Thursday, May 5, 2011

It was like when someone dies

So, I have been really busy with my now-26,000 word thesis project, a first-person story centered on Peter. It's almost done, and I'll probably post excerpts from it here eventually. If you want to read the whole thing, let me know. Anyway: this semester I took a poetry class. It's been pretty fun, and I've written several poems, some of which I like. Here is the latest one I've written, composed earlier today for class.

It was like when someone dies,
And how one second they’re alive,
And the next they’re dead,
And it’s hard to tell the difference at first,
Because they don’t look very different—
A little too pale, maybe, but that’s it.

That’s what it was like,
Except in reverse,
Because one moment the world was dead,
Filled with skeletons pretending they were alive,
Prancing in the stale light
Of the dead sun, and there was nothing new, and
Everything under the sun was old
And dead.
And they chased after a dead wind on a long journey leading


And then the dead light of the sun
Shone, for the first time in millennia,
On Something new, and the sun was reborn.
And new Feet walked across the dead earth
And made it live again.
And then
For a moment
There was a dead hill and a dead tomb
At the center of everything.
But then the tomb was empty. And everything was new,
And some of the skeletons grew flesh and were no longer skeletons.

They danced in the new light of the sun.

But most of the skeletons did not even notice,
Because they were still pretending.
Only by now they had forgotten
that they were, after all, only pretending.

It was like when someone dies,
And you only notice when you realize
That they haven’t taken a breath for a while.

That’s what this is like,
Except in reverse.


  1. (I have finally made my way through my blog posts for the week) This is a wonderful/beautiful/excellent poem! I will be keeping track of your blog in anticipation of more posts!

    For my blog, I wasn't sure you were keeping track of comments since it has been a week (and what a busy week is has been with the end of semester craziness) Yes, we should not say that we agree with what all of the things that those who call themselves Christians do/believe. But if we're always arguing amongst ourselves, how is someone outside the Church supposed to know which of us is right? Shouldn't we concentrate on telling others our core beliefs? Sure, Satan is at work in the Church, as he is in every fallen man, but that doesn't mean we can't show a united front to the world: " We may not agree on everything, but THESE are the things we all believe. Come join the conversation as we work out our differences with civility."

    I think/hope that a lot of out disagreements would fade if we focused on the Great Commission - making disciples who would follow Jesus and learn from Him themselves (not just believing everything the missionaries told them, not just accepting every doctrine they are taught, but thinking through things themselves, reading their Bibles to see how things stack up, using their gifts to build up the Church - that is what the world should look like - not this fractured mess where everyone is trying to prove someone else wrong.)

    Maybe I'm being naive or too idealistic, but I thing not only that the world can be better than it is, but that we can make it better (with a little help from God, of course).

    Greg Boyd is a real theologian, and a better writer than I am, and he said better than I could some of what I was trying to say.

    Here are some more posts from Rachel Held Evan's Rally to Restore Unity. There are a bunch, but I've only had time to read a few.

  2. Jessica, great to hear from you! I'm glad you liked the poem.
    Anyway, here is my position in a nutshell: some people, due to blatantly incorrect doctrine or practice, have voluntarily deprived themselves of the right to be in the earthly, visible church. See 1 Corinthians 5:11-13. Some differences can be worked out civily. Some cannot, and that is an extremely important point. I am not saying that these people are necessarily unsaved. I don't know that. But I do know that Paul sees situations in which people disqualify themselves, by belief or practice, from participating in the earthly church. Therefore, when I tell a Unitarian, or a legalist, or a practicing homosexual, or even a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness (both of whom claim to be Christian) that they are flat-out wrong, I am not arguing within the church. These people (people whom Jesus loves, whom I love, whom I hate to see in such serious error)have disqualified themselves from the rights of the church body (see 1 Corinthians 4:5). They do not deserve the name "Christian" while they continue in such serious error, and they are the ones dragging the church down, not the fighting against them. If you disagree, please read the Scriptures I've quoted and tell me how I'm wrong.

    On the absolute importance of correct doctrine, read Hebrews 5:11-6:3. "The basics" are not enough to be content with. If you only stick to "the basics," pretty soon you will become "dull of hearing" and need someone to teach you again.

    One last thing, and please don't take this as being hostile to you personally. You talk about the importance of "reading scripture" and "not just accepting every doctrine they're taught." Note that I am using Scripture to make my points. I am not appealing to long-held doctrine or dogma, and I am not using rhetoric. I am reading my Bible, and some disagreements concerning the inerrant word of God are too important to shrug off.