Friday, November 29, 2013

The Battlefield of Holy Innocents

“They shut me up in Prose –
As when a little Girl
They put me in the Closet –
Because they liked me “still” –
Still! Could themself have peeped –
And seen my Brain – go round –
They might as wise have lodged a Bird
For Treason – in the Pound – ”

Emily Dickinson, Poem 613


Today I read a poem and it pained my heart
because it called to mind a friend,
deeply hurt by those who claimed, "Love!"
but a love that had been twisted
into perverse authority.
There are the older generations of Christians who ask:

“Why do the young people flee? Why do they leave?

If we teach them more Scripture,
If we ground them in Orthodoxy
If we saturate them in Prayer
Surely they will not succumb to apostasy.”

So they devise solutions, programs, curriculum.

They search for relevance or tradition.

And these things, these things are not bad, the intent is good,
But Oh, what the they miss! Many leave for doubts of intellect, this is true;

But many leave because of wounds
And many more leave because of doubts and wounds mingled
And no pat answer is fit to save them.
They can quote the theology and history;
It's the perpetual bleeding that plagues them.
They do not leave for lack of information.

But Oh,
It is not Him! It was never Him!

It was everyone who put a spear in the side of the little ones
and watched them trickle water and blood
and questioned why they were groaning;
who tied millstones round their necks
and watched them drown
and asked why they weren't swimming.

These adults, they were our portrait of the Divine,
Because they claimed to speak on His behalf
They said, “God told us to do thus,”
And we believed,
Because we were children,
And children trust the ones they love,
even as they are hurt.

Some of us,
As adults,
Gather our tatters in exchange for a seamless garment
Hope to never commit evil under the excuse of love
Learn to become children again
And try to believe there is One who would never hurt us.

Humanity has fought like the Devil to please the Lord
But in the end Divine Love is devastated,
And the battlefield is littered
with broken children.


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