Remember the Occupy encampments? We set up a church there. Here are pictures of us in prayer at the encampments. In those days, it felt like the Occupy movement was a fulcrum so placed as to move the world.
(sorry for the overflow, remote Flash isn't themable, and my blog's theme isn't very accommodating!)
the day barks:
a hound set to guard
by inner clockworks
nine thousand anonymous
lapping at the will
an attriting ocean
once again it bays
thirsting for work
"i am (i am)"
yes, and i am
in the dawn
oh the ceaseless dawn!
calling me to life
from wordless desire
ah how it tracks me
9 thousand distinctions
shattered from a single pane
and the wind carries a howl
through the broken glass
"i am (i am)"
i see that you are!
and i am less!
who am i this morning?
who was i last night?
who shall i be today?
why do you track me
where do you come from
on the coattails of my grief
to the citadel of my self
where i had thought to rest
"i am (that i am)"
again you are?
Energy swirled around the book: what secrets were trapped between those dense pen marks? Histories bled through its thin pages when held to the light. He studied it in secret and hid it deep beneath the hoarded Vac bric-a-brac in his closet.
There was a time before the Mind when all information, all knowledge, was stored in these inert paper volumes. Isaac knew from some distant memory that the secret to books lay in the study of their pages, with the eyes scanning back and forth. He knew their pages contained knowledge in a symbolic form, that somehow the black shapes represented spoken words. He knew this intellectually, but Isaac had never known any form of stored knowledge but the instantaneous pictograms of the Query Daemon.
I remember the hammocks
into the meshed leaf canopy
a midwesterner in paradise
i remember the hammocks
high in the leaf canopy
i strove against the leafcutter ants
against the green-hued sun
to build a haven
where all things stay
i remember the hammocks
where i strove in my mind
as my body rested.
Bill McKibben writes that oil companies have, on their books, enough oil to create at 18 degree (Farenheit) increase in global temperature. Wow. That's just what we're planning to burn. If you haven't, go read his article. Post it to Facebook and Twitter, and then come back here.
While I agree with McKibben on nearly all his points, I find him impatient on the power of individual transformation:
Micah Bales asked a deep question. He suggests that the wealth in property we’ve inherited is hindering our work for social justice. He talks provocatively (as a spiritual challenge, he clarifies) about “burning the meetinghouse.” He asks, “What would happen if we put the movement of the Spirit ahead of property management?"
At Wild Goose, I was humbled to be among justice-seeking Christians seeking to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
I see a deep connection between the personal practice of simple living and activism for social change. While I struggle to live justly, particularly in my everyday purchasing decisions (as Julie Clawson advises!), I often don't live as simply as I could. Sometimes I take shortcuts, going out for lunch, driving my car to work, or buying something to solve a problem that actually requires time I lack because of overcommitment.
Generally speaking, my generation is a practical generation, and I am challenged by my faith to be a practical person. Don't get me wrong: I love all verbal and theological things: story, theology, politics, and history, perhaps even inordinately.
But I believe in places. I believe that relationships, rooted in love, transform us. And it just so happens that most lasting human relationships are formed around the table.
In the Eucharist, the ordinary is made sacred. The original Eucharist tradition as recorded in the book of Acts and later Paul was a feast that united people of all incomes and races in a common purpose.
in Justice Unbound.
I do not know how to be a pastor. I’m an organizer. I organize the church for grassroots democracy, and sometimes I do pastor-like things, but I am a layperson.
Isaiah is an institutional reformer. He's a part of the priestly class. He's a part of the problem.
When I am faced with dishonesty and fraud on a systemic scale, I ask questions of God. But as I trace the origins of injustice, I am directed back towards humanity. The question becomes: what can we do to end injustice?
The Washington Post reported on the massive falsification of documents by banks:
"Employees at major banks who churned out fraudulent foreclosure documents, forged signatures, made up fake job titles and falsely notarized paperwork often did so at the behest of their superiors, according to a federal investigation released Tuesday.
Sometimes, I think, church can be dis-empowering. If I were to try to put it into my own words, the church's project is to empower each person to open themselves to the river of the Holy Spirit which transforms and renews the whole person with a continual work of healing love which moves from the inner to the outer, transforming a person's personal, economic, and political relationships as well as their material place in the world.
Is that our normal experience of church? Is this how we feel transformed by our church experience?
Oh Lord, save your servant who trusts in you.
A prayer lifts up from the city, like the smoke of incense. A single prayer, in the myriad of others, a strand of smoke amidst a great burning.
Oh Lord, why do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? -Psalm 10
But God is listening. God hears the prayers of God's people.
The question is, are we listening? For God, who hears the prayers of his people, is calling us to listen as well. God's justice is a collective project.
Isaiah 58:3-24 "Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?"