Poems, Personals, and Commentary

Archive for August, 2017

On Prejudice (Mine)

I am prejudiced — but, hopefully, each day I get less and less so.  I attend regular meetings of Prejudiced People Anonymous (well, at least in my mind).

It started early in life.  It was in the air, in my culture, all around me.  “That group …, ” “Those people …,” “That church …,” people around me would say.

But, as I grew older, I realized that prejudice was wrong.  Sadly, the damage was already done.  I fought against the ideas in my head, but they still came.  I felt helpless, knowing that my attitude was wrong.

It didn’t help when some people would confirm my prejudices.  Yes, some people who were “different” did bad things to me.  But others were good and kind.

Over the years, it helped to learn about other cultures and religions, their background, and what they have suffered.  The more I had contact with people who were “different,” the less prejudiced I became.

One of my turning points happened like this:  I had been attending night classes at a state university.  I was walking on campus to my car, when a woman of an ethnic group that I felt most afraid of (or most angry at?) was coming from the other direction. She said hello and was very friendly and had kind words. Suddenly it hit me that I did not deserve her kindness, after the bad thoughts I’d had against her particular group.  It was a grace received, again — undeserved.  I realized that it wasn’t the person’s group that mattered, it was who they were individually that mattered.

There is hope for sinners, even for people like me!  God can change our hearts!  If you are prejudiced, pray for God to show you the beauty of each person.

The Wildflowers Still Bloom

[Written in response to /protest against the Charlottesville, Virginia, madness.]

The wildflowers still bloom
No matter what your religion is,
What color your skin is,
How much money you have,
Or what neighborhood you live in.

The trees don’t ask,
“Shall I give my shade
Only to certain people —
Those of a certain color,
Those who are rich?”

The mountains still stand
When the poor walk on them,
When the oppressed tread their paths.

The ocean waves
Go in and out
Whether the children splashing in them
Are educated or not.

The birds don’t sing
Only for the perfect —
Perfectly healthy,
Perfectly formed
In mind and body.

The sun shines
And the rain falls
On the just and the unjust.

Shall I withhold my love
From another
For any reason?

God does not.
He sends the rain and the sun
On all peoples.
He gives the beauty of His creation
To each person, each day.

Let me learn from Him.

Ignorant

[Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6]

I don’t understand much,
But I’ve been given a gift —
A gift I didn’t ask for —
Life.

I can’t change my existence,
But what do I do with it?

Yes, it’s a mystery —
My own life history —
And that God has a plan
That I don’t understand.

I don’t understand,
I don’t understand,
I don’t understand …

Plans for my good
And not for harm,
Plans for a future
And a hope.

I must trust in the Lord with all my heart,
And not rely on my own insight.
I must acknowledge Him in all my ways,
And He will make my paths straight.

Differences

I don’t know if
We were meant to agree
Or see eye to eye

The only thing I know
Is that I learn from you
And you learn from me

Why do I feel hurt
When you only stated your opinion?

Childhood

Childhood:
It was all so simple then
Our differences didn’t matter
Or if they did, we’d fight —
And then get back together

Childhood:
The others could be cruel
They’d make you feel a fool
But at least we were alive
And had a home to go to

Childhood:
A simple view of life
An innocence, and light
Would rule the day, until the night

Childhood:
It was all so simple then —
Could I live in that world again?

The Wilds of Truman Avenue

In the wilds of Truman Avenue
Grow rampant weeds
And many seeds
Of wild and untamed flowers

In quiet suburban streets
Some types of weeds
Push through the cracks
No strength they lack

We like to tame and formalize
But sometimes wildness is a prize
That we can learn to cultivate —
But then it isn’t wild

————

There was a Garden once
Where man and woman roamed
And wild things lived in harmony
With man and his sweet destiny

————

In the wilds of Truman Avenue
I’ll dig and hoe
While Heaven’s vision
Slowly grows

How Can a God?

How can a God be so patient —
Waiting, waiting,
Until I’m ready to receive Him.

How can a God be so loving,
Despite the weeds of sin
In the garden of my life?

How can a God suffer for us
When we cause Him
So much suffering?

How can a God die for us?
The answer must be —
So that we can live with Him.

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