Monday, March 24, 2008


humans are so loathsome. conscious of the past but too small to undo.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

a rash sorry

google stalking
i found a poem
the subject--me
a punch to the stomach

i have to respond

the time is not right
our paths diverged
i pray that my looking back
is not a new injury
or even a nuisance

how soon regret replaces nostalgia
face-saving jumps to the fore
that’s not how i want to be remembered

i forgot about the pain
about the tearing

i used you to grow
split myself open
demanded the same from you

when i should have loved
i demanded understanding
i wanted a mess to match my own
someone to get me
someone to fix me

it was wrong
but not deliberate

we were children pretending to be adults

for the past--forgiveness

into the future--good luck

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

unregenerate, hellbound

"Well, I suppose my overarching problem is that I don't think I'm a Christian"

And so were the words I uttered during a counseling session some weeks ago.

I can't be sure of the numbers, but I have to imagine that I'm one of the very few theology majors who doesn't attend church, has never been baptized, and brings up their studies only in the most narrow ways that make him or her look good without unmasking all of the defeat, malice, and sorrow.

At times I identify with the label "Christian" but I know (at least, I'm mostly convinced) that theologically I'm not. I mean, I know/feel that I haven't been reborn, justified, etc.

I like Grace...just as long as it's cheap, can be referenced briefly before, during, and after a transgression, and somewhat encourages me that I'm valued, special, self-aware, and not-all-that-bad.

One component, perhaps the heaviest and most-guilt inducing, is the addiction that chains me to the past and to sin. There's nothing quite like the highs and lows of hope and shame--the juxtaposition of the holy with sin--to bloody and stupefy the soul. Scattering sin into even my most healthy relationships has also been a such a treasured result of the I-could-not-give-a-damn spells I entertain.

My environment and readings have encouraged my doubt--my school's church (part of the Holiness Movement) and the accompanying theology and education have fostered a concern for righteousness and moral/ethical purity that was far greater than any related concerns held when I was more intellectually immature (I'd add spiritually immature too--but I'm losing faith in things not reason). In turn, I reflect on my choices and my thoughts and I can't help but conclude that I willfully choose sin when I know better. How can I claim to be a child of God reborn in the image of His Son when I ______________ (insert sin)? I can't and I don't.

So I acknowledge the God and creation that allow for rebirth, but I won't choose to allow God to regenerate me. Sometimes I chastise myself and let others chastise me. Sometimes I'm hopeful and let others encourage me. Bust mostly I walk like God's pretty far away, and only briefly immanent when I weigh (also briefly) on him during my latest existential crisis.

In the other moments when I dentify as a Christian, I have to abstract it out to something quite odd--like beliefs that are only assented to but rarely lived (the practical atheism that is most of my life).

The faith/good works (what God does/what I do) debate is infuriating. At a certain point, I realized that the altar calls, the sobbing, and the confessions didn't effect anything lasting. Those momentary outbursts of raw emotion instilled false hope. At another point, my works of reading and conversation stopped helping me grow. Regimes and strategies of discipline--"do this for faith"--seem a little cart before the horse to me. Dialogical/dialectical approaches and tensions and paradoxes make my head hurt--and worst of all, for me at least, they lend themselves better to sin than to faith. They don't exactly open me up to the divine mystery of God nearly as much as they focus my attention inward and on my own humanness. I'm left with stultifying confusion rather than any type of propelling mystery. Clichés of journeys and commitments (sometimes proffered by well-meaning friends or found in some popular Christian literature) bespeak a hypocritical and proud faith suited for an individualistic, 21st century faith. Then again, the toothpaste is already out of the tube--and I'm looking at the gobs in the sink like they're tea leaves. I'm an analyzer and a skeptic--far too cynical and detached to ever have a 19th century, fire-in-the-belly pentecostal revival spirit about me.

I just want to be fixed, preferably right now.

I have a consciousness of God and of love and of Christ and of a saving gospel. But that consciousness doesn't induce action/choice/faith/surrender. This fact (that 1. I often hope I won't die in the immediate future (before I'm saved) because I'm hellbound and 2. believe this but won't allow God to change me] makes me feel (and think) hopeless. I'm inward looking and ego-centric and the truth that I shouldn't be--that I need to re-orient outwardly and upwardly (be theo-centric)--hasn't encouraged my faith.

I don't know what I'm trying to get out of posting this here. There is sin even in this writing, in this reaching writing. I can't help but see it everywhere. It's everywhere infecting my whole mind. Is this all a waste? I can't even do this right.

This is where I'm at. I'm not sure if insights or lessons will help me--I don't believe/live most of the ones I already know. Maybe nothing. Maybe just God. Please come becaase I can't save myself.

"More faith! More discipline!" I don't know what this means. I usually don't care what this means.

God give me a strong will and faith. God, the part of me that faces you, the part of me that looks up in the sky during a walk and speaks out loud, the part of me (if it still or ever existed) that shook at those altars really wants your help in making me right. please

God, brothers, and sisters: please help me.