Tag Archives: loss

Success

success

 

Success is hardly the neutral definition provided in the dictionary, especially in these United States. Success is loaded with all kinds of connotations of material gain or notoriety, impact or well roundedness, but the most invisible and perhaps most powerful connotation of success is failure. If we do not succeed we fail. Check out this amazing interview by Alain de Botton about how the American desire to crown a winner has created an equally powerful need to punish a loser.

Our faith of course calls us to turn all of this on its head, to crown the loser and send the winner to the back of the line. Or does it? In Jesus’ time were we really talking about winners and losers or were we talking about the fortunate and the unfortunate, those who had (through no fault of their own) and those who did not. This is a very different thing. Perhaps Jesus wasn’t talking about redistribution or even equal distribution, but about lack of ownership altogether of wealth and power and relationships and hope. Only then do you really see the end of the vicious cycle of winners and losers.

As the year begins to wind down and you are tempted to give thanks for your successes and lament your failures, I hope you’ll take some time to reframe, to reconsider, and to redefine the ideas you have about what success means and whether you can ever really have or want it. What else does God call us to value to give meaning to our lives? What does God value?

Untouchable

trayvon rowrace is every

where

in my world in a way

it has never been before

the exchange of money

the palm to palm and mouth to mouth

of words

rings through my mind

and body

in constant clarity

front loaded consciousness

that throws off my balance.

 

The lone star state divided in threes

and the coast fractured into tiny pieces

but here

how is it so

raw?

and yet scabbed over?

Is excavation always too expensive here

to risk breaking skin?

 

trayvon rowSo we dismiss it from the courtroom

lest it sway our moral compass

in this vital moment

(that is, moment of life.

And before?)

not acknowledging the poles have already shifted

and what was once the south

is now center

and what was once the skin

has soaked through the fiber

and stained the core

 

With one breath white

and the other victim

with one breath criminal

and the next

 

forgotten?

 

Can we forgive

what is never apologized for?

Dare we forget

trayvon rowwhat we have failed to atone for?

 

I am broken in this place

Saying it is not mine to claim

my silence not abdication

my waiting not vain hope for peace

there is anger there

and sadness

and willingness to rise

when you tell me it is time

 

but the telling is mine

the you us

the when now

no longer untouchable

but slain, again and again

the dull grey of the parking lot

every parking lot

stained red

beneath flooding orange siren lights

and a hand, whether gripping a gun

or limp and lifeless

trayvon rowbegging us

demanding we

touch and hold

mourn and mend

burden and lighten

until we claim our share of wound and will

to rend

the untouchable bond

that separates us.