In honour of this I shall attempt a short (free verse) ode but also refer you to the pomes section of this blog if you are a glutton for poetic punishment. You can find them if you scroll down ye menu on the right hand side of the page*.
– o 0 o –
“Passion”: what happens when you give up on charged particles.
“Compassion”: having the hots for a website (.com) about giving up on charged particles.
“Compassionate” – having consumed a website (.com) about charged particles for which you had the hots.
This definition of ‘compassionate’ is brought to you by the homeless, disenfranchised, broken, vulnerable, ignored, and voiceless.
– o 0 o –
Be blessed, be a blessing.
*It is the right hand side if you are looking out from inside your screen!
Here is a pome what I have writ… it will also appear in the ‘pomes’ section of this blog in due course. (Bearing in mind that some people have to work at weekends, this pome is transferrable to other days off).
Weekends are Designed for strengthening us when we feel weakened:
Rest, recreation, relaxation and re-creation are needed at the end
of a busy week – whether it’s on our own or with family or friends.
Time spent away from work, toil, stress and strain help us mend
our busy lives and enable our sense of well-being to be deepened.
The Designer designed us that way so that we bookend
business and busyness with refreshment and intentionally send
the message that days off are essential, not just a trend.
Be blessed, be a blessing
A friend once described the austere nature of Sundays in his household. It was a day of rest and frivolous activity was forbidden: “We would even take the swing out of the budgie’s cage in case he enjoyed himself!”
At the recent conference for ministers of larger churches I was introduced to the American Slam Poet Taylor Mali. I like potery and I have written a few pomes in my time (you can see them on the ‘pomes what I have writ’ section of this site) but I was really inspired by him so I am copying one of his poems below. Hint: it’s much better watching him on YouTube (you can do the search!) and you can find more of his work on his website!
What Teachers Make
by Taylor Mali
He says the problem with teachers is
What’s a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life
was to become a teacher?
He reminds the other dinner guests that it’s true
what they say about teachers:
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.
I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the dinner guests
that it’s also true what they say about lawyers.
Because we’re eating, after all, and this is polite conversation.
I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor.
Be honest. What do you make?
And I wish he hadn’t done that— asked me to be honest—
because, you see, I have this policy about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, then I have to let you have it.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time
with anything less than your very best.
I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom?
Because you’re bored.
And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you?
I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
Hi. This is Mr. Mali. I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something your son said today.
To the biggest bully in the grade, he said,
“Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?
It’s no big deal.”
And that was noblest act of courage I have ever seen.
I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.
You want to know what I make? I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math
and hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you’ve got this,
then you follow this,
and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this.
Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
Teachers make a goddamn difference! Now what about you?
We are following a series of sermons at our church at the moment: ‘Living life in all its fullness’. On Sunday morning we will be looking at ‘Living without regret’. It’s a theme that seemed important when I prepared the series. In preparation I have been wrestling with Peter after he had denied knowing Jesus. Or more accurately I have been wrestling with the passages about Peter.
I remembered that I had reflected on this before, and it had motivated me to write two pomes. They are in the ‘pomes’ section of the blog, under Bible, but I reproduce them here to save you from clicking.
Regret is not a bad thing. It is the beginning of repentance, restoration and renewal so long as we move on from regret. Peter’s regret was transformed by his encounter with the risen Jesus. It may seem naive and stating as I am about to will appear simplistic for anyone who lives in the shadow of deep regret, but I believe that the same is true for us today. Because Jesus is alive, the past can be forgiven, there is a mandate to live for today and we have a hope for the future. Peter found forgiveness, a mandate and hope after a cooked breakfast on the beach at Galilee.
The experience of this may be a process rather than an event, but it is part of living life in all its fullness as followers of Jesus.