Leaves the 99

I have always marveled at the risk involved in the parable of the lost sheep. In fact, I can actually see the economists in the crowd shaking their heads and coming up to J. afterwards and trying to convince him that it just doesn’t make sense.

One lost sheep? Who is gonna watch the others?

I have a tendency to worry about all the sheep. What if there are wolves? Wolves stress me out. But J is unswerving. He leaves the 99 and goes to find the one. lost. sheep.

Of course he knows some secrets.

Like: the 99 are actually supposed to watch out for each other.

Like: a few stubborn jackasses in the flock help keep the wolves at bay.

Like: I am the one lost sheep. You are the one lost sheep.

We are all lost without him.

For J every last flipping one of us is that solitary-witless-easily-confused-fluffy-lost sheep.

Sometimes the only thing one needs to do to be found is to admit that one is lost.

Real lost

Without him.


4:21 am

After a solid fudging week of losing thumb wars to the god of grief I decide to change my stance.

Fine, I say, keep me up if you want, but we are going to do this together.

Make no mistake. He is not my friend. He is the quiet satellite tech on the slow train north. He is the Russian student who used to try to beguile me with roses and sweet talk. He is the dark standing just shy of sunset. All these years I have avoided his gaze, pretended I didn’t notice him at the same parties, never wailed and pummeled his dark, cold chest.

You win, I say, snake hole, only to realize he hasn’t, can’t because You have already–no matter how many days to resurrection.

3/15/44 BC

They say that JC fought hard until he saw Brutus among his assailants. How well-thought-out is death by a thousand cuts? And would it matter to us if he had called him child in the dying hour? These are my ides-of-March musings, as if we were not warned he was the god of war, not love hanging over us. I do small calculations–how old was the world when Julius Caesar died? How long until that other kind of King? Easter is coming, sure as each sign of spring, but there has never been a resurrection without some kind of dying first.

Eight Day Litany

When Billy Graham died there was a minor brouhaha about a young woman who wished him fun in hell.

Whatever you or I may have thought about BG, he was an unabashed Eternalist. Stephen Hawking was not.

It is my belief that they both are now.

Which reminds me of a story…

A long time ago a rather counter-cultural day laborer was executed by the Romans apparently for some sort of political expediency.

His rag-tag followers were devastated (naturally), until a few days later when he came back from the dead and started appearing to people!!! (Rather supernaturally)

Although not initially to Thomas, a contemporary Aramaic friend of his, or Stephen Hawkins, a science-type from the 20th century B.C.E.

But after a bit,* he fixed this by showing up. For Thomas it came in the 20th chapter of the Good News of John. For Stephen it happened today.

Worship science all you want, or money or sex or power or fear.

But on the day we die we all turn into Eternalists…regardless of whether the science was every really on our side or not.

John 20, 21

*eight days

Pieces of a Story

The woman should be dressed in black, the color of mourning, sure, but also the color of the charcoal outline of her once too solid flesh turning quickly into whatever charcoal is made of, burnt things, carbon, dust to dust…the man the groom the former love turns to choices made willingly in digital time, ushering in darkness through every door, every window

Their home now

They are….home now.

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

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.