Why did you write the stories that you did?
opening a door, inviting us
into a hilarious, upside down world
virgins become pregnant
an old lady grows a baby and
a wild-eyed, weird prophet is more important and influential
than emperors and high priests
kids do crazy shit:
“extra, extra! shepherds leave 99 sheep to fend for themselves while going off to search
for one lost sheep!”
a Samaritan is made the generous hero
and a foolish son is celebrated for simply coming home?
seems the root is a mysterious love
am i supposed to imagine i stop living and loving with prudence and caution?
am i supposed to imagine i stop holding grudges, begin forgiving enemies?
am i supposed to imagine i stop clinging tightly to what i got and begin giving it away?
am i supposed to imagine i stop ignoring the debt i owe – to God, parents, teachers,
mentors, friends, even enemies … and
live from gratitude?
am i to imagine i stop dolling out love only by the tiny thimble-fulls?
imagine i vigorously weep it, love,
washing another’s feet with tears and drying another’s feet with my hair.
i want to tell you that it’s too much, but I think you know that.
You say: Beware!
at the root is a mysterious love, a manacle around us, existing only in this kind of
and it is hard to hold both this and pride, this and money, this and my stature all at once.
Aren’t I self made? D’I get where I am by my own powers (no help from anyone)?
Haven’t I worked hard and earned it all?
Then, no need to share it with some broken-hearted, broken-down “other”
human being who is, God knows, probably poor
by her own choice or foolishness, or something.
You say: clinching like this clouds the record of the mind.
That I forget my past community, its tune
That I insulate from a present community, wiping the reality of needs away from my
life’s windshield, with the flick of a button of my pride.
You say: the best thing about being poor is that one can’t forget community
can no longer pretend to make it on their own.
lacking power and control,
I am in need of help.
Perhaps then, you want me to remember those spiritual ancestors
man and woman with LIFE in a garden.
From thousands of trees full of delicious fruit available for nourishment and delight,
Only one tree was off limits, and … we couldn’t stand it.
Our power will not be checked by the friend from the cool of the day.
You say what that story and my life tell me: when I grab for power I lose community.
I have heard it said, “it is better to give than to receive.” but even that’s
upside down with you, like you say it’s almost better to be:
Learning to wait, looked on with grace, holding out hands.
And, then and there, in your 2nd chapter (though you didn’t write them in chapters, still)
following a star
to a baby:
Jesus is come.
come to lay down his power; free me to lay down my power.
come to lay down his life; free me to lay down my life.
come to deal with our pride, with the thoughts of our [proud] hearts.
come to say, in grace and mercy,
“Come” to upside-down community, where it sometimes feels
just perfectly right side up.
luke, I don’t know why you wrote the stories that you did
but I am waiting and watching,
holding out hands,
ready for someone to tell them again.