Thursday, April 5, 2012

"The unassumed is unhealed."

A second glimpse is given us at the Crucifixion, when Christ cries out with a loud voice, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46). Once again, full weight should be given to these words. Here is the extreme point of Christ's desolation, when he feels abandoned not only by men but by God. We cannot begin to explain how it is possible for one who is himself the living God to lose awareness of the divine presence. But this at least is evident. In Christ's Passion there is no play-acting, nothing is done for outward show. Each word from the Cross means what it says. And if the cry "My God, my God..." is to signify anything at all, it must mean that at this moment Jesus is truly experiencing the spiritual death of separation from God. Not only does he shed his blood for us, but for our sakes he accepts even the loss of God.

"He descended into hell," (Apostles' Creed). Does this mean merely that Christ went to preach to the departed spirits during the interval between Great Friday evening and Easter morning (see 1 Pet. 3:19)? Surely it has also a deeper sense. Hell is a point not in space but in the soul. It is the place where God is not. (And yet God is everywhere!) If Christ truly "descended into hell", that means he descended into the depths of the absence of God. Totally, unreservedly, he identifies himself with all man's anguish and alienation. He assumed it into himself, and by assuming it he healed it. There was no other way he could heal it, except by making it his own.
- Metr Kallistos (Ware), The Orthodox Way

Sunday, April 1, 2012

First Kiss - Tom Waits

She drove a big old Lincoln
with suicide doors
and a sewing machine in the back
and a light bulb that looked like
an alligator egg
was mounted up front on the hood

and she had an Easter bonnet that had been signed
by Tennessee Ernie Ford
and she always had saw dust in her hair
and she cut two holes in the back of her dress
and she had these scapular wings
that were covered with feathers and electrical tape
and when she got good and drunk
she would sing about Elkheart, Indiana
where the wind is strong
and folks mind their own business

and she had at least a hundred old baseballs
that she'd taken from kids
and she collected bones of all kinds
and she lived in a trailer under a bridge
and she made her own whiskey and gave cigarettes to kids
and she'd been struck by lightning seven or eight times
and she hated the mention of rain

and she made up her own language
and she wore rubber boots
and she could fix anything with string
and her lips were like cherries
and she was stronger than any man
and she smelled like gasoline and root beer fizz
and she put mud on a bee sting
I got at the creek
and she gave me
my very first kiss
and she gave me
my very first kiss

talking 'bout my little Kathleen
she's just a fine young thing
someday she'll wear my ring
my little Kathleen