Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Still Waters

When you don't know me,
my life seems peaceful.
I have a good house,
a good job.
Children who love me.

When you don't know me,
you see the bread I bake,
the quilts I make.

You see my knitting,
cooking, gardening,
hiking, praying,
teaching, hoping,

And you are jealous.

But you don't see
what lies beneath.
The tossing and turning
when I should sleep.

The nightmares that come
in night or day.
You don't see heartache
that never goes away
under the smile I
paint on for you.

You see all the pain
of your life,
and think that mine
must be much better
because I have learned
to smile when I want to cry.
Comfort when I want to be comforted.

You don't see how
my loneliness cannot find
what compassion creates.

How I have learned to hope,
when hope is darkest,
laugh when there is nothing funny
in life.

If you knew me,
you would see
the real things I have

How, when I despair,
I seek someone who needs
a hug.

When I ache,
I find another's wound
to bind.

And, pray for better
when I despair
of ever finding joy.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Abomination of Desolation and a Little Fig Tree

Before you try to read into what I'm about to say, and boil my words down to a "HATEZ TEH GAYZ," I'm going to fully admit that my words are about the legal ratification of gay relationships (vis a vis gay marriage) BUT that they are about much, much more than that. Most of you who read this will call me a bigot, insist that my opinions come from hatred, and soon (once you have power to do so) you will probably physically revile and attack me and my family.

So be it. I hope that when the time comes, I will be able to face it with courage and kindness.

For a long time, I have been fairly silent on the subject of gay marriage/civil unions. I probably will be again, once I've posted this. The only chance I had to vote on it so far, I voted to support gay marriage/civil unions. But my opinions have changed since then, and I become more sadly convinced of them as time goes on. My opinions haven't changed because of gay marriage, or gays, or aversion to homosexual attraction. They have changed because I've been taught of a much larger picture of the role of religious beliefs in a public sphere, and it is that larger picture I wish to address.

Friday, April 17, 2015

"The Spirit said...Slay him."

The first truly troubling passage in the Book of Mormon comes when Nephi, the hero of the book so far, is commanded by God to kill someone. Now, I have never killed anyone or any thing larger than a spider, but I have been present at the death of animals. Death, like birth, is a sobering and humbly powerful thing to witness, let alone do.

For several verses, Nephi rationalizes what he's about to do. He creeps into the city towards the house of Laban, pausing only to assure us that he had no idea what was about to happen. As he comes closer to Laban's house, he sees a man fallen down dead drunk. As he comes closer, he sees it is Laban and furthermore that Laban has his "exceedingly fine" sword with a hilt of PURE GOLD and a blade of precious steel (which is nearly as expensive as gold.) He's just laying there in the muck with his ultra-fancy sword strapped to him.

(I've always wondered, where were Laban's friends? Surely he got drunk WITH someone, and wasn't randomly wandering the streets. How did he come to find himself alone this night? Did his friends feel guilty the next morning, when they realized he had been killed?)

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