Life Steps Almost Straight

We grow accustomed to the Dark —
When Light is put away —
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Good bye —

A Moment — We Uncertain step
For newness of the night —
Then — fit our Vision to the Dark —
And meet the Road — erect —

And so of larger — Darknesses —
Those Evenings of the Brain —
When not a Moon disclose a sign —
Or Star — come out — within —

The Bravest — grope a little —
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead —
But as they learn to see —

Either the Darkness alters —
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight —
And Life steps almost straight.

~Emily Dickinson

So few grains of happiness
measured against all the dark
and still the scales balance.

The world asks of us
only the strength we have and we give it.
Then it asks more, and we give it.

~Jane Hirschfield from “The Weighing”

A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question
the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.
On the one hand, we are called to play the good Samaritan

on life’s roadside;
but that will be only an initial act.
One day the whole Jericho road must be transformed
so that men and women will not be beaten and robbed
as they make their journey through life.
True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar;
it understands that an edifice that produces beggars needs restructuring.
America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world,
can well lead the way in this revolution of values.
There is nothing, except a tragic death wish,
to prevent us from reordering our priorities…

~Martin Luther King, Jr. from a speech April 4, 1967

We live in a time where the groaning need
and dividedness of humankind
is especially to be felt and recognized.
Countless people are subjected to hatred,
violence and oppression which go unchecked.
The injustice and corruption which exist today
are causing many voices to be raised to protest
and cry out that something be done.
Many men and women are being moved to sacrifice much
in the struggle for justice, freedom, and peace.
There is a movement afoot in our time,
a movement which is growing, awakening.

We must recognize that we as individuals are to blame
for every social injustice, every oppression,
the downgrading of others
and the injury that man does to man,
whether personal or on a broader plane.…
God must intervene with his spirit and his justice and his truth.
The present misery, need, and decay must pass away
and the new day of the Son of Man must dawn.
This is the advent of God’s coming.
~Dwight Blough from the introduction to When the Time was Fulfilled (1965)

I weep to see such bitter divisions still exist in our country,
an echo of over fifty years ago
as we fail again and again to learn from past errors.

Here we are, groaning divided once more,
walking this Jericho Road together.
We cannot pass by our brother, our sister, our child~
anyone who lies dying in the ditch.
We must stop and help.

The world asks only for the strength we have
and so we give it,
but then we are asked to give more
and so we will.

We must illuminate the advance of darkness
even when, blinded as we are,
we run forehead-first into the Tree
which has always been there
and always will be
because of who we are and Who loves us.

It could be you or me bleeding, beaten, abandoned, dying
until Someone takes our place
so we can get up, free and forgiven,
and walk Home.

Maranatha.

4 thoughts on “Life Steps Almost Straight

  1. We are at an impasse. Besides a virus born in China we also are infected by a home grown virus which divides our country. We have been ignoring the infection for decades. Since prayer was eliminated from schools. It is the virus of Communism. Decades past is has infiltrated our Church, Schools, media and entertainment industry. In 1950 Ben Hur, a story of the Christ won 11 Academy Awards. In 2004, The Passion of the Christ was not even recognized by Hollywood. For one of the tenants of Communism is the elimination of God from the world. As well it is the tenant of other radical groups in America exploiting noble causes for the cause of destroying America by cancelling the best of who we are. The vacuum left by no God must be filled…enter the evil destructive hate filled nature of Satan.
    Christ is truth and compassion. But that balance is missing in our divided society. Two sides stake claim on one or the other. No solutions can be found as such. Truth without compassion tends to cruelty. And compassion without truth is sentimentality.
    -Alan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes. Absolutely correct on all counts. The “elimination of God from all our world” has been with us from the beginning.
    I believe that the term “Spiritual Warfare” is an apt description for what we are presently living through. It, too has been
    with us and against our Creator God’s creation — all of it, humanity, environment, eternal salvation — every gift that we have ever been given by God.
    We know WHO the victor was, is, and will be forever. THAT WAS SETTLED ONE FRIGHTENING BLOODY DAY AT CALVARY!

    Each contributor has something crucial to say to us in today’s post about our time in history at this point. And you, dear Emily, I profoundly and prayerfully echo your hope of ‘MARANATHA.’

    Liked by 1 person

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