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Friend and Enemies

by Ward Stothers

God, you’ve gone too far—
How could you call us to do,
The impossible.
We love you, and you know it but,
Loving our enemies !
You know, those ones we have
especially etched, above our brows
And jaw and echo in our inner ears,
With big, bull voices
And scowls for a handshake.

I refuse to be used
This way,
Jonah was right,
The opposite direction is a quiet seashore
On the Mediterranean 
With carping seagulls the only fight to attend;
These kind of people will hear and hallelujah, and grow your church.

Your request is like being a lamb going to the slaughter,
Like asking Heaven
To be lowered down
And involved in pain, suffering and even death.
Endless embarrassment and catcalls,
And laughter too
From stoning, faithless bystanders
Swimming in their accurate ignorance.

No one signs up to be last
On the bread line.
Maybe not the first but never the last.
What good comes out of
Offering life to those
Who spit on your kindness
And wail arrogantly in our faces,
Heckling our disunity and broken promises.

Are you a God who just can’t say no
Over the squalor of sin and torque of brokeness,
Who has to make it right
No matter what course rejection
Leaves the lips of a slurring humanity.
Do you want to save the whole—damned world ?
Could you be more caring
Than we could imagine ?  Would you go so far as
To slide off your heavenly throne
And land, dancing on a manger in Bethlehem ?
 Will you heal and romp in earthen fettered urban ghettos,
Offering the poor a seat— at your table ?
Do you love so much, God
That life itself
is given back,  free and in the Spirit,
Paid by the purchase of Christ
For us all who breathed,
And once lived, cursing life as—
Enemies of God.

Just tell us where to go,
And we will mount horses
Learn to ride like a silver streak,
Carrying your love everywhere,
For you are our peace, Jesus
 breaking down the walls of separation
Leaning over into your creation,
Coveting the wellness of your world
Calling us, Friend.

Copyright © 2003 Ward Stothers