Sunday, February 15, 2009


Is God the distant Prince of the Stars?
Is God the Indifferent One who cares not for His children?
Is God the Cold Controller—the Perfecter of Power?
Does He care how we feel?

Is God beyond pain, suffering, and weakness?
Is He the Cosmic Sadist who wounds us for kicks?

Are You the God of the philosophers?
Are You the bare, cold Reason above emotion and heat?
Or if passionate, do You burn with wrath and self-interested love?
Is justice Your concern or Your shifting whims?

O God, O God, do You really love me?
Do I really matter to You or am I just a toy—
a subject to Your infininence and uncompromising will?
I know You created me, that You gave me breath.
You know my every thought; my very hairs are numbered.
My lying down and rising up are ever in Your eyes.

But the Christ, the Christ!
If You were in Him, it could be that You have some empathy
for us creatures here below.
If You came to us in Jesus, it means you truly became one of us,
that you lived in our skin and walked in our shoes.

No, you never failed like me, but maybe it makes a difference
that you could have.
No, you never did the things I have, but you don't judge me for that.
You don't throw stones at sinners like me,
only at the pretenders who beat us down,
who want to make us pay and keep paying.

Holy and blameless were you, but you didn't flaunt it.
You were humble and forgiving, gathering to you the weak and flawed,
the hos and Joes, the cheaters and thieves, the terrorists and schemers.

Your life showed you were the friend of mortals and sinners,
but your death says even more.
You never sinned, but you identified yourself with the worst of the worst.
You died the death reserved for murderers and thieves,
beaten like a slave, tortured, slaughtered like a lamb.

But what of the wrathful Father who required the sins of the guilty
from the innocent Son?
Is this the unfeeling Patriarch of the Skies again playing vicious games
with his powerless creatures.

If the theologians are right about Father, Spirit, Son,
then the exacting Father and self-emptying Son are one.

Oh most gracious Lord! What a strange Man you are,
never requiring more of us than that which You Yourself have supplied.
Deign, if You will, to save me by Your own hand.
Condemn me only if You know how it feels.
Aye, but I pray for the first.
Through the stripes of the Son, please dear Lord,
rescue me from the curse.

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