i, who MADE
i, who MADE
i, who MADE
illusion, please comfort me,
i can live peacefully
if you curtain the window
that i had flung carelessly
on the day i was sure
that i had seen everything
plainly in front of me
heaven and hell were divided
but there i saw certainty
standing across the street
crossing was heresy
‘if only’, i told myself,
‘i hadn’t seen anything.
the curtain i’d drawn
were a wall to stay stuck between’
sure, i’d lose purpose
and with it gain apathy
but apposed to uncertainty
purposeless living is
sort of like being free
where heaven and hell
are divided by you and me
sitting on the roof when i got to thinking
that places grow with me and make my meaning
a bear cub in the rough
carving out my frame, a sturdy vessel
my place is where you tame the waves i wrestle
when blessings aren’t enough
what of nature then?
if life borne of death let mystery end
needles surround me and i am undone and yet called to begin
what life have i yet to receive?
often i’ll write about my relationship with God in a way that might be uncomfortable for some. notably, all of my writing about God is in the form of a conversation. i think God values absolute honesty in communication, even if it is at times heretical. i feel when i am able to speak with God like this i am able to strengthen my relationship with him in a way that is honoring to Him. because i do love Him.
this is written as a set of four mirroring a backwards walk through the stages of grief. traditionally there are five stages to grief, the last stage being acceptance. this poem omits acceptance as i feel acceptance is unwritable. acceptance, to me, is a continuous process and since it involves so much change and continuous contemplation, the feeling itself can’t be isolated into a poem.
i wrote beginning with the last stages of grief so as to show the exchange of losing confidence in myself and losing my confidence in God. so here are the four poems and an extrapolation of my times wrestling with grief.
Flōra / Hark!, –
i wrestle with identity and the burdensome weight of being called God’s child amidst my own short comings
-, Bona Dea / Rejoice! Rejoice!
although it feels like a fruitless exercise, i call out to God in a way that feels in-line with the Christianity i grew up with
Ichor to Ferry Love, –
the distance in communication with Christ offers little comfort amidst grief and the frequent reminder of ‘a plan’ feels dilapidated and tasteless
i know who i am and i know who God is but i feel we are asymptotes due to my own stubborn nature
For Kanye West, the album Jesus is King is a 4. For Christians, this album is a 10 and a much needed reflection.
Christians are throwing down their best zingers on Facebook threads for this album and it’s causing a bit of division. And that’s good. If i don’t say anything else that hasn’t already been said about the album i’ll say this: the division that this album brought on is good.
Average church-going Christians tend to struggle with change. I mean, that’s not really fair to say because people in general struggle with change. But you would think that as Christians, who praise the controversial nature of Christ, would be sort of okay with changing our thinking. The average sermon has the backbone message of “Christ didn’t come to serve you but to change you” and, yeah, that applies to everything still.
So let’s get into to the sources of division. Kanye West was known for being kind of terrible (i said ‘was’ and you should hang onto that as you read on). Not only was he an icon for self-indulgence and pride but he has a pretty well-documented history of diving into controversial things. So you may say the album follows a trend of benefiting from controversy once again. And here’s the thing; if this is your position, you might be right. but what if you’re wrong? Discernment is a valuable quality to the church and a gift from God but don’t confuse God’s discernment with cynicism. God doesn’t ‘call’ you to speculate the validity of someone’s confession. God gave Christians the church, a place for accountability and discernment to go hand in hand. When the church operates as intended there’s no need for that kind of cynicism.
Here’s another point of speculation i’ve seen recently: while the albums themes are spiritual it lacks the authenticity that would be called ‘faith’. And let me tell you that is the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard. How many Christian movies need to be made before the Christian community can accept we’re putting ourselves into a bubble. I’m including myself here. There’s a bit of fear inherent that comes with being a Christian. It’s common for Christians to feel like not only do you need the answers but you need to sound confident in them. Faith is not blind and that’s a common pulpit phrase but who gets to define faith besides Christ? Faith is a process of growth as well as belief amongst failures and thorough conviction, not to an ideal, but to an ideology.
Also, some people have condemned the album because it’s blasphemous at times. I can’t really argue that as comparing your ‘hard times’ to Christ’s death on a cross isn’t a great message. At the same time plenty of Christian artists do the same so let’s be consistent in who we rebuke.
I don’t know what else i have to say. I think what i hope to say is, Christians, don’t be afraid in your own faith. Discern with discernment and be slow to condemn. Understand music preferences have nothing to do with the truth of the gospel. Christ’s message is stronger than that.
in each beginning
to dwell amongst the sand and stars
to become like one another
and pull at each of the opposites
it was Abram, directed and removed
at a wall in a desert
where history had yet been proved
to have been more than a line
and like gravity,
Abram now Abraham
forsaken to climb
once again a beginning
faith without reason is a miserable choice
and the breath of a deity is a need to rejoice
but why are you so sullen now?
there’s a God who forgives
our need to feel confident
is what vanity is
what blessing hath he left us though?
the dealings of our lives are aptly called an ebb and flow
archaic things that give us faith
just look at love it gives us grace
but, god, oh god, you love defending sacrilege
while culture becomes foreign becomes sinful makes you lack courage
god, you’re so defensive you’re so tender
where honor dies you cast yourself
but you are not a martyr
you’re no savior
just let Him be Himself
pride, immortal poison,
and we drink it
to refrain from doubt
or has He told us death is dead and therefor we should live without