Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Porcelain Doll" or "A Story in Iambic Pentameter"

Here's another emo poem for all of you who are still reading. This one is in iambic pentameter, which may sound familiar if you have ever studied Shakespeare (it was his favorite meter).

When I was young, one winter night, I spied

A china doll upon the lowest shelf

Of all inside my ragtag nursery.

Her eyes, like reservoirs of tears, were large,

And beautiful, and deep, like stars at night.

I picked her up, caressed her sultry skin,

So clearly made with love and skill.

I put her down and left to take my sleep.

Her eyes followed me in my head, led me,

Led back with hypnotic power to that

Shortest shelf in that grimy room.

I picked her up again and felt the chill

Of risk run down my spine, I tripped

My breath caught, my hand slipped, and the porcelain

Picture of beauty fell, so slow, so sure.

I threw out both my hands to stop her death,

But my unsubtle fingers missed her path.

And as I watched she fell, face-first, toward that

Peeling, unfeeling old nursery room floor.

One blink, and she was lying there, her skin

In shards, her eyes so deep in shallow dust

The truest picture of true beauty lost.

I woke, and felt the cold fast sweat of fear

And tears of honest grief upon my cheek

I ran the little trip to my nursery,

To see the doll and there she sat, alone,

But still complete, her eyes so sad but whole.

And so I turned and walked slowly away,

In fear my dream should ever come to be.

I have not turned back in these decades since.

When I am old, and my paper skin tears,

When my eyes dry and I cannot find sleep,

I shall return. And she shall be still there

In that same place I left, untouched by age

And I will look, but still not touch, for fear

That beauty should somehow then cease to be.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

More Random Poetry

Here's a few other poems I have lying around (I can't sleep tonight, so I might as well blog, right?).

Love is the food of melancholy music
The fuel of midnight fires stoked by lost lovers
Smoking their last cigarette to keep from crying.

Love grows like a weed in the cracks in human hearts
Holding them together with ineffable force
Then turns and cracks its hosts in two.

So many people we will never meet
So many faces we will never turn to greet
So many souls, each one like us.
Clinging to a precarious existence
Dreaming of founding the resistance
So many hearts possessed by fears
So many faces which when hidden flow with tears
So many souls, each one like us.

Holy Ground

The other day, one of my friends told me she read my blog, and then I remembered "I have a blog!" (I'm a forgetful person.) Anyways, here's a post, just to say I posted.

This is a poem I jotted down after touring the Buchenwald Concentration Camp Memorial near Weimar, Germany. (On the gates to the prisoners' section of the camp was a Nazi motto: "Jenem das Seine" or "To each his own".)

Holy Ground
What is holy ground?
It is something found?
Or made -- a dream of our collective mind,
Visible to the blind,
Jenem das Seine

They say the deaf can hear one thing:
When funeral bells toll and ring
This ground cries out inaudibly, undeniably:
"You are your brother's keeper."
Jenem das Seine

Each heavy step you take
Bloodies your shoe. Take it off
And put on love
Hope died here. Let not love follow
Jenem das Seine

What is holy ground?
When God is Father
Church, Mother
Man, Brother
Holy ground emerges, an emission of the collision
Jenem das Seine

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baptism and the New Covenant

Recently, I have been slowly reading through A Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism, ed. by Gregg Strawbridge. While it has certainly advanced my understanding of baptism, it has more importantly opened my mind to the idea of covenant theology. What do I mean by covenant theology? I mean that: 1) There is one covenant of grace, spanning the Old and New Testaments, 2) Christ's life, death, and resurrection is the only source of salvation for all time, 3) "Israel" and the Church are synonymous in the New Covenant era, 4) the New and Old Covenants are fundamentally continuous, and 5) the means of the New Covenant are fuller expressions of the means of the Old Covenant. In essence, the New Covenant is simply the perfection of the Old Covenant.
How does this view affect one's view of church and spiritual life? First, it gives new perspective on the sacraments. Second, covenant theology reminds us of God's immutability and covenant faithfulness. Third, it gives Christians reason to study the Old Testament. If, as some Christians assert, the covenants are fundamentally discontinuous, then the Old Testament is of suspect benefit for those in Christ. On the other hand, if there is one covenant, entirely mediated through Christ, then the Old Testament is simply the first part of that one covenant and therefore points to Christ. As such, it is worthy of the study of Christians.
Is there a difference between the "Old" covenant and "New" covenant? Yes, for the New Covenant has inaugurated the last days. In the last days (church history from Pentecost to Christ's return), Jesus has brought the Kingdom of God and anointed His church with the Holy Spirit.
Why am I posting this? Primarily, because I want to grow more in my understanding of God's grace. Secondarily, I want to start an energetic, but charitable debate with those who support alternative views of the Covenants. I am, as always, very open to changing my views. Let's discuss this and grow to know the truth in a deeper and more life-changing way.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Magic, Muggles, and Miracles

John Mark Reynolds has a great post over at Scriptorium Daily on the innate desire to know God.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Why Philosophy Does Not Equal Atheism

Yesterday, I heard one of my professors speak at our History and Political Studies department chapel. He had selected Colossians 2:8-15 as his text, but he strangely interpreted it as a putdown to all philosophy.

Verse 8 does say "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." Yet, not all philosophy falls into this category of which Christians must be wary.

I have not done exhaustive studies upon any philosopher or philosophy, but my reading and education have given me some knowledge about the writings of Plato and Aristotle. For example, Plato articulated the doctrine of "loving one's enemies" long before Christ's incarnation. Aristotle, though steeped in a culture of polytheism, reasoned his way to an all-powerful, purposing Deity. Should Christians reject these elements of philosophy?

Rather than condemn any philosophy, Christians should take a stance of critical acceptance. We ought not to swallow any idea put forward by seemingly influential people; nor should we assume that only the Bible contains truth.

Indeed, Christians are in the best position to reason correctly. We are united through baptism and faith with Christ, the Logos. With Jesus as our starting point, we can and should seek to understand the world at a deeper level. Viva Philosophia!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Cordoba Conundrum

Evelyn Beatrice Hall wrote in The Friends of Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." This is exactly my attitude toward the proposed Muslim cultural center near Ground Zero. As our president has said, this may not be the wisest idea, but all people have a right to peacefully practice their religion at all times. For New York or, worse, the federal government to shut down the peaceful practice of Islam would be a rejection of the founders' ideals, including free religion and free speech.

I do not agree with the wisdom of locating the Cordoba House in an area which will offend many who were hurt or lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. But it may be that such a move is exactly the gesture needed to bring closure to the attacks. Furthermore, allowing the cultural center and mosque to operate freely will highlight the difference between authoritarian Islamist regimes and the liberal governments Western civilization has created.

There is no easy answer to this dilemma, but we must always keep one question in mind: what if it were a synagogue? or a church? The same rules one would apply to those places of worship ought to be applied to the Cordoba House. As-Salamu Alaykum.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wisdom Teeth

Personal note: I just got all four wisdom teeth pulled out. It went quickly, and I'm now recuperating with old episodes of the Office on the couch. Hope to be up-and-running in a few days.

Also, if you would, I'd appreciate prayer for my grandfather, who suffered a massive heart attack last Saturday.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Illegal Means Against the Law

"The court will not allow the state of Arizona to criminalize undocumented immigrants." So said Isabel Garcia, an attorney who opposes the recent immigration bill passed by the Arizona state legislature. Really, she said that. She seems to lack the basic requirement to be an attorney: knowledge of and/or respect for the law. SB1070, the recent bill, did not make innocent people's actions crimes; it merely allowed illegal aliens (who are already criminals because they are illegal) to be punished for their crimes.

Pity the state whose lawyers have rejected the law in favor of their own personal vendettas.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Radical Unity

All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
John 17:10-11 (ESV)

In the middle of Jesus' high Priestly prayer, He prayed for a radical sort of unity. He asked the Father to keep His followers unified in the name of the Father. The radical feature of this prayer is the analogy He used to describe the unity His followers ought to have: "they may be one, even as we are one." Essentially, Jesus is praying that Christians everywhere have the same level of unity that the Trinity have. This is possible because all Christians are directly, personally, mystically united with God. Therefore, they can be united fully with each other.

Do you see this kind of unity in your church, let alone the universal church? Lord, may we be so unified with You that we enjoy fellowship with one another, just as You enjoy communion with Your Father!