The Alien Within And Among Us…

“Where are you from?”File photo of displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walking towards the Syrian border
This questions seems innocuous enough and at the least a good conversation starter. Yet as immigration policy rages, what first seems like a harmless ice-breaker has devolved into an interrogation. The thought of one’s ‘legal’ status may soon infringe on inalienable rights inseparable from all humanity.
The quick answer to my inquiry could be, “from my mother’s womb. Duh.” Yet as phobias continue to grow from the little seeds of isolationism, it shows itself as the weed it truly is. Actually, the big picture of the garden of humanity draws another conclusion to that there is the only one answer to the query above: “We are from the mind and heart of God.” Let that sink in…
Immigration is a serious and difficult question living amongst the few with violent intentions. Violence is draining our attentions from the better ideals of man as resources towards protection seem to justify responses from the beat cop trolling gang territories to strong language tweeting provocations from the Oval office.
So is this a religious argument, secular, or both? If you think that question is as easy as the first producing the misunderstood “church and state debate”, then I hope these following words haunt us:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr., 1963.
So what does this have to do with immigration? Everything and nothing at all. It clearly sums up the ideals infused into man and has everything to do with the perspective towards immigration. It has nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with the treatment towards every citizen.
The question above dares us to plumb our very understanding of our nation’s creed, that equality, dignity, and justice belong to all. Although this statement was made about fifty-five years ago it isn’t novel but rather breathed into the American fabric embroidered by our founding fathers.
Fear has an insidious grip causing hesitation towards the things we might lose. Remember Lot and Abraham? Lot held to the weeds while Abraham was grateful to experience and peace of mind of God’s work in the garden.
I contend we therefore are all aliens becoming more forgetful of our immigrant history. We are learning to justify the selling of the soul of inalienable rights for the delusion of fearful isolation written as ‘rights’.
So what exactly is the alien within titling this post have to do with this writing? Everything and nothing at all. Before I answer consider the following scripture:
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!”(Luke 1:41-42)
What (fetus?) or who (child?) were dwelling these two wombs? What is the big picture? The miracle of created life and treatment with dignity blessed by inalienable rights or the concern of our ‘rights’ drawn up by the hand of man?
The question, like our judgment, has no negotiation with the mind and heart of God. Maybe the words of Mother Teresa can help neatly tie these thoughts on immigration and abortion together when quoted as saying, “The so-called right to abortion has portrayed the greatest of gifts, a child, as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience.”

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Are aliens a competitor, an intrusion, and/or an inconvenience to the to life we now experience upon the roots of our alien ancestry? Are inalienable rights degraded by the rights of man? If equality, dignity, and justice destroyed for the most vulnerable then how can the mind and heart of God flow towards any neighbor blind to their personal identity that makes them grateful to be created? What phobias are we stubbornly housing that deny another human the right to experience true freedom?
Exactly who is our neighbor?
He (Jesus) replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:48-50.
Can we contest that the will of God comes from His very mind and heart?

Is it not our grateful duty to welcome the stranger, feed the poor, cloth the naked, visit the sick, and care for the widows and orphan?

Have we forgotten that the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
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Become Love.

Peace,

Chris

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Gentle Guest

Come, Holy Spirit come! Is a silent mantra that finds me especially when gathering the dust of distraction.  Life continues to happily snowball my little attachments like magnetic balls rolling through a steel mill.  Soon I become what I love the most. Looking back through my rear-view mirror of past events, the hidden pursuit of the Holy Spirit becomes clearer. Unexpectedly, it is through the thoughtful observance of wasteful love cooperatively spent within the life of the Trinity that the Holy Spirit perseveringly offers to detach me from the sticky ‘needs’ of life. Yet, this gentle Creator must be invited into my single want of His better will. I find repentance to be a beautiful and satisfying way to empty a room for my new house guest. At first this somewhat selfish and desperate need for rescue slowly transforms as I learn to question everything about myself and how I see myself through the Beatitudes, the gospel of Mathew’s social love, the transcendent quality of St. John’s descriptions that lifts my soul, the unmistakable intimacy inked within the Pentateuch, Isaiah’s soul-wrenching experience, and the irresistible, awe-inspiring incarnate reality found in and through Jesus the Christ. Truly, I must decrease…

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Come to me my joy!
Baptize me! Be my drink!
Fill this blank page with Your ink.
Messiah’s Spirit,
Swollen dew in Your mist,
Saturate me with Your kiss.
Will of hidden food,
Sip of newfound freedom,
Rescue of souls east of Eden.
Whet my lips with this wine
True drink that cannot turn,
Teach me all so I may learn.
Give light to these eyes,
Let me see Your Glory,
Expand this heart’s territory.
O’ sweet and gentle Guest,
Invade this ore’s darkness,
Lift the dross and leave the precious.
by Chris Clody
6/23/17

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All I ever known…

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The River Calls

The love of God,
Is all I’ve ever known,
A River rushing through,
Cooling burning bones.

Life becomes this passing prayer,
This ebb and flow of souls,
Going nowhere yet everywhere,
Drowning hopes and goals.

Still, the current seeks,
What muddy waters make blind to find,
An answer, a sound, new energy,
Streaming thoughts through my mind.

Lord, Your call carries me,
Down to its slippery edge,
Where slick rocks and wet grass dare,
To leap from its daring ledge.

Today Your river calls me,
To join what cools my fire,
Engulf and drench me Lord,
Your salvation wets my desire.

When I crest light your dove upon me,
Whilst I drift through You,
Add me to the Tears of Heaven,
To baptize with the morning dew.

Today, is the day, I was made for You.

by Chris Clody
5/30/2017

Our History of Wonder

Born To Please

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Unaware yet born to please,
Shedding blood in greed and fear,
Two wills, one selfish and one to appease,
Serving two masters is doubly clear
Divinity patiently waits to join us here.

Burning without destroying, man is drawn,
Confused by how this could appear,
Barefoot steps tremble on legs of a fawn,
The Irresistible orders Moses to lead on.
Ending man’s innate question with more to think upon.

Aware and finding reason to please,
A scapegoat is devised to lay their sins upon,
Yet power corrupts due to man’s disease
Laying law upon law, love is soon gone,
Replaced by our will serving our need,
Doubting even The Ten that convicts of our greed.

Undaunted and untamed, Emmanuel borrows skin,
Fragile and human, Jesus comes to feed,
Giving Himself as food for forgotten sin,
The Christ of God breaks Death’s final grin,
The grave once greedy cannot hold resurrection win.
Grace and peace, by loving God and neighbor begins.

Keys are given atop of a rock,
One day to surrender and led by an enemy’s whim,
Purity is from dross The Spirit continues the stock,
In spite of Power, soon time forgets and corruption begins,
Saints are sent while the encourage the true flock,
Laws upon laws, the slumbering are loyal yet God is mocked.

Still hope remains in the trusting souls,
Whose trust surrendered to their Redeemer’s knock,
Fearlessly led by the Anointed’s beatific goal,
Inexpressible joy is given when we relinquish control,
Loving God through our neighbor in forgiving revolt,
Until that Day of Wrath, when the Lamb pours out the bowls,

Yet, despite pious boast, regret will cover those who condemn,
Those unjustly shamed and discarded Christ collects from another fold,
For Heaven is not a room to secure to which we ascend,
But true community that weds a Groom who willingly descends.
The Bride’s “I do” is our present ‘Amen.”

By Chris Clody 5/9/15

Burning Man…

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My mind is a willful captive to the draw of God. His ever-consuming fire, shooting fingers of glowing awe into my heart, mind, and soul. I am beyond intrigue by God’s uniqueness, His ‘otherness’, compared to any known creature. My soul finds purpose and in need of His offering, like a flame to a candle.

His Flame awaits –

Pentecost is coming…

His Flame

Burn in me O Sacred Fire,
Consuming all that is not holy.
Scorch me blind to Pride’s false hope,
Then lead my faith,
Step by step,
Guide me sure and slowly.

by Chris Clody 4/8/2015

Finding Hope, Finding Home.

My Refuge

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You’re my ocean. My endless sea,
My beacon burning bright.
My refuge, my soul drawn by thee,
Love has found the better me.

You’re my way home, my hope of mercy;
My soul’s Jerusalem.
My harbor, my endless safety,
Love transforms You’re will in me.

Eternal font,
Mercy Divine,
Turn You’re glance to me.
Holy Father, Son and Spirit,
Shine Your light and love on me.

Let my confessions dress my humility – Jesus live in me.

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By Chris Clody 10/17/2014

Blessed Hope

Blessed Hope

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Blessed Mystery that holds me captive,

Grant me courage to call Your Name,

Brace me Lord, set my face like flint,

Sufficient is the Grace that sustains,

For Your love is my only claim.

 

Jesus, gentle, beautiful, and true,

Lift this man from my shame,

Wash my in your victory,

Joyfully through You I became,

A sinner saved and cleansed from blame.

 

Jesus, Savior, forever blessed,

Take me to your Father’s flame,

Alight my heart with the Spirit’s love,

And glorify this soul You reclaimed,

Forever safe within Your reign.

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By Chris Clody 4/3/14