Questions for a Jehovah’s Witness

I recently started reading Philip Yancey’s The Jesus I Never Knew. With only the first two chapters under my belt, I’m already beginning to think about Jesus’ life and work in a new way.

For instance, I’ve been thinking hard about just how difficult it must have been for Mary to bring a son into this world, seeing as she was subject to the law and to a society which viewed her birth as scandalous. That’s how Yancey’s book starts: revisiting this man Jesus we’ve heard about for so long and in so many different contexts and reexamining the birth story I heard every Christmas Eve as a kid (usually while obsessing over the presents I knew were waiting in my parents’ closet). Yancey’s book is a necessary eye opener for sure.

I bought the book a few days ago, and on that same day, I saw two Jehovah’s Witnesses walking down my street. In the past, whenever I saw Jehovah’s Witnesses come to my door, I recoiled in horror at the thought of talking to two stranger’s at my doorstep. Perhaps because my view of the life of Jesus was fresh in my mind, I realized that I wished they would knock on my door. I had a few questions to ask them…

Continue reading “Questions for a Jehovah’s Witness”

The Sons Of

Our stories revolve around the sons of…

Of harpy and of Jacob

From which fathers are they?

Is their devotion to violence in the alley

Merely a skewed reading of scripture

 

They call themselves the sons of…

Of ones whose hearts are all-consuming fire

And disgust in the bedrooms.

Their loyalty unfaltering, unmoved, and solid

Their causes horrifically misplaced

 

These are the sons of…

Broken men following broken men following broken men

But believing in something real.

Enforcing the laws of the land

They forget the good news that made them

Let Us Sing Loud!

Words? In devotion to me?

No. No my name is small and can’t be heard

But Yours.

Yes, yes, yes, Your name

Should be sung loud

Let us sing loud!

“O to grace how great a debtor

Daily I’m constrained to be…”
 
 
Which facet of this Diamond should we sing of tonight?

What color is Your character?

What color do you see, brother?

Every color is beautiful

In its own way

And we look to this, our Prism

The grace-giving summation of everything good

We look to Him
 
 
I look to Him

Without Him, none of this means anything

It’s all just a useless few years

In which we keep yelling our names

Never to be heard

The Rock

Moses struck the rock and dispersed water

The cool stuff of life freely given

The Spirit in the rock from the father

God’s gift and the flesh interwoven

 

Jacob, in distress, chose to flee

Stopped in Luz to rest his head

Experienced dreams from the Head of three

On a pile of rocks made his Heavenly bed

 

A rock is not merely a rock

As Christ is the Rock of Ages

The mission of the Spirit Christ’s body unlocked

And on Christ’s body did Jacob lay his

The Maker of All Things

I was working in the yard

With earth up to my elbows

The dirt was dark and cool

Earthworms performed

Figure eights between my

Fingers. Beetles came to

The surface to inspect. My

Knees were deep in the dirt

I filled my hands with scoops

of land. I washed them with

Cold water. It all brought true

Satisfaction and it occurred to

Me what God must have felt

When he was at work, seeing

Creatures come into being.

Feeling land between his

Fingers and cold water clean.

I’m envious of the Maker

Of all things.

 

Photo credit: “baby grass [mother’s day present]” by Flickr user woodleywonderworks

Two Bibles

Two grandmothers – two Bibles

One, a well-worn testament to a life spent searching

Tears, pencil & pen marks, highlights bright and faded

Dog-eared pages for purposes we’ll never know

Prayers resting inside the back cover

The other, a disregarded vestige from a life lived at garage sales

Rotting in a box next to old rat traps

Buried under Life magazines with more experience

The pages filled with the word of God yet untouched

 
 
Photo credit: “Psalm 71” by Flickr user Carson Coots

Smoke and Sadness

I remembered this today:

My buddy and I would stand and stay

In the dark we would sneak cigarettes in the backyard

We would criticize Christ

We would laugh hysterically at the absurdity of God

We would snarl our smoke yellow teeth between coughs

We would share bewilderment that anyone could believe

Something so obviously impossible

We would open another pack and pass the lighter

Back and forth back and forth back and forth

Into the black night we would hurl our insults

Hoping to God that someone would hear us

We were proud enemies of God proud enemies

Of the truth

When we were spent we would walk inside leaving behind us trails of ash

We reeked of smoke and sadness

 

Photo credit: “Ashtray” by Flickr user Franco Dal Molin