Sunday, October 11, 2009

Good Friday, 2009

This is a follow-up from the previous post about the middle voice of faith, but I want to add more explanation because it may sound grimmer than I intend it to. I wrote this on Good Friday after the most bleak Lent I had ever experienced, after trying to maintain faith when I couldn’t understand or feel or do anything. By the time Easter arrived two days later, I was becoming aware that God was redeeming the little hells around me. By a couple weeks later, I realized that it had ceased to surprise me. I seemed to have believed for a while, and had not realized when it had happened.

Faith does not always announce its coming with a trumpet. Sometimes it simply sneaks into the place we have prepared for it like a bandit, and by the time we see it is there we realize it had been living there for a while.
Give me a year or two, and I may call
This Friday “Good,” when savageness and rape
Have ceased to startle me the way escaping
Echoes of redemption do, and all
My over-clenching fingers simply flop
Upon whatever they receive. I’d know
It better if you spoke in Greek, to stop
My pre-established definitions. So,
Call “Good” the bleeding, punctured lung, perhaps
Because it’s swallowed in a bigger story,
The way the food I eat becomes my glory
Or that rivers swallow empty gaps;
And you who call this Friday “Good” because
You own the definitions can say this was
And just like he did with Sarah thousands of years before, God did seem to go back over those months and rewrite my doubt into faith. Faith had made its home in the places prepared for it, and I had hardly known when it had arrived. It would figure.

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