Religion

Seeing God

After 50 years of evangelical prison
and two years of freedom
I can finally see God
Clearly

No more "supposed to's"
and guilty penance
for wrongs done
in my life and somehow before

Religion is the filthy rag
Trying to wipe clean
a clear window to God
Leaving streaks of confusion

Doing right, because it's right
Doing good, because it's good
Being love, because of love
We don't need sermons or books to tell us this

We can all see God
Theology won't help you
Religion won't make it more clear
Just open the window and crawl through

Pops 2010


Faith of Old

I long to have faith like those of old,
Following the Way marked out
By the words in red and actions
Of black bound on my heart.
Being faithful is openly narrow.
There is no room to move,
Right or left is not an option,
Only ahead, for behind is death.

The old faith is a lot like other faith,
But foundationally different.
God came to us as a man
To help man understand God
As only He could explain.
Law was fulfilled in death,
Death was fulfilled in life,
Life is fulfilled in love.

The object of this faith is not
Of this world or really the next,
But only of Him who created both and
Waits, prepares, guides, hopes
For man to finally understand
What God has been saying in every
Birth, life, love, death
That happens each second of the day.

We have taken the wide road
And are running out of food and water,
At least the kind that quenches
And nourishes the souls of the weary
And dying without sustenance or hope.
Empty words are an endless desert
If they are not vindicated with action.

Pops 2009


Psalm 56 - For Papaw

I heard today that you keep track
of the sleepless times I toss and turn
in a book.
I wonder at a God who is worthy
of all my trust
yet is compassionate enough to
add my worry up.

I heard today that you keep each
of my salty tears of sorrow
in a bottle.
I'm moved at a God who gives light
for all of life
yet is concerned enough to
measure my distress.

I heard today that you write down
my painful aches, body and heart
in your ledger.
I’m undone by a God who rescued me
from certain death
yet knows me well enough to
keep account of my hurting.

So I don't have to.

Pops 2009


What Can I Give?

God doesn't ask me to give Him anything,
He asks me to do something.
How easy we have made it to convert,
Or could it be covert,
That the language of gifts
Has stolen the call for action from Grace?

I've been told that I must:
Give my heart,
Give my all,
Give my time,
Give my tithe,
Give my home,
And give my love
To God
All of which I can do just from my pew.
None of which gets my hands dirty.

I read that God wants effort:
Love God,
Love my neighbor,
Love my enemy,
Give to the poor,
Follow God,
Encourage followers
Of God.
None of which I can do just from my pew.
All of which require action, else are hollow.

God never asks me to give Him anything,
He always asks me to do something.
Giving is the easiest course,
Doing is much coarser.
This mission I have from Him,
Is action as a result of grace.

Pops 2009


Conversing with God on Love

God: “Love is patient.”
Me: “Check.”
God: “Love is kind.”
Me:“Check.”
God: “It does not envy.”
Me: “Check.”
God: “It does not boast.”
Me: “Check.”
God: “It is not proud.”
Me: “Check.”
God: “It is not rude.”
Me: “Check.  So far, so good.”
God: “It is not self-seeking.”
Me: “Check.”
God: “It is not easily angered.”
Me: “Check.”
God: “It keeps no record of wrongs.”
Me: “check…hold on, no record of wrongs?  None?  You mean I can’t bring up that time when my wife did….  No record of wrongs?  Let's...let’s start again.”

God: “Love is patient”
Me: “Well…most of the time.”
God: “Love is kind”
Me: “Yeah, pretty kind.”
God: “It does not envy.”
Me: “Hmmm….”
God: “It does not boast.”
Me: “Gulp.”
God: “It is not proud.”
Me: “Ouch.”
God: “It is not rude.”
Me: “OK, I give up – this is way too hard.”
God: “Just let it go.”
Me: “But it’s too hard.”
God: “Let it go.”
Me: “I’ll try harder, I really will.”
God: “Listen.”
Me: “I will.”
God: “No, listen…let it go.”
Me: “I will.”
God: “No, listen.  Let it go.”
Me: “I am.”
God: “Let it go.”
Me: “Help me.”
God: “You keep on seeing, but don’t see.”
Me: “Seeing what?”
God: “You keep on hearing, but don’t hear.”
Me: “Hearing what?”
God: “It’s not about you – it’s about Me.  This is My love, dear one, not yours.”
Me: “Oh, God.”
God: “One more time through.”

God: “Love is patient.”
Me: “Always so patient.”
God: “Love is kind.”
Me: ”Undeservedly kind.”
God: “It does not envy.”
Me: “I have nothing to give.”
God: “It does not boast.”
Me: “Careful with my fragile ego.”
God: “It is not proud.”
Me: “Compassionate with my state of nothingness.”
God: “It is not rude”
Me: “Gentle beyond belief.”
God: “It is not self-seeking.”
Me: “All things work together for good.”
God: “It is not easily angered.”
Me: “Though I am easily sidetracked.”
God: “It keeps no record of wrongs.”
Me: “For Your sacrifice has covered them all.”
God: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." 
Me: “And truth brings trust.”
God: “It always protects.”
Me: “Though I stray.”
God: “Always trusts.”
Me: “Though I often fail.”
God: “Always hopes.”
Me: “Though I often doubt.”
God: “Always perseveres.”
Me: “Though I often give up.”
God: “Love never fails.” 
Me: “Never fails, ever.”

Me: “Thank you God.”
God: “I love you.”

Pops 2009