Friday, February 20, 2015

I Followed the Evangelicals' Jesus

A Lenten lament...and longing invitation

So, I decided to follow the Evangelicals’ Jesus, then looked around. Evangelicals weren’t following him, but a conservative political ideology.

I followed the Evangelicals’ Jesus, but they didn’t follow him to where immigrant laborers are mistreated and poverty wages cripple lives.

I followed the Evangelicals’ Jesus, but they didn’t follow him to where thinly veiled racism foments resentment, despair, indignity, and hate.

I followed the Evangelicals’ Jesus, but they didn’t follow him to where denial of responsibility for creation care writes a blank check for environmental degradation and human suffering.

I followed the Evangelicals’ Jesus, but they didn’t follow him to where Just War theology sanctifies unjustifiable violence, militarism, and mass death.

I followed the Evangelicals’ Jesus, but they didn’t follow him to where defense of the right to bear arms rewrites his clearest guidance.

I followed the Evangelicals’ Jesus, but they didn’t follow him to where ‘wages of sin’ notions shackle ex-offenders for a lifetime.

I followed the Evangelicals’ Jesus, but they didn’t follow him to where mentally ill neighbors are turned out and criminalized.

I followed the Evangelicals' Jesus, but they didn't follow him to where homophobia bullies, ostracizes, and destroys lives.

I followed the Evangelicals’ Jesus, but they didn’t follow him to where baptized classism and self-justifying inequality degrades people and mocks justice.

I followed the Evangelicals’ Jesus, but they didn’t follow him into the community where short-term charity projects gloss over deep social struggles and preempt transformation.

I followed the Evangelicals’ Jesus—still fervently do—but I find that few Evangelicals really care to follow him where he goes, to whom he goes, or where he leads.

Still, he beckons. Still, he invites. Still, he calls.


John Franklin Hay
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
www.indybikehiker.com
www.twitter.com/indybikehiker
indybikehiker@gmail.com

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love's In Need of Love

Beyond a St. Valentine's Day Wish

Our daughter Abby with husband Alexander in 2008
I woke up this morning with this Stevie Wonder song on my mind. Not sure why. It's St. Valentine's Day, to be sure. But the Stevie Wonder song I'd typically associate with this day would be "I Just Called to Say."

Let loved ones know today that you love them. Spread a little love around. It's not a rare commodity, as if there's only so much to go around. It's infinite source is Grace. And don't neglect to remind yourself how much you are loved. Even--especially--if you feel unlovely or unlovable, you're being held in God's embrace.


Good morn or evening friends
Here's your friendly announcer
I have serious news to pass on to everybody
What I'm about to say
Could mean the world's disaster
Could change your joy and laughter to tears and pain

It's that
Love's in need of love today
Don't delay
Send yours in right away
Hate's goin' round
Breaking many hearts
Stop it please
Before it's gone too far

The force of evil plans
To make you its possession
And it will if we let it
Destroy everybody
We all must take
Precautionary measures
If love and peace you treasure
Then you'll hear me when I say

Oh that
Love's in need of love today
Don't delay
Send yours in right away
Hate's goin' round
Breaking many hearts
Stop it please
Before it's gone too far

Monday, February 2, 2015

Three Snow Poems

A celebration of snow in the heart of winter

I love snow.  I’ve been praying for snow in Indiana--enough snow to sled and cross-country ski in Eagle Creek Park, enough to change gray winter days into heart-jogging experiences of delight.  Here are three snow poems.  The first is mine.  The second two are by New England poet Robert Frost (hey, even his last name points to his love for flakes!).


HOPING FOR SNOW

I’m waiting on the snow
A hope to fulfill;
I’ll prepare my skis,
Anticipate the thrill.

A Midwestern winter
With its bleak, dark days
Needs a good snow storm
To hearten the soul’s way.

Mere cold stiffens the heart
And drives us inside,
But warmth and four walls
Alone cannot abide.

I’m like a child praying
The snow will be deep
Enough for sledding,
And, tired from it, to sleep.


STOPPING BY THE WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


DUST OF SNOW

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.