The Angry Biddy

She flaps her (flightless) wings and flutters about

Because surely birds can’t cry and this world is full of sorrow

She is almost human, fully sentient with the wary eyes of someone who knows what it is to not have opposable thumbs

So I tell her, do your graceless angry dance and I will translate for you

About how eternal we are in this brutal place

Where the stars tell us things in the darkness

About hope

Dammed hope

Which will one day soon

Break free

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God Calls Us to Pursue

I break the second commandment all the time, sow dragon’s teeth in this suburban front yard, draw the greenest leaves down and through my fingers loosing embryo acorns and the shifting compass of the setting sun. It is the girls who say these most beautiful things, white linen things pinned to a line and lifted by the wind beneath a slivery moon

“It looks like a stone rolled away

Like a stone in the very act of being

Rolled away

Matthew 2:1,2 and 28:1,2

What is a good friend?

Yep, I know-who?

Bear with me.

Ten years ago we discovered that our adopted son had molested some of his siblings and their friends.

I went to my friend and asked him what I should do and he said,

The truth will set you free.

So I told people the truth

Church

Work

Neighbor

Community

Family

Truth

And most people stopped being our friends.

So not who, what

A good friend never leaves, never forsakes, never hides your sin, but doesn’t abandon.

Jesus is a good friend.

What is Love

What is justice

There were times we all faced this extreme solitude of the truth. People who had been out friends could not risk the chance that we were contagious.

But Jesus was always there, the sojourning older son, back from afar, standing on the other side of the street, in sight of the house, I-am-here-darling present with us

never alone because

What a friend we have in Jesus

The Good Friend

Recently I have started “meditating” on the good friend. I put meditation in quotes because it can seem monastic and old fashioned, could just say thinking about.

But I say meditation because the particular focus for me is the life-long friendship God calls us to pursue.

God calls us to pursue.

What is a good friend?

Who qualifies as a good friend?

How does one be a good friend?

What do good friends do together?

How much time does good friendship require?

Is there a schlepping requirement?

All these things are on the big stone table of this miraculous friendship God has called me to through the doorway of Jesus.

Very Christiany, I know.

But then I also know I could not draw close to the Holy Divine if I did not have

A friend like Jesus.

Dear Friend,

Within a month of each other, several things happened–

  • A beloved family member who, like you, does not believe in God, said that if I believe in Hell, I should be trying to convince you of its reality and horror all the time.
  • Several states, most notably Georgia, passed pro-child legislation restricting abortion and received fury for it from people who regard abortion as categorical maternal right.
  • I read about a doctor who received NIH funds to carefully, (without anesthesia because it would adulterate their tissue “donations”) extract babies in their second and third trimester whole in order to use their prenatal livers to revive adult livers.
  • And a single wasp stung me above the left eye.

I know how much you believe in abortion. I know how little you believe in God, yet I believe that the first abortion happened when a literal and real woman (like you and me) murdered all of us with a powerful and deadly choice in a garden we call Eden.

She made a choice, we make choices

As women, as mothers, as friends

To intervene for either life or death.

I believe in a literal hell, literal hells, already clearly delineated in our history of meat shields in steppe conquests, gladiatorial death matches, the ridiculous and deadly crusades, the Inquisition, bubonic plague, and in our case the body of every one of those meticulously harvested prenatal humans, old enough to live outside their mother’s wombs long enough for the doctor to use their pieces and ignore the sum of those parts.

Because livers are so necessary to scrub the toxins in the blood…even the flooding, momentarily excruciating wasp toxin.

You will think it strange that I thought of you and others who do not believe in Hell when I reeled into the pain of that single sting. I thought about how terrible it would be not to believe in the soaring truth of 1 Corinthians–“Oh, death, where is thy sting?”

No accident I write this to you on Father’s Day. When I lost my father it was so devastating–how could death have lost its sting if that single death hurt so much?

You know what I believe–I will see my father again one day, because Jesus took the real sting.

Catastrophically painful, eternal, and all of our faults. Sometimes no bigger than a wasp’s sting in the dark, or smaller than each prenatal human’s carefully extracted extinction.

But there in the Cross–

Our hell, our iterations of hell

Whether we believe in them or not.

Dear, you will and always and eternally be, dear, very dear to me.

So much so that I would risk your real and legitimate anger if it might spare you the measure of that incomprehensible Corinthian sting.