology.

Sexual abuse victims are not de facto abusers, and to insinuate so in order to excuse the inexcusable is, to borrow from Davis–a cruel comment.