Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lenten Voices: The Last Word

by Stephen Crippen

The Last Word

Behind our young dog Hoshi
lurks Death
watching hungrily the beatings
of Hoshi’s ill-formed heart

occasionally looking us in the eye
as if to say
I’ll come to collect your other dog too
and if you let me
drain all delight from your house.

***

Behind every joyous baptism
lurks Destiny
recalling soberly how some children
drowned in Katrina’s fetid waters

occasionally looking us in the eye
as if to say
I have some ideas about what awaits your beloved
even if I can’t be entirely sure.

***

Behind every newlywed couple
lurks Discord
counting his chits
keeping his lists

occasionally looking one of them in the eye
as if to say
if you like I’ll help you ‘to have and to hold’
all those things that can only be served
in a portion for one.

***

Behind every Easter
lurks Death, Destiny, Discord

looking us squarely in the eye
proudly saying
we have won many battles.

And you and I, we huddle together
long before dawn
ignite feeble flames
sing The Light of Christ
and hail the One who defeats even
foes as formidable as these.


Stephen is a therapist and postulant to the Diaconate. You can find his personal blog here.

2 comments:

Mary Jane Francis said...

Stephen says:
"Behind every Easter
lurks Death, Destiny, Discord

looking us squarely in the eye
proudly saying
we have won many battles.

And you and I, we huddle together
long before dawn
ignite feeble flames
sing The Light of Christ and hail the One who defeats even
foes as formidable as these."


I will start with Discord… not Destiny.
Because discord may let us slide into
an un-godly destiny.
To deny our destiny
…. to bury our heads…
and become ostriches…
not being willing to see
that God is with us on the journey.

Destiny… is a whole ‘nother story.
Our destiny is to be
who the Beloved created.
Beloved ones, created in the image and likeness
of the One, Holy and Living God.
Called to become/live-into the fullness
of who we have been created to be.

And Death. Yes… that is a part of it, too…
And clearly a part of where I am,
where I have been living,
where I have been huddling.
Waiting for the dawn.

“In the midst of life we are in death” the Prayer Book says.
And so I live,
waiting and trusting.
And the tears continue to flow.
And hope has not yet departed.

Mary Jane Francis 3/24/09

Stephen said...

Hi Mary Jane - thanks for your note! And for your reflections. I would only add that when I wrote about Destiny, I was thinking of it in the way Paul Tillich described it - that Destiny is not what is destined to happen to us, but it's the circumstances of our lives...I am male, I live in the 20th/21st centuries, I have a social location economically, racially, and ethnically... All of that is my "destiny," and by God's grace I have the freedom to work with it, to be shaped into the person God wants me to be... Anyway, thanks again!