“Yet Do I Marvel,” excerpt by the African-American poet, Countee Cullen

“I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind. And did He stoop to quibble could tell why the little buried mole continues blind, why flesh that mirrors Him must some day die, make plain the reason tortured Tantalus is baited by the fickle fruit, declare if merely brute caprice dooms Sysyphus to struggle up a never ending stair. Inscrutable His ways are, and immune to catechism by a mind too strewn with petty cares to slightly understand what awful brain compels His awful hand. Yet do I marvel at this curious thing: to make a poet black and bid him sing!”

Quote from Inward/Outward

To Not Fix Ourselves

Gerald May

Being so used to evaluating and fixing ourselves every time awareness occurs, it seems difficult to conceive of being-in-that-awareness and resting at the same time. But it is not so difficult. It is no fantasy. And it takes no special fixing. It doesn’t even take doing.

It takes perhaps some kind of allowing, allowing oneself to give up. But not suicide. It takes allowing of relaxation, but not lethargy. It takes acceptance, but not passivity. It takes simply being. But even that seems difficult. To simply be, to fully, dynamically, energetically be, and not do anything about it. It seems perhaps that the delusion is too firmly entrenched and sanity too incomprehensible. Sometimes it seems impossible.

Still, there is always room for great hope…. In the early years of life, giving up usually takes the form of faith. A leaping forward into a belief that one is loved, accepted, forgiven and redeemed just as one is, with nothing special needing to be done. In later years, giving up more often comes from despair. From the wisdom of realizing that no amount of continuing effort, no amount of fixing, will enable one to ‘get it all together.’ Despair then is forever a doorway to life.

It must be an act of grace, or of something beyond the individual will, which enables certain people to give up at certain times. Whether the giving up occurs gradually or swiftly, with great fanfare or absolute stillness, giving up is not something that can willfully be done. It can be allowed or it can be resisted, but it cannot be done. And that is where hope lies. Not hope in continuing effort, but hope for some kind of mercy.

Source: Simply Sane

The Power of Pentecost

An engaging article by Rhonda Mawhood Lee at Duke’s “Faith and Leadership” can be found here, on the importance of Pentecost in challenging our nationalist, ethnic, and other assumptions. One quote:

“The biblical witness tells me the Spirit sends them: invitations to listen for truths spoken in an unfamiliar accent, to sing a familiar song to a new melody, to hear a Bible story narrated from a perspective I’d rather ignore because it threatens my understanding of the world.

God offers these invitations not because the church is one more diversity program to be tweaked according to the latest census data but because the messianic age has come. The reign of Babel has ended, and Jesus Christ’s followers are called to proclaim that reality.”

Amen.