Hiroshima Day Poem – Hiroshima Day is designated as August 6th
This can be used as a responsive prayer As we remember holocaust, in horror disbelieving the history of the human race, we share each other’s grieving; God purge us of hypocrisy, of all our self-deceiving.
Our language is inadequate, unfit for the expression of hatred that we visualise, humanity’s confession; we hurry headlong into hell, we witness love’s regression.
The deepest, distant agony that throbs through all creation, the silent tears that quietly fall in every generation, are signs of our humanity, our need for re-creation.
God give us strength to make a pledge to move beyond contention, to see, in each, humanity. Through greater good intention, God, move us toward a purer love, a gracious intervention.
In debt for the love you have given me. Undeserving, sometimes callous, thoughtless and cavalier with the expectations of others. Yet I am loved. And so I owe this debt of love. How can it be paid? How do I repay the patience of a nurse who stands by me while I am sick? How do I return the love of a mother who invested her life in my life from birth to her death? How do I thank those people who affirm me in what I do, in writing and in teaching? How do I thank the teacher who told me, but then demonstrated that from his point of view there was some good in everyone? How do I thank my son for music, art and an openness of spirit? How do I thank colleagues who have stood by and encouraged me as my life has changed pace and direction often giving them more work to do? How do I thank my wife for her care? How do I thank the child who smiles and hugs me and says, ‘That’s better’? How do I thank countless friends who have done the things that only they could do? How do I thank the father who taught me to work with wood? So much to be thankful for! Am I in debt? Surely…
To each and all is owed a lifetime of love, so graciously given, so easily received.
No wonder he said, ‘Love one another”! I’ll try, really I will.
When I opened my social media one morning I caught the comment, in relation to nothing in particular, ‘that’ll wait till after Easter’. Some things won’t. And in another sense some things can’t, shouldn’t be hidden or avoided. I don’t want to be a spoil sport, nor to confront us with things that are just too painful in a world which has pain enough of itself.
Come Easter day it will all be daffodils and Easter eggs, children and fun. Well not quite all. But that is jumping the gun. Let me take you back to the beginning of this, so called ‘Holy Week’.
Some people like to look at the whole drama of this week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday as ‘part of God’s plan’. I think that diminishes God. It doesn’t speak of the God I see in Jesus, or even the pages of the Hebrew scriptures. The events of this week are less planned, more inevitable; earthly as much as heavenly.
Remember that Jesus is a man, God become human, but a man. God does not put his ‘son’, through unimaginable cruelty. Charles Wesley had it right speaking of God ‘contracted to a span, incomprehensibly man’, a God who ‘emptied himself of all but love.’ So this Jesus is God. But he is human, like you and me. Very special, yet nothing special at all. Growing up he had witnessed religious corruption. That is not an anti-semitic comment. The church is just as riddled with corruption today. Occasionally people rise above it, but it is a human characteristic, built into our DNA. We are hard-wired for self-preservation and that makes us want to clamber to the top of the pile. Now and again we managed to repress our natural instincts and become a little more kind, a mite more gracious. Anyway, I digress.
Jesus rode a donkey into an occupied city at the time of a religious festival. Stirred up a crowd. If anything could be calculated to raise the temperature, rather than calm the conflict, that was its precursor. He challenged the religious people, over-turned the tables of the money changers, caused chaos. Then just walked away. Deals are done, silver changes hands, plots are elaborated. In the midst of all of this he shares a meal with his friends. Then an arrest is executed. Now this becomes political. Pilate is confronted rather than ignored. A charge is brought, a thief is dismissed. The dice is thrown, the deed is done. And this Jesus is brutally murdered.
Tortured, beaten, scarred and tainted,
Not a picture deftly painted,
More a tattered, battered being,
Torn, disfigured, stark, unseeing.
Muscles twisted, strained, contorted,
Body dangling, bruised, distorted.
Life blood drying, sun-baked, stinging,
Hatred, bitter hatred, flinging.
Crowds insensate, tempers vented,
Full of anger, discontented.
Curses scattered, insults flying,
Spurned, derided, God is dying.