in a metro

in metros, subways, tubes

‘In a Station of the Metro’
Ezra Pound

The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough.

‘I want mercy for myself; justice for everyone else’

the good, things I like to do, have on my train trips

the recording in London, ‘Mind the Gap’

if you are 60 years of age in London, all tube and bus rides are free

for one set fare in NYC you can ride all day from one end to the other (Dyre Avenue, the Bronx, to Coney Island, Brooklyn)

musicians play in the W always of the subway in NYC, from singers to actors; from violinists to drums and more

helpful, friendly staff ( Paris, London, Europe calling)

people giving up seats to seniors, Mums, with children or pregnant with children to come, or to give a seat up for anyone at all

public transportation is the ultimate going green

the baddies, peoples and things who are driving me crazy

the recording in London, ‘Mind the Gap’

people who stand still in the middle of passageways to trains

those who take up more than one space. standing or sitting

those who stand by a subway/metro/tube doors (and won’t move for love, money or the disabled- this is London calling)

people who play their cell phones loud on the subway (NYC calling)

loud talkers

slow walkers

slow walkers who are reviewing the mobiles/cells

slow walking tourists (please stand aside, preferably to the right)

those who block the escalators by standing next to a companion speaking and oblivious to those who want to walk on the left (please stay right, in your slow lane)

slow walkers )did I say this already?)

the uglies, the unthinkable, the unmentionables, the unimaginable

changing service without any notice (NYC, NOT calling)

‘Weekend works’ with ‘free’ shuttle bus services

urine puddles, (especially in NYC at Penn Station when the weather gets hot) stains and smells on the Metros stairwells, walkways and elevators’ enclosures.

full meals with their assortments of: drippings, visuals and odours left on seats and floors in subway cars and stations

large packages and or bags on seats in cars replacing the living

unbearable announcements on cars

people pressing onto you, touching you, on packed trains

vermin in the subway eating piazza

muffled, muttered, the incomprehensible
oral announcements on the NYC transit cars (I used to tell excited noisy primary students on field trips to understand carefully to such announcements as the speaker was giving out the secrets of the universe-we never could quite get these secrets translated)

the recording in London, ‘Mind the Gap’

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home, homeless, homelessness/after easter4

home, the homeless and homelessness, after east thoughts4

a quick two sentence summary: home is a safe place; the homeless here -NYC- hope for home. They home the HRA and the NYCHA will receive, review and not lose their documentation papers; they hope against hope.

And when they are experiencing ‘homelessness’ , they are like a Sandra Bullock character ) in the film ‘gravity’) – alone, defying, floating -flotsam in space. Homeless, but now without hope, no hope of safety…

Homelessness.

You see, homeless as a word describes a person, an individual. Homelessness describes not a being but a state of being. Now you are not a person or a thing, but a ‘place.’ But a place without people or memories; without personal effects or even daffodils or birds. A place of deep, deep darkness that is only visible to you. Homelessness.

Lear experienced such a state on the heath during his horrific storms. Without daughters or knights; without fellowship of children and the possibility of grandchildren, without a kingdom -he is alone, a fool.

A fool as Jesus.

As Jesus alone on the cross-forshaken, assigned a single, closed, splintered unbearable space to hang in….

On the cross, Jesus, 100% God and 100% man experienced true homelessness. Forsaken by his disciples, by Peter, by Judas and His community on earth; He is also forshaken by His Heavenly Father. No home on earth; no resting place in the heavens, home is a cross.

A space devoid of hope.

Why? He willingly went to this cross, this abyss, so all could have heavenly spaces: resting places with a Father who loves us.

Recently my Father passed. In the few weeks he was healthy and feeling as well as thinking right, he saw me doing all I could to love him and -unprompted – he said before sleep, ‘Charles, I love you.’

When others fail me, when my friends leave me, when children do not speak into my life, I hang onto the resting place my father’s

( see these 2 articles about the homeless in America and LA)

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-opioid-mother-20180418-story.html

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-metro-homeless-20180406-htmlstory.html

draft, 3 after easter: a third thief

draft-the third thief, after easter 3

Luke 23:39-43 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

‘One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”’

Corinthians 9:15 New International Version (NIV)

‘Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.’

Jesus is always with sinners and Pharisees; lepers and wedding quests; the hurting and those who quest. He is always near, by ‘bottoms’ and the outcasts. Even at his death moment on Our cross, he is with thieves. And what do those on the ‘bottoms’ desire?

A thief speaks for me, for us, and asks ‘ Jesus remember me….’Luke 23:41

With all my failings and thefts, with all my hurts and joys, I desire someone to hold me safely, to remember – me. I desire Jesus’ thoughts. To be remembered.

Eternal salvation is tied into memory. From the movie ‘Remember the Titans’ to Remembrance Day in the U.K. and the musical ‘Carousel’, all of us desire in some way to be Billy Bigelows and thieves of time. If remembered, we control time. But we can’t humanly control the present; forgot controlling about future. Until…

….this third thief.

And because of this third thief we can steal time. The future; present and especially the past. Jesus, the third thief, steals from the evil one the power of troubling thoughts of life’s meaning: why am I here? do I have purpose? Will she, He, my children or grandchildren remember me? Does my past doom me?

These questions could have had ultimate power over us. How? They hint at a possibility that our lives and who we are do not matter. But they do …

because of him,

Jesus redeems our lives; our memories; our times. He is our Bilbo, a burglar who takes from the evil dragon Smaug. He steals back for Dwarves their memories, their past, and their futures.

And this is what Jesus steals back for us.. He promised the thief beside him that ‘together’ they will that very day me in paradise . So Jesus promises us the same as thieves. Eternal life and memory. A home. Why?

Because thieves matter. The homelessness of a cross by Jesus’ theft becomes a home. A thief’s home.

This is why Jesus lived and walked; laughed and cried with us: to create a safe eternal home from a stark and splintered cross.

Jesus cares for …

all feelings, all people, all -matters . He is home.

holding

eq (essential questions) :

thoughts, questions on ‘holding’

what am I holding? what is holding me? Into whose hands have I placed myself? Into, into whose hands, to whom, will I (be) long to?

what am I withholding? what do I think, imagine, feel, sense is being withheld from me ?

who held me…who let me deeply, deeply allowed me to hold them on, in my past ?

who holds me? today, tomorrow!?

my safe-home is where I can hold and feel held. Home.

we love

our risen Jesus of 1 John 4:19

We love fo He first
loved

We sing for He first sang over
us

We can pray as first prayed over and then taught
us prayers

We meditate because He
listens to our breathe

We walk because He walks with, among all

We fellowship because He ate, sat, slept, thirsted with
Pharisees, sinners and disciples

We laugh because He loved
life

We cry as He
wept over death

We serve for He first
served us

He knows us; He feels us; He touches, breathes, understands me, us, better than we know ourselves

Jesus is closer to me than I am to
myself

He rose for us

 

advent epilogue

advent epilogue 2017, His touch
my deep darkness, His glorious light 

NAS 1977 
“For behold, darkness will cover the earth, 

            And deep darkness the peoples; 

            But the LORD will rise upon you, 

            And His glory will appear upon you. -Isaiah 60:2

My life was covered with darkness from my birth. A unexpected twin, my mother emotionally overwhelmed at my and my brother’s birth, kept one for the first six months of our lives and gave the other to her sister to care for. That other was me. My mother and I never bonded. I left home at 17 to live.
All of our lives are broken, ruptured, in disrepair. Deaths; divorces; I’ll health; social inequality and global injustice with environmental distress touches all. Our darkness, my darkness and it deeply covers. It especially touches me at this Advent, Christmas time- a time of year of less light. 
Yet, from Asian culture and His word, I am washed, covered, touched. The story of the Japanese art form of “Kintsugi” 

“Kintsugi (金継ぎ, きんつぎ, “golden joinery”), also known as Kintsukuroi (金繕い, きんつくろい, “golden repair”), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. “(Wikipedia)
Isaiah speaks not just of the dark but of as ‘deep darkness.’ He gives us this image in an attempt, as blind John Milton in his description of hell, to make ‘darkness visible.’ (Paradise Lost)
Deep darkness in both these texts is absence- the absence of Light, hope, live and especially if God. 
I see, I live with, I am felt by my deep darkness. It is with me touching all the time. It is also is throughout Isaiah book.
As he does at the end (Isaiah 60: 2); the middle (Isaiah 45:7), Isaiah weaves deep darkness in beginning of his work,
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2 (NIV)
Jesus is life. His coming is celebrated by gifts of value for those we value: we give gold as Magi to bless and heal; to touch and be touched; to love those who are hurting.
Today in the U.K. and other countries is Boxing Day. It is a day of rest and reflection. My daughter in Florida asked me why is it called ‘Boxing Day.’ While none are sure, the best story is that on this day in Medieval Times the Lord of the Manor placed gifts of food and coin for the servants and poor of the estate to bless and honour them. 
These small boxes must have been like a Magi’s gold, a thread of glorious light for those without.
Today, plan to give a box of gold to another: a word; a gift card; a smile; a hello- give light, touch.

advent 4, first draft

Usually I just posts drafts without comments

This will be an exception. This draft is a slight cheat …why?

Because Luke 1 has the Angel Gabriel famously (though the verse post 1989 NIV radically changed this phrase) in response to Mary’s query, ‘how can this be?’ 

‘Nothing is impossible with God.’

In Mark 9 Jesus tells the tearful father: ‘everything is possible’

So, I still am prayerfully considering the connections of these tropes.

What you all have below is a truly incomplete first draft-

Jesus’ prayerful touch

In Mark 9:24 a father brings his son to Jesus for healing of a possessing spirit. He asks Jesus have ‘pity on us’ and to ‘help us …if you can’

 Jesus replied, ‘if you can? …all is possible for he who believes.’

 The father speaks in this ‘exclamation’ 

‘I believe, help my unbelief.’ His language switches from using ‘us’ in his first plea to ‘the use of ‘my’ here. 
 Why?

 Because the father of the possessed child is praying. 

Now it is personal for the father; it is about his personal response to Jesus. 

 The father’s crying out here is prayer. The word describing the words and the person of the father is ‘exclamation.’

“Exclamation” (NIV) should be translated as speaking in tears, a cry. He is crying over his unbelief. 
Unbelief can be seen as a defective, a flawed, a weak faith. And if unbelief stays unspoken, unshared, it would remain so. Yet moved to tears the father speaks it to Jesus. And by bringing this weakness to Jesus he and his son experience healing belief. He comes to Jesus, torn hurting, un-believing, and yet, paradoxically, also a believing man. 

 I am this man, hurting, troubled, believing and awash in unbelief. 

 His beautiful prayer is also mine ‘I believe – help my unbelief.’

When Jesus debriefs His disciples on why they couldn’t exorcise the spirit, He tells them that this type of spirit can only come out through prayer. Prayer. 
That is all that is truly needed – a weak, crying, humble prayer- the prayers of a broken man, a loving father, or mother; a prayer that is ever reaching out to Jesus. 
This season: believe; pray; then reach for Him. He will touch in return.