How many stories go untold?

Somewhere in a dry place, far away

there is a boy who is about to become a man.

He has made a choice to hear a whisper within.

He knows that Allah would not have him destroy His Creation

No matter what they all scream.

And there is a girl, a teen-aged city-girl.

She knows about the narrow path out.

She is clinging to hope in a world almost

without hope.

Somewhere– right now– the sun is casting long, sad shadows.

A figure, impossibly stretched out, passes through a skinny doorway.

The bars, for the first time, are only behind him.

He knows now for the first,

prison is so much more than a place and so much less than a home.

We could theoretically count up

All the cars that had ever been filled up

with fertilizer, gasoline, dynamite, plastique…

We might, in heaven or hell

line up all the drivers

who pinned the accelerator that last desperate time…

We might glue back together

the annihilated leather shreads

of those belts laden heavy

worn by cowards who thought they were heroes.

who thought that suicide redeems homicide.

A photograph so easily documents the carnage

where the lives used to be.

But how can we trace

the sustenance and hope

which blossom like a mushroom cloud

from the rear of the red cross supply truck which ventures into devestation?

We could record all the mad men’s ramblings

package them into a box set,

and dub them revolutionary manifestoes…

But we can only dream

the stories of those

for whom violence

is the road not taken.

We will continue to document

the bodies lost in the blasts…

But how will we trace

the hope that the true heroes have sewn?

I want to be a guerilla of hope.

I will wage a holy peace.

I will see the truth untellable

I will know The Story behind the stories;

offering up my own single life

is better than serving up a thousand thousand deaths


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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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