Thursday, May 19, 2011

we are a child.

[13 May 2009, when our marriage was just newborn]

this skin is all i have
to cover all i have.  it is enough,
but barely and your touch seers
it to joy and irritates my
wounds.  sometimes i cry.
who could know skin and
spirit and soul could be so
relentlessly united, so
fiercely wedded -
and now yours with mine.

we are two, and we are one.

[the Whole One (Alive and Laughing)
will uncover us and
baptize us and bury us and
call us up again.]

we are children.
we are a child.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

sick-baby night

My baby boy was sick this weekend.  What started as a cough became a very snotty nose became an extremely sleepless, crying, feverish night.  Doctor said, 'Ear Infection'.  Our first.  Four days later he's nearly back to his old self, even asking (sort of) for his nose to be wiped.  It only took about a thousand wipes followed by a shriek for him to realize it actually makes him feel better.

That very long sick-baby night was rough.  I'm used to interrupted sleep as Saf still nurses a few times throughout the night - although since we bedshare (a single bed pushed up against a queen) it's not too difficult.  But he was sobbing - and too snot-nosed to feed.  Baby was not wanting the mama. But as soon as daddy took him in his arms and bounced and rocked him on the edge of the bed, he calmed.  He fell asleep.  It was quiet.  We tried to lay him back down in bed, but he'd wake after a few minutes screaming, only consoled by his daddy's arms.  Chris rocked Saf for hours, and I (feeling very unnecessary and happy about it) went and slept in the other room until morning.

i love my baby daddy.
My husband deeply impressed me with his willingness to take the grueling sick-baby night shift, with peace.  He didn't grumble about being tired, even though he was working the next day.  He just held the baby.  I think he was secretly pleased that Saf was taking refuge in him.

When Saf was just new in the world there were weeks of nights where I was up in the darkest hours, nursing him for ages, changing his nappy, wrapping him tight and trying to rest him back in the bassinet next to our bed.  There wasn't much Chris could do at that point and I was okay with that, knowing my precious baby would soon enough need his daddy sometimes more than he needed me.

And that time has come.  Or at least a moment of that future reality broke into the present this weekend.  And it was nice.  I enjoyed the sleep.  But now Saf's nearly better and we're back to mama and baby, keeping each other warm and calm in the night.

And daddy sleeps with ear plugs on the other side of the bed.  Mhm.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Traditionally, the warrior is very popular...also the poet.

I saw a short presentation on the political and social situation in an
East African country. Plagued by violence, fear, exploitation and
corruption, the mother and child health statistics are shocking. [and
to think there are real feeling, dreaming, beautiful, created in the
image of God humans behind the numbers in neat categories].

One picture showed a young man holding a machine gun with ammunition
over his shoulder, gazing with determination. The words followed:
''Traditionally the warrior is very popular...''

Next a picture of a man of similar age, stature and gaze, but this one
was crouching in the grass with a few friends. ''...also the poet.''

I think of what the warrior represents: Someone who can bring about
the change we long for. Someone who will fight evil and oppression.
Bring Justice. I see why the warrior is popular. I, too, want a

The poet is different. The poet publicly grieves the way things are,
uses words to call the present into question, and stirs us with a
corporate imagining of the new world coming.

In Walter Brueggemann's "The Prophetic Imagination'', he writes that a
function of the Hebrew prophet was to call into question the current
situation--to use language and action to pierce through the dominant
conciusness that lulls us to sleep with ''this is how things are, this
is how things will always be''.

The warrior fighting flesh and blood with flesh and blood seeks the
virtue justice by a means that can neither represent nor sustain what
it claims to seek. [MLK Jr. called this 'purity by way of
fornication']. The poet catches the vision of Justice, announces the
end of the old order and calls us to get ready for that which is
unstoppable and coming to save us. We can't help but allign ourselves.

The US State Department condemned the recent bombings in southern
India that killed 42 people, saying ''There is no justification for
harming and killing innocent people.''

The Iraq Body Count ( estimates that between 70,000
and 77,242 civilians have been killed since the 2003 invasion and
subsequent occupation of Iraq by the US and its allies. Most would
agree that civilians fall into the categroty of ''innocent people''.

Let us call forth the poets.

[29 August 2007]

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Will the world be a safer place for my children's children?

A few nights ago I sat and watched the evening news with my husband and son.  And it was big news.  Osama bin Laden had been killed by US Special Forces at his compound in Pakistan.  Americans surrounded the White House shouting "USA!  USA!" with red, white and blue in full force, celebrating that one of the world's most elusive criminals was arrested, tried and executed within moments.  Social media was buzzing with folks rejoicing that 'justice has been served'.  The villain is dead.  Now we can live happily ever after?

I stared at my baby's face as he sat on my lap, completely oblivious to disturbing footage playing in the background.  Did Osama bin Laden's death make the world a safer place for my children?  Can military violence bring peace to the planet for my children's children? 

These are the questions I ask, the questions that trouble me as I'm falling asleep.  These are the questions I want my leaders to ask.  We use violence to secure resources, take revenge, appease and please, to guarantee re-election, to seem strong and capable and formidable and maintain an extravagant lifestyle.  What if we instead sowed seeds of justice in nations that are hurting and weak?  What if we stopped consuming and wasting the majority fo the world's resources and sought sustainable living for all?  What if we put our trillions of military dollars into our nation's healthcare, education and employment opportunities - or even to alleviate debt and suffering in developing nations? 

Righteousness and peace will kiss each other.  (Psalm 85v. 10b)  Our consistent right actions will be met with peace.  So many brave women and men throughout history and the world can testify to this truth that is truer than our swords and guns and drones.  These are simple ideas.  But I'm just a mother, thinking about the future of my children.  And I'm not so different from mothers with children in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Righteousness and peace will kiss each other.  Because of our generation's blood-soaked hands and horrific history, this will take time.  The way of peace, the way of the cross, will always be slower, more costly and more demanding than the way of empire.  We may not see it in our own lifetime even.  But we can see it in our children's.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I came to the end again

I came to the end again
to the bottom to the
grumpy and proud and a bit
angry at everyone else.
I sat there for a few
minutes in the filth and
lonely, my eyes tight
shut to your voice or
grace or anything gentle
that would challenge my

But you waited quietly
until I opened one eye slowly
and your face was too soft
and I was shattered
to whole.

[psalm 2 August 2009]

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Litany of Vows

[this is what I said with my friendboy, 2 years ago today.]

We, Christopher and Rebecca, before God and our community, make a covenant of steadfast love to each other from this day onwards, towards the new heavens and the new earth.

to seek after the kingdom of God with you, in every facet of my life, I vow

to receive the baptism of my eyes in every way that you provoke, I vow

to build a house, plant a garden and bear children in exile with you, I vow

to recklessly sow seeds of worship and justice with you, wherever God leads us, I vow

to open the doors of my heart and structures to family, friends, and strangers with you, I vow

to protect your dreams and kiss your scars, I vow

to practice the resurrection of grace and forgiveness, I vow

to tear down divisive walls and build bridges of peace, I vow

to become acquainted with your sorrow and stumble with you towards joy, I vow

to value God's created order and announce through my choices the reconciliation of all things, I vow

to resist the powers of darkness over your heart, mind and body, I vow

to celebrate with you everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is Yes, I vow

to welcome and cradle the indestructible promises of God for your life, your children, and for the world, I vow

to receive you as unchallenged as falling snow, I vow

to hide in your name and under your covers, by still waters, or in flood, I vow

to invite the decrease of selfishness and the increase of faith, hope, and love, I vow

Before God and our community, we make this covenant of steadfast love to each     other from this day onwards, towards the new heavens and the new earth.  Amen.

(and then we kissed)