Sunday, November 04, 2007

Jesus is in the Damdest Places!

Happy Sunday to all!

The following poem* showed up in today's Writer's Almanac and it tickled me. Christ in the suburbs? Please! The guy, whether son of God, or simply a really good man-teacher-prophet, appears in lots of places. Back then. Now. In this case, (ironically to me), Jesus shows up in the 'burbs where He's/ he's causing scandal.

I love it!

Feed people, stir up the pot of contemplation and action, and hang out with whores, and HEY! you're going to rub some folks the wrong way. Especially those in cul-de-sacs! (Wow! that's judgmental of me, isn't it?) Seriously, though: who doesn't want to commit a Jesus-figure behind bars --or to some private wing of a psyche ward? Especially when they threaten the status quo, security, and invite in the bums! Ack! Locking up such a fella: that somehow keeps us all safer, and free from scandal, right?

(My sarcasm may be sneaking out.)

Incidentally, X.J. Kennedy's poem reminds me a wee bit of one I wrote about two months ago, after being on retreat and around my good friend, Franciscan Nun Sr. Rafael Tilton. As I place them next to one another, it strikes me how mine appears the other side of the scandal -- literally and figuratively speaking. It's as if some of the sympathetic neighbors got together and jotted this down, post-crucifixion. Perhaps a bit regretful?

*Poem: "A Scandal in the Suburbs" by X.J. Kennedy, from In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus: New and Selected Poems, 1955–2007. © The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. Reprinted with permission.(buy now)

A Scandal in the Suburbs

We had to have him put away,
For what if he'd grown vicious?
To play faith healer, give away
Stale bread and stinking fishes!
His soapbox preaching set the tongues
Of all the neighbors going.
Odd stuff: how lilies never spin
And birds don't bother sowing.
Why, bums were coming to the door—
His pockets had no bottom—
And then-the foot-wash from that whore!
We signed. They came and got him.


Poem: "Out of Control Christ" by Melissa Borgmann

Out of Control Christ

He spread himself too thin, you might say.
Oh, always trying to do good, that one.
Now look, flailing, accused and abandoned, weepy at the end, too.

Does no good to have the Rabbi out of action.
Damn fool.


Sr. Rafael Tilton said...

Ahh, Melissa,

How hard it is to see the reality of where we are. Once more, the prayer, "I shall be healed."
And who am I? All humanity, all this Body of Christ. And, yes, I, myself, poor and needy.

Your poem is strikingly deep and feeling. Thank you.

I wrote one. I think this is it.

"The End Is in Sight."

My day
evolves. I see
it turning to the light,
its plan a mutating gift of
God's love.

Bless you
Sr. Rafael

David Mann said...

Ah, it's always interesting to see reverse stereotyping in action! The suburbs and cul-de-sacs are just brimming with idiotic, narrow minded fools, the same way the cities are filled with violent gangs and really hip cool people.

He who throws the first stone.....

; )

Oh I just had to. That's one of my favorite subjects these days.

Somehow the subject of the suburbs is exempt from rational thought when it comes to generalizations
and stereotypes. "Oh my god! No one in the SUBURBS has any VALUES!" "You KNOW how THOSE PEOPLE are!" "People who live outside the city limits are a THREAT to the very BELIEFS we hold DEAR!" You know? It's weird.

We're all God's children,

Jeff Pearson said...

Great Poem! I think I remember something that Jesus came to make the comfortable uncomfortable. (comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable) The poor seem to teach us that we don’t have all the answers. Thanks for sharing.

Hope to see you next Saturday at the retreat.

You’re salad was great last meeting!!!! And I got to watch you make it!!

Jeff Pearson

Becca said...

I like your poem better.