Weary (A Poem for the Perplexed in this Political Age)

Mankind. An oxymoron? A question?
One part man, less parts kind,
One wonders what peace there we can find …

Weary …

Man debates, argues, struggles, labels,
Demonizes, divides, and ignores others.
Are black, white, democrat, and republican the names we gave to our forgotten brothers?

Weary …

Driving in our steel cages,
We seek value and meaning.
But as we eat our value meals, can we hear the starving screaming?

Weary …

Debates rage, power is passed,
Over graves men dance with glee.
But … shall we mourn the loss of those with whom we disagree?

Weary …

Right wing, left wing, no wings,
We scramble at which one to try.
Can a bird with only one wing ever learn to fly?

Weary …

Even those with the supposed answers,
Argue among themselves.
Have those who frequent churches ever read the Book on their shelves?

Weary …

Blinded are we by our ever-important schedules,
Rushing to prove our mettle.
Does human worth have a checklist to settle?

Weary …

Philosophers, politicians, and preachers
Peddle answers from above.
Do these, more often than not, fail to mention love?

Weary …

Even when mentioned,
This love seems about my wants and my needs.
Could it be that “Jesus loves me” planted the wrong seeds?

Weary …

Each day it would seem,
Less and less of us can see.
Is it possible to see others when always looking in the mirror at me?

Weary …

My schedule, my time, my things, my views
These are defended vigor and fuss.
But how would we would react if the song said, “Jesus loves us?”

Weary …

People swim,
In seas of hate and anger.
What sort of answers could come from a manger?

“Love your neighbor,” the Voice whispers …

Neighbors?
Who are these people?
Are they the ones who sit beneath the steeple?

“Love your neighbor …”

What good are these words,
In a world gone mad?
If this is the answer then we’ve all been had!

“Love your neighbor …”

What a waste of time!
Our problems are not simple, but complex.
How does “love your neighbor” speak to politics, religion, power, and sex?

“Love your neighbor …”

I refuse to believe.
Mankind will find a better way!
Is this insipid strategy all you’ve got to say?

“Love your neighbor …”

Stretch out your hands,
You idealistic liar,
Which do you choose: death by cross or by fire?

“Love your neighbor …”

We choose alienation.
We choose division and strife.
Do you think you really have a better way to live in this kind of life?

“Love your neighbor …”

Look at our progress,
How far we have come.
So what if most of us are emotionally numb?

“Love your neighbor?”

To help and to love,
Across political, denominational, economic, national, and racial lines?
Is this ideal too simple … or too lofty for human minds?

“Love your neighbor …”

How will I walk,
Without the burden of hate?
How does your theory apply to religion and state?

“Love your neighbor …”

What if I’m comfortable
With the lines where they are?
What if I was taught to stay within these lines … and not stray too far?

“Love your neighbor …”

We’re weary.
That’s for certain.
Around every corner Death calls for the drop of the curtain.

“Love your neighbor …”

How ironic that in our quest for peace,
War broke out within our spirit.
Over the bombs and the shouting, is it even possible for us to hear it?

“Love your neighbor …”

I admit,
Man doesn’t solve our problems with kindness.
How did we miss the kind in mankind? What is the source of our blindness?

“Love your neighbor …”

I’m broken.
I’ve tried all the other ways.
What advice do you have to calculate this maze?

“Love your neighbor …”

Come to me, you say,
My heart is heavy … and my eyes are teary.
Tell me, what is the answer for those who are weary?

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
—Jesus in Matt 11:28 (The Message)

Adam Daniels is a freelance writer who has worked in ministry for 12 years, most recently as the Campus Minister at the Campus View Church of Christ in Athens, Georgia. Despite his years of experience in full time ministry and working through a couple of theological degrees, he still has more questions than answers. He is a husband to Jessie, a lover of books, a stumbling disciple of Jesus, and the worst player on his church league softball team. He blogs occasionally at https://idlefaith.wordpress.com.

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Author:  Publish Date: July 20, 2018

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The CHARIS website hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. In partnership with the ACU Library and the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX), the website is supported and led by the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The Center’s mission is to renew Christian spirituality through engagement of Christian heritage, at Abilene Christian University and beyond. The views expressed on the CHARIS website are those of the various authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Abilene Christian University or CHARIS at ACU. Questions or comments about the CHARIS website can be directed to charis @ acu.edu.

2017-18 CHARIS Editorial Board:
Dr. Carisse Berryhill
Dr. Jason Fikes
Karissa Herchenroeder
Mac Ice
Chai Green
Tammy Marcelain
Molly Scherer
Dr. John Weaver

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