Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Arrow

Blue Flower; Georgia O'Keeffe
Pastel on Paper mounted to cardboard, 20 x 16 in

I need a stand up relationship with God. I must be able to argue and snivel and in the next moment stare him square in the eye. A God who demands of me a perpetual posture of below to above is of no use to me and I shall surely turn away. This may be illness or rebellion in me but the die is cast. I have made my commitment and expect of Him the same. This is just what is.

Actually, if there is any rhyme or reason to the Christian claim of God as Man in the form of Jesus, whom we are to strive to emulate His Image and Likeness, then this is it, that God is willing to be man sized for the purposes of relationship with us, with me. In that then there is potential that I can look at Him under certain conditions as if He is my size or I His.

If I argue with God, it is said, I lose. So what? That I can argue is deeply essential no matter the outcome. I am not alone in this realization. I believe it was Jacob in the Bible who wrestled with the angel in full knowledge of his condition and was struck lame for it, but blessed nonetheless.

The Arrow

I had to kill a bird,
left for dead after
a cat bite that paralyzed it.
The killing broke my heart.

I wrote a poem,
and in my poem
was a rage within my grief,
a shout,
an arrow so compressed
that it flew all the way to God.

He still bleeds. I checked.

November 20, 2009 8:24 PM


  1. One of your finest meditations, coupled with one of your finest verses.

  2. This life we live,
    it's ambivalence,
    yet so glorious

  3. I want to comment, but John Wane has taken over"Well pilgrim, it' time for sleep. Good night my friend, and as you know, that coming from me means something.

  4. 100 bucks says Jacob takes the angel the next go around. See how in this picture he's trying to knee him in the privates.

    Angels give you nothing unless you take from them

  5. That the writer of the Jacob story could have this same experience of relationship, wrestling with God or His representative Angel, suggests that the inner lives of some men have not changed significantly in several thousand years. Our yearnings under similar conditions of stress turn in similar directions and then we tend to tell similar stories about our lives.

    The killing of the paralyzed bird, the poem, and my painful inner state at that time are all actual. I am not for once taking poetic license and making this up. This all happened to me in one day and its aftermath in the early nineties. It remains a pivotal spiritual experience that informs my theology.

    My pain has become my freedom.

  6. "That I can argue is deeply essential no matter the outcome." i've always believed this, said this since i was a young and spunk teen, that if god would cast me down for questioning then so be it, if jesus would condemn me for asking then i don't want to hang with him. this is what and who we are. that is not to use it vulgarly, but to be, while we can be, this human form.

    if there is an embodied god then should i live in quiet faith? no parent wants their children to unthinkingly live. but the embodied god makes no sense to me, or rather what makes sense is that the body of god is expanded throughout the universe with the rules of life and death in the leaf, the moose, the tree, the rock, in you and me.


  7. Erin, God incarnate or embodied seems to be essential to some of us. I have become convinced over the long haul of my life that certainly God does not quibble with all our perceived Sacred Manifestations here...It is men who do this kind of argument, often with disastrous and monstrous results. That God so seldom appears and never in ways that stand the test of time leaves the whole thing open.

    I believe doubting is as essential as is faith.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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