Bucket of Thoughts


I wanted to post this poem my wife wrote about Xena before she came to our house.  I think it is amazing.

XENA

She walked with bouncy curls and a black leather jacket
Seeking out services to trade
“I’ll feed your depravity, you feed mine.”
The customers aren’t few
And she gets to go back to the-house-across-the-street.

I love her laugh-it still has joy of innocence
Despite.

She doesn’t speak of what’s been done to her,
She doesn’t want pity.
She speaks of only her love for god and hatred of the cycle:
Loving God-
Loving crack.

Her bible is more worn than mine,
More notes in the margins
Reminding her of who he was, why he came-for her.

It’s who she is that there is no reminder
I suppose that’s why there is no change
Change to what?

If she were to stop, then what?
She would still be the person she was when she took her first hit-
Looking and searching for a way out of herself.
She’d stumble, seek and find,
Like she did before.

When she got out of the car she was cordial
She’s very normal like that-
Normal on crack, normal with a body to trade.

God told me he missed her and that why he sent us to her
I thought it was to rescue her
But she doesn’t believe in rescues.
So that didn’t work.

Maybe it was enough for the moment just to be with each other-
Creator and beloved.
That’s what I believed as I watched her walk away.

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Today I watched two of the most disturbing things I have ever seen.

The first was a video of a father carrying his dead son while he cried with a wailing that came from deep in his bones.

The second was a video of Pat Robertson of the 700 club saying that these things are happening to the Haitian people because of a deal they made with the devil hundreds of years ago.

In a time when the world is watching people experience the worst pain imaginable, a follower of Christ speaks out to blame this on them and their “deal” made with the devil?  Let’s explore this:

  • Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
  • The average income is between $90 and $300 a year.  A YEAR!
  • Unemployment in Haiti is over 50%.
  • 24% of children between 10 and 14 are forced to work as slaves to the wealthy few.
  • The most common exports from Haiti are coffee, vegetable oils, and cocoa
  • In fact, over 40% of the workforce in Haiti works in one of those

Here is the deal…

Over 90% of Haiti’s exports are to the United States.  It is estimated that the value of the commodities coming out of Haiti are valued at 17 times what US companies pay the Haitians for them.  But.. you and I want $0.69 bottles of vegetable oil. It is a common practice to threaten farmers and industry workers to pull contracts if they do not sell their products to US companies at far below industry market prices.  In fact, many times the US companies will give loans to the Haitians promising purchasing contracts and then lower the amount they will pay for the commodity to below the cost of the loan payments, pushing the Haitian further into debt with the American company.

The majority of the wealth in Haiti is controlled by a very select few, the majority of who are either American or have corporate ties to america.

The average Haitian makes less than $1 a day.

That is less than the average cup of coffee in the US.  The same coffee we “bought” from them.

Maybe Pat is right.  Maybe the Haitians did make a deal with the devil.  Only… maybe that devil was the greed of this “Christian Nation”.

We must do better than this.  We represent the name and body of Christ.  IF we truly want the Haitian people to live better then WE have to stop marginalizing them.  We need to take responsibility for our part in holding them down.

(All of this information was taken from the CIA Factbook, US News, United Nations, and the Red Cross.)

As I look out the window from 30,000 feet, I realize that we are small.  I am small.  The mountains that would normally tower above me and illustrate power and majesty seem more like the subtle cresting waves of calm day at the beach.  David understood something I had not when in the psalms he pronounced the mountains to simply be the footstools of God.

But I realize something else as well.  I want them.  I want the land and its solidarity, the mountains and their offering of adornment (not to mention mountain biking and snowboarding), and I want the rivers which are equipped with everything I need to be self sustaining.  So as I fly overhead I want to move west.  I want to purchase land near the mountains and streams and enjoy all that the earth has to offer.

In Luke 15 Jesus tells the story of a man who goes to his father and demands that his father give the man all the inheritance that would be due him at the time of the father’s death.  This is an incredible story that would have stunned  its listeners.  This request from the son was in reality telling the father that he wished the father were dead.  But even more incredible is that the father grants this request.

To give in to his son’s desires the father would have had to alter all that he had been preparing for.  There would be selling of land, recalling of debts, releasing of employees – a complete change in the fathers plans.  But he grants the request and gives his son what he desires.

Maybe this story is much more than just a story of a boy returning home.  Maybe it is also about understanding that the father has a plan for our inheritance.  Maybe our inheritance has been set aside for us, or better yet is being set aside for us.  Maybe this story is also about the pain our father feels when we demand that he give us our portion of the earth, peace, or security now.   According to Jesus HE is preparing a place for us.  And in another place he says that the meek will inherit the earth.  And in another he tells us not to store up treasures here on this earth.

So what are we saying to our father when we take it upon ourselves to use his money and his resources to purchase what we desire to have now?  What are we saying about the plans and directions Jesus gave us before he left?

This story is clearly about the returning.  The father welcomes the son with open arms as he runs to meet his son while he was still a long way off.  In his brokenness the son returns to find grace and forgiveness.

But what does he not find awaiting him?

An inheritance.

At one point we even see the father tell the other son, the one that stayed and followed the fathers plan, that now everything the father had belonged to him.

So while the story is clearly about the returning, maybe it is about something else as well.

Maybe the story is also about the leaving.  Maybe the story is also about a son who thinks he has a better plan than the father for the father’s resources.

So while the mountains look majestic and the scenery tranquil, I want to choose to wait and see what he has in store for us…our minds cannot comprehend.