Monday, May 19, 2008

Luke 15 thought

Poem by Mark
The story begins with a boy gone bad
Faces in the audience light up
The boy takes full advantage of his father,
An ancient kindly man,
He wants the inheritance- everything
Faces grimace.
An upstart someone says, horsewhip him!
Teach him some manners!
Some young men smile
But they all wait eyes fixed on the face of Jesus
The father lets him go after giving everything
The whole inheritance: the gold, the silver
The favorite horse, the treasured cloak, the ring
Faces show surprise
His fathers a fool someone whispers.
The sons a cheat
But they bend forward to hear
He spends it all on prostitutes
Wine, gambling, the best hotels, loose living
An old man looks down at his friend and winks
He should have invested it he says, that’s the wise way
But this one’s a fool the other says
Heads nod in agreement
Soon the boy hits bottom, nothing left
He ends up slopping pigs
Faces flinch, stunned
But some smile
He got what he deserved an old man says
This is a good story
But then the boy remembers home
The feasts, the plenty, the laughter
He sits and weeps, his head in his hands
He decides to return home and ask for a bed in the barn
Someone laughs
A twist! He says
Faces show intrigue
The boy comes home hands gritty, legs scarred
He is penniless, ragged wasted- a scarecrow
Listeners are laughing now
Revenge they think!
The disowning
But no!
The old man sees him on the road from his chair on the porch where he has sat waiting each day
He recognizes the walk The long hair, the shoulders
He jumps up and stumbles out to him
His heat thumping, his eyes wet
He runs to the boy while the boy stands there, his head down
The old man gathers him into his arms and
He holds him long
so long
And he weeps!
Faces are stern now, their eyes slit
This father’s a fool they murmur
But still they wait
The boy beings his speech but the old man has suddenly gone deaf
He throws a cloak over the boy’s rags
Pulls off his last and best ring
Slides it onto the boys finger
And begins calling for servants
Kill the fatted calf he shouts, we’ll have a feast!
Faces are hard now many shake their heads
A bitter elders son refuses even to speak to his lost brother
He stomps off angry cursing
Some faces nod, but most are gray
Their lips pressed white their eyes aflame
And sons stand up to go
Nothing has gone right in this story
They stalk off
A bad story one says
Stupid, says another
Not one of his best
But some from the crowd linger
A prostitute
A tax collector
A thief
A liar
They glance at Jesus furtively and wait,
Then they approach slyly, slowly
And one by one fall at his feet
And weep
For joy

This is how God has chosen to portray himself to us. A kindly loving old man who no cruel word or deed can turn away. A worried father who refuses no request, who asks for no grovelling, who keeps no history, and who gives no lecture.
Utterly without dignity.
We see the same God being flung to die on a trash heap outside the city of peace, without one single display of power or shred of dignity left. God himself was left to suffocate alone to bring his children back.
Now, that's not all there is to how God has communicated Himself, God is not weak, nor will He be mocked, but the parable is astounding, and we ought to be astounded. 

Orthodoxy Chapter 5 - The Flag of the World

So it’s beyond question that our world is a fairy tale, but there’s also no denying that something is seriously wrong with it as well, becau...