Broken Sidewalks

Just thought I’d share a song that’s been stuck to the sticky side of my soul. Today I hear His call.

sidewalk

Broken Sidewalks

If I walk,
These broken sidewalks,
To find
The Christ I see,
Will You Talk,
Talk,
Through Me

If I stand,
To face the powers,
That force,
Their poverty,
Will You send,
Send,
Send me

If this cross,
A gift given me,
To raise,
In front of me,
Will you walk,
Walk,
With me.

You’ve captured my heart to go where you will,
Fearless with joy and awestruck when still,
Your Kingdom appears when love is fulfilled,
Lord, make holy my Heart when bridges are built,
I’ll follow you Jesus, wherever you will.
I’ll follow you Jesus, wherever you will.

Give me strength,
Spirit rise in me,
And shine,
Your love through me,
Spread Your hope,
Hope,
Through me.

Now I see,
You’re all around me,
I am,
Your pierced hands and feet,
Your mercy,
Lord,
Inspires me.

By Chris Clody
8/24/2107

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Whilst Standing On One Foot…

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“Hillel, if not now when?”
To every man an answer,
Whilst he stands on one foot.
Are the ligaments of religion,
tighter than the Lord’s love and mercy?
This very One who helps us with the Spirit’s grace,
Who frees us from sin,
Save us,
To rise again?
Yea, is not even the holy Sabbath,
Not subject to the merciful works of Passover?
Dare we unbind the burial wrappings,
That suffocate the oppressed,
Blessing the poor, mournful, and meek,
Those thirsting to drink righteousness,
The patient peacemakers,
The compassion of the merciful,
Giving blinding light to the hidden merciful lamps,
and salve for those persecuted stripes?
Have we forgotten Shema,
Or fallen within the choking thorns?
Have we neglected to slowly chew our portion;
Neglecting study for Sunday’s fast food?
When did the narrow door widen?
O’ where dear friend is your restlessness?
Has the Flame that sets fire to this world,
Been doused to smoking embers of blind satisfaction?
Are we ready to give up our Ghost?
Will the water and blood pouring from our sides be tepid?
Will we walk the shame of contradiction,
Lifting high a cross our Lord adores,
or become unmarked graves men walk upon?
Therefore,
Let us be bold to anoint another with our joy,
Leaving behind faith’s thumbprints,
Drenching our love with true oil of gladness.
Let us become strong towers,
Founded upon a disregarded cornerstone,
Placing atop the light of Spirit and Truth,
As a beacon of the Lord’s love and mercy!
Truly, truly we hear the whisper within us,
“Hillel, if not now when?”
Become Mercy dear friend,
A new channel of love.

Peace I leave. Chris

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By Chris Clody
8/11/2017

**Title and poem inspired by Hillel: If Not Now, When? (Jewish Encounters Series) Hardcover – September 14, 2010
by Joseph Telushkin

Just One Question?

I find no greater peace than walking my dogs before the dawn and praying the Rosary. Today, as I entered into the imagery of Jesus carrying his cross, I was further silenced in the symbolism of the cross and its shape of a “t“. As I surrendered to the last mystery of his crucifixion, a horror and beauty only G-d could hold, I was given this question:
Was Jesus nailed to :
theology
or
the poor,
*  they who mourn,
*  the meek,
*  they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
*  the merciful,
*  the pure of heart,
*  the peacemakers,
*  they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness?

Shouldn’t each plight of the latter be considered?
Who are these people? …before you answer that consider the following quote:

“I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”
– Dorothy Day

 

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Become Peace,

Chris

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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When The Bee Stings

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יְהֹוָה

When the bee stings,
a child’s tear erupts
A mother kisses away the pain
When the son disrespects;
his father disciplines,
Trust flowers anew,
Forgiveness blooms in request.
When Torah is celebrated;
His commands galvanize the beating heart
His Laws of Love infuses every jot and title,
Yeshiva lifts eyes to Sinai,
Love of יְהֹוָה and neighbor becomes a Temple.
When Profound Love finds favor;
A handmaid sings,
The Song of Hannah echoes once again,
A virgin is overshadowed,
Magnified is the soul of Theotokos.
When a Son is given;
A Way is infleshed,
A Truth awakens dim eyes,
A Life is revealed,
Magi honor a newborn King,
Psalm 19 finds its voice.
When the Olive is pressed;
Bled is Another’s will,
Stripes give healing,
A thorny crown pricks a King,
Via Doloroso is carved by His cross,
When the Son of God is crushed,
Blood and water baptize the earth,
The choir moans in silent expectation,
Obedience gives up His Ghost.
The Father’s tear anoints a gate through Heaven.
When faith, hope, and charity are sowed,
Crosses are hoisted and yoked to the downtrodden,
A disciple craves love of God and neighbor
The poor are fed,
The naked clothed,
The slave is set free,
The forgotten are welcomed,
Warmth and hope visit the sick and imprisoned,
The church gathers in song and praise.
Happy are the many
When unity is challenged, it offers strength
When friendship is betrayed, forgiveness is availed
When hope is pressured, patience abounds,
When faith is oppressed, fear evaporates,
When charity becomes human, creation finally evolves.

By Chris Clody,
5/26/17

 

Christian Porn…

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If we dared to dip more of our big toe into the cool, clear waters of G-d’s love we may never experience the depth of transformation our Savior can offer.  Through out my neighborhood, I’m encouraged yet pensive by seeing the little “You Matter” signs advertising a local big, box church.  Certainly the love of G-d for every Image-bearer is inexhaustible.  This type of keen marketing has led to building multiple sites with many satisfied attendees.  Yet bad theology is no different from self-serving pornography objectifying the mission of Christ without chancing the intimacy of experiencing His relationship with the marginalized. The blood sacrifice hyped from the popular mainstream pulpits or stages, has left nothing for the hearer to do but be joyful and grateful.  Joy and gratitude are wonderful psychological building blocks for a healthy mind.  Both add a sense of patience and positivity to a friendly perspective. Was obtaining a state of joy and gratitude the reason for sending a Savior?

Is there more than “You Matter”?

What does it mean to be a disciple? What does G-d really envision for our lives? What really is the “purpose driven” life? Is scripture more than an inspirational tool that ingratiates a selfish sense of self-piety wrapped in the white-washed sheets of self worth and gratitude? …but “You Matter”?

Instead of the false cloaks of “spiritual awareness” and vanity of “gifts”, what if we wrapped ourselves in what we profess as sin?  What if we became that sin you find worthy for the heat of Hell and pleaded for forgiveness? Seriously…”You Matter”!

Good theology finds true freedom to fearlessly protest the oppression of any Image-bearer of G-d. Pick your favorite hatred or prejudice, button-up, and become one with those you despise.  Plead for their forgiveness even when they do not understand. Becoming at-one with atonement theory allows the curious disciple to plumb the depth of the final plea from a crucified Messiah; “Father forgive them for they know not what they do!”

If your religion has an obsession with purity codes or vices that justify a Hell for the sinners they envy… run.

If only joy and gratitude from hearing such a “wonderful message” fill your Sundays…run.

If your hear a message that ‘cuts to the heart’… stay.

Unless we are moved to spew more than a “good word“, we will only cool the big toe of our curiosity.  We must realize John 3:16 builds the mind and soul towards the new freedom without fear – even that of persecution or death. Unless we become wrapped in our neighbor’s oppression we will cheat ourselves of ever knowing a G-d willing to bleed for us! Otherwise the cross is just a murderous, Roman tool of fear void of any meaning of our Father’s scandalous love for the Image we bear.

Its not about you. Fearlessness Matters.

“I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace.
In the world you face persecution.
But take courage; I have conquered the world!”
John 16:33
(NRSV)

Vigil of Hope

For now, Saturday, the flickering candle is our timepiece.  Today we see and hear nothing but the silence intended for the prayerful. From 3 pm yesterday till now, the word ‘forsaken’ has gathered great momentum and space within our minds.  We are left bracing ourselves unaware tomorrow trades joy for our ashes.  Emmanuel!

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Son of Man

Crowned and striped,
For all to see,
Son of God,
Nailed to a tree,
Sweet Jesus have mercy on me.

A new wine,
Pours from His wounds,
Giving His all,
Embracing doom,
His last exhale becomes perfume.

He’s Taken down,
His body wrapped,
Our God is dead,
Becomes a fact.
Sweet Jesus dies for what I lack.

Wait! Something new,
A barren tomb,
He has risen!
Returning soon,
Seen as Conqueror or Bridegroom.

Friend and brother,
Prophet, Priest, and King,
Mediator,
Heir of all things,
Emmanuel!
Deliverer,
The Word of God,
The Good Shepherd.
Light of the World,
The Prince of Peace,
Help me forgive,
Those I love the least.
Sweet Jesus, have mercy on me!

By Chris Clody
4/15/17