To be a pariah takes only hate
and the unshaken conviction that you,
above all others,
To be an outcast you only need yell
when a listening ear
might salvage a soul.
To be Jeremiah, you need more than that:
not only conviction, not only the truth
but the burden of weeping,
the burden of love,
the knowledge that kingdoms are built of people,
that people and kingdoms are bound to fall,
and yet to love them all.
With weeping they shall come,
and with consolation I will lead them back…
(Jeremiah 31:9a, NRSV)
Noise. The ages seem to verge upon chaos.
Yet crescendo is not crisis. What men
of old saw has not failed. Four hundred years
of silence did not climax now, to then
leave us empty. He always spoke gently
to the broken; to the proud, with warning.
Those with ears to hear: with kind intent, he
whispers. To the deaf, the patient dawning
will soon not be patient. There is abundant
grace for the longing wounded, or the pilgrim;
if you never sought Him, why now vent
your spleen upon the One you will pierce? Grim
the truth, endless the consolation
for the weeping on whom the new day shone.
” And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?'”
Slow to understand, the day turns to night.
Light dwindles, the length of days shortens;
have we time to hear His words?
Walk. The road is long, but your companion
stays as sun retreats and understanding hides.
Slow to understand, we turn:
we slow our hearts to hear.
J. S. Bach – Cantata “Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden”
Some will say: Had we been
alive then, we would not have killed
the prophets or despised their words.
Yet the Truth stands to rebuke.
In every heart, the secret depths
defy what shines with grace before us,
takes, destroys, the tender things
and carves a throne from bones.
the fire comes; the mother longs
to cover you up with her wings.
Yet in your heart you run.