Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

I lowered my face and cried, there in the dark
The shame was palpable, and long I stood.
My highest shot had somehow missed the mark,
And furthermore, I knew it always would.

Is there no exit from this wretched place?
Must I embrace despair and call it mine?
I know there must be higher and better ways,
But I can't see them. Lord; you know I'm blind.

I stretched for Heaven. He bent down to Earth
In a feat that seemed impossible, yet stood
And, paying a price beyond what I was worth,
He sanctified this day and made it good.

He took my guilt, so say whatever you will.
He took my hand. He leads. I follow still.

jc-a sonnet--4-2-2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Some Things are Wrong

I just said it and I’ll say it again: wrong, wrong, wrong.
It doesn’t matter that I wasn’t there to see and understand it.
It doesn’t matter that it isn’t from my culture.
It doesn’t matter that it happened a long time ago.

Some things are just wrong.
And we should speak out against them.

Strangling a person who happens to be walking in your area of the park is wrong.
Beating your wife senseless is wrong.
Abusing children is wrong.
Turning another human being into your slave is wrong.
Sacrificing a human to appease a god is wrong.
Forcing a widow to throw herself alive into the funeral pyre of her husband is wrong.
Hating someone because of his skin color or nationality or social status is wrong.
Exterminating a race of people is wrong.
Bullying someone into suicide is wrong.
Getting pleasure from someone else’s pain is wrong.

We should be intolerant of these things, not excuse, glamorize, condone, and ignore them. All humans feel terror, pain, injustice and outrage. That doesn’t change from tribe to tribe, city to city, or century to century. We can say: “what happened was wrong.”
We should say it.

Are we judging? Certainly. And let the judgment come right back to us if we do these things. Oh I know it’s not the polite, the politically correct thing to do.
It is the right thing to do.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that hurt.
It said “Against abortion? Don’t have one.”

That’s like saying: “Against slavery? Don’t own one.”
“Against cigarette smoke? Don’t breathe.”
“Against drunken driving? Don’t drink and drive.”

It says: “don’t call anything wrong, and we’ll both be ok”.
But we won’t.
Most victims didn’t plan to be one.
Innocents are hit by drunken drivers. Innocents die of lung cancer. Innocents are caught by slave traffickers.
When innocents are sacrificed…innocence is sacrificed.
In every culture. In every time.
It’s wrong.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Here's an old hymn for this week

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Hosanna to the royal son
Of David’s ancient line!
His natures two, his person one,
Mysterious and divine.

The root of David, here we find,
And offspring, are the same:
Eternity and time are joined
In our Immanuel’s name.

Blest he that comes to wretched man
With peaceful news from Heaven!
Hosannas, of the highest strain,
To Christ the Lord be given.

Let mortals ne’er refuse to take
The Hosanna on their tongues,
Lest rocks and stones should rise and break
Their silence into songs.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)