"While We Wait" -- A Lenten Battle-Cry

While we wait...

 

A battle rages on

For the sake of the world 

And the outcome of our fate.

 

That seems so dramatic, does it not?

Like a “Lord of the Rings” trailer spot.

We laugh, roll our eyes and chuckle slightly,

But deep down we know we shouldn’t take it so lightly.

 

While we wait...

 

A mother cries and a child dies,

A soldier falters and a government spies.

One person wins and another loses,

Girl walks down the street hiding her bruises.

 

Can’t take the time…

She’s fine, we reason

 “Too much going on” in this crazy season

We’ve got bills to pay and mouths to feed, 

Why should we take care of someone else’s need?

 

The barista fills another order, 

While desperate children await safe passage at the border.

Tens of thousands of kids pile in 

And we greet them with a mocking grin.

 

“You don't belong here — go home!” we shout,

Wishing someone would just kick them out.

 

 That plan seems somehow easier and yet, 

This country was built on the immigrant. 

On the backs of ones attempting to flee 

The chokehold of religious tyranny.

 

Let’s not forget the ones dragged here in slavery...

 

We slam the door, there’s no room in the inn,

But what about him and her —  Or her and him?

For the love, we just can’t win.

 

Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Damned if you will and damned if you won’t.

"Holding onto the Light" -- Colleen Briggs*

"Holding onto the Light" -- Colleen Briggs*

While we wait...

 

 Traffickers lurk and terrorists plot,

Babies are dropped in a metal box. 

 

Hey — I’m just one person, trying to live a dream, 

Surely you’ll understand if i don’t stand and scream.

 

A man, fat and happy, slaps his Hancock on a bill, 

Does anyone care?  Will anyone fill — 

The seat on the bus that represents change? 

The one, in memoriam, baring Rosa Parks’ name?

 

She climbed onto a bus, tired and weary.

She wouldn’t take “no” or placate status quo.

Did she know her actions would start a movement of succession

Or did she simply refuse to bow to injustice and oppression?

 

While we wait...

 

A battle ignites of cataclysmic proportion, 

A war for the souls of each widow and orphan.

The world keeps spinning on its axis of one, 

Yet we operate fractured and blinded by the sun.

 

We drink the Kool-Aid this world has to offer -- 

Thinking somehow a corner office and a room with a view, 

Will satisfy the souls of the faithful few.

 

Come on, now — is it so bad, 

To want our kids to have a better life than we had?

We watch and applaud as they jump through hoops,

Having no idea we’re misguiding young troops. 

In the name of all things noble and wise, 

We hand the baton to a generation in disguise. 

 

While we wait...

 

The whole earth groans, 

In the pangs of childbirth,

 Rattling dry bones.

 

While we wait... 

 

A pregnant teen is turned away, 

Seeking shelter amidst dung and hay.

A man hangs unbroken on a cross, 

Battered and beaten, signifying a loss.

 

While we wait... 

 

Time does not  --

It marches to the beat of a militant clock.

Three days stretch into eternal doom,

What good is it to believe in a corpse in a tomb?

 

We hoped for a better future, a better life, 

Just look what that got us — nothing but strife.

We sprung one foot forward and fell right back

In step with a world fading to black.

 

But wait...

do you see it -- on the horizon?

 

The inky edge of the darkest night

Promises the faintest hope of light

Ebony brightens to a paler hue, 

Bursts of color start to break through! 

"Hope Relentlessly" --  Colleen Briggs*

"Hope Relentlessly" --  Colleen Briggs*

While we wait...

 

 A thousand years are like a day, 

God, in His mercy keeps His return at bay.

He could come down in the blink of an eye, 

 Unleashing judgment on everything under the sky.

Until the day we hear the sounds,

We know His grace still abounds.

 

While we wait...

 

We must not lose

Meeting together as some might choose.

We must, in fact, meet all the more

To hasten the day when love settles the score.

 

While we wait...

 

Let’s stop all the fuss,

And, for goodness sake,

Take our seats on the bus.

“And the Lord will be king over all the earth.  On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.”  Zechariah 14:9

 

Christina's Take:

I am humbled by this. It's beautiful poetry, Megan, for starters....humble #1. But humble #2 is this theme of apathy you are pointing out in me, in us, in we. BJ Novak said this the other day in an interview: "...the gap between our very major and admirable instinct to help people and the very minor part of our life that it is. I think there’s got to be a great way to harness the enormous charitable instinct within people that can be easily manipulated if you are sitting this close to someone and almost evaporates once you’re more than ten feet away...." 

May Lent be a time for us to examine where we turn a blind eye and then absolutely celebrate that it is for freedom that we have been set free through Jesus Christ (Galatians 5:1)

 

Holly's Take:

Growing up, I remember it snowing on Easter.  I remember searching for candy eggs and finding one hidden from the year before.  I remember Gunny Sac dresses and I remember celebrating Easter, but I don't remember observing the weeks before Easter.  I have come to appreciate looking at all the ugly, hard, impossible, darkness of this world. Appreciate can't be the right word there, because how could you appreciate looking at ISIS or all the other yuck in this poem.  But not turning a blind eye, opens up such a greater picture of our need for God in this world and in our lives. Last year, at the Maundy Thursday service at my church, Christina and I sat through the sorrowful service, but in closing, the congregation sang, "Amazing Grace."  I will never, ever, forget it.  I have never heard such passion in singing voices and never seen our stoic church, so collectively moved to tears, over the precious gift of God's grace for us and our world.  I love this poem.  It is like the lenten season itself, because it stays in the waiting for so long, but He is coming!

 

PS* -- The lovely artwork paired with this poem is compliments of the indubitably talented, Colleen Briggs!  You can find more about her story and view (and even purchase!) her artwork at www.colleenbriggs.com  She writes a wonderfully beautiful blog titled, "Fragments of Light."