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

Young Pilgrims

Andy, I’ve gotten fat and happy

I wonder if you’d say hey if we passed on the street

I just remember driving down Clearwater together

Young Pilgrims

We kept saying god he’s got a voice

You can’t help but sing like it pulls you

We agreed

Even now as I write this and I think of where you might be

I hum along – Young Pilgrims – you know

God he’s got a voice

***

If you’re interested, this was inspired by The Shins’ song “Young Pilgrims.” Careful: it’s catchy.

 

Fruit

I peer into the bowl
Black wet fruit drip
A sweet acrid smell
Flies
Buzzing ears
Stinging eyes
I poke the rind curious
Choke
The skin gives way
Mush into the core
Sick juice covers my hand
Sounds of moldy muscle
Wretch
Decomposed meat old
Sitting in a bowl of its own
Blood-like sweet liquid
Garbage bottomed
Bowl

Lying Flat and Useless

Bedridden by time, I am

Lying flat and useless

While night’s nothingness

Is drowned out by the sound

Of a rainstorm on my phone,

A gale on my nightstand
My eyelids hang low and heavy

My head pounds quietly to

The rhythm of the rain

While I lie awake with distant thoughts

Running laps from ear to ear

The race won’t end, and my eyes won’t close

Some Writing Advice For Students

don’t think just write spill it out for once just let go it doesn’t matter how many words or how long how do you feel are you being real with me are you being real with yourself just put the words down don’t ask questions just write who cares what I think what do you think how many pages you ask who cares just write for yourself you have to write you can’t keep it inside anymore be honest be genuine be vulnerable like this poem here no punctuation no capitalization no sentence structure just words on this page talking to you and you only do it for yourself don’t do it for anyone else you can make a difference if you put truth into your writing you don’t like this poem I don’t care I’m writing it anyway it’s done

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