Friday, February 17, 2017

Epiphany, Age 5


The theophany occurred in the basement of the home of
William Jennings Bryan,
which by then had been converted
into a daycare center for the children of
the staff of Bryan Memorial Hospital.

I was in the play room by myself,
surveying the toy kitchen appliances,
the plastic food and dinnerware,
content with my aloneness
because I knew I really wasn't,
God was here and would be my playmate.

As soon as the belief was thought,
I sensed a presence start to move towards me,
from beyond the cinderblock wall to the West.

Suddenly, the room’s atmosphere felt weighty,
as if an intensifying thundercloud was drawing nearer,
the worst storms always came from that direction,
and I knew with awful certainty,
that this room would be too small
for what was heading my way.

The instant I became aware of the limitation
of my current situation,

I fled.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Reject the Numbness, II


And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.
-Mark 15:23

Why did you refuse their mercy?

Without it, the impact of nail through
drove undeadened into the brain.

The agony of gravity
reverberated undampened
against the ears.

How thoughtless of you Jesus,
to make the moment more difficult for them.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Reject the Numbness

Jesus was offered myrrh-ed wine (ἐσμυρνισμένον) before the crucifixion, but he didn't take it.  (Mark 15:23)  Apparently, such wine was commonly offered to the crucified because of myrrh's pain-deadening properties.

The image a Jesus rejecting myrrh keeps coming back to me as I read tweets and Facebook posts.  So many people are anxious and feeling unsafe that I'm tempted to numb myself to their pain.  The number of hurting and worried people is that overwhelming.

There are plenty of ways I could choose numbness over engagement -- block Twitter and Facebook accounts, ignore certain news outlets, spend my free-time pursuing pleasant distractions.  Then I remember Jesus facing the cross without cutting the pain, and the temptation to dropout fades.

Why did Jesus choose to feel the pain of the crucifixion when he had an alternative available to him?  His choice was a brave one, and it makes me feel brave.  I can face what's happening in society because I am in communion with this type of Savior, one who can endure the pain and triumph over it.  I anticipate that he will give me victory over the anxieties of today, too.