Saturday, October 25, 2014

Treasures in Earthen Vessels

by Jim Rapp

Ἔχομεν δὲ τὸν θησαυρὸν τοῦτον
       ἐν ὀστρακίνοις σκεύεσιν
We have this treasure in earthen
            vessels 2 Cor. 4:7

Humble terra cotta pots measure
out the potter’s window shelf
each treasure treasured for the treasure
held, each treasured in itself.

We’re (Not) Using Our Heads

by Jim Rapp 

Batters “beaned” by the ball,
Pitcher’s felled by line drives,
Outfielders ramming the walls
Diving and risking their lives
Catcher and runner lie sprawled
Fans dancing and giving “high-fives” 

Old “stars” wheeled through the halls
Arranged in neat rows by sixes and fives
Watch the images move on “walls”
Observe bleakly with half-knowing eyes;
By now it should be obvious to all –
They got here by (not) using their head, guys! 

Someday our Tiddlywink teams,
Resourcefully using their heads,
Will make their game more “extreme”
By skull-banging the puck instead
So their widows can pitifully keen,
“He got Alzheimer’s by (not) using his head.”

Friday, October 24, 2014

No Shame In Going Home

Jim Rapp

There is no shame in going home,
no shame in saying, “I was wrong to leave,”
no shame in leaving what was wrong
to bow anew to Truth, confessing, “I believe.”

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Don’t Forget To Send In The Cash

by Jim Rapp

The TV preacher offers to pray for your needs,
and requests thirty dollars to serve as a “seed”.

The Party’s “quick survey,” seeking your thoughts,
includes a reminder to send your “hard fought”.

The Doctors – especially Oz – to "help you stay well,"
bring on slick hucksters with something to sell.

CVS, in a fit of “conscience” has ceased to sell smokes
but candy, soda, quack cures, still sell to poor folks.

“Buyer beware” is the buyer’s defense;
standing alone – and standing against.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

An Author's Dilemma

It is better to remain silent
and thought to be a heretic
than to write a book
and provide the evidence.
                                                                    apologies to Anonymous

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

An Old Man’s Dilemma

(A Haiku)
by Jim Rapp

Philippians 1:21

The old man wobbled
between two options; live now
or live forever.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fall Colors Make Me Believe

Jim Rapp

There is a reason for everything,
I’m convinced of it;
whether the hand of God shaped each thing,
or He fashioned it
in a thought-full sort of making –
like, Big Banging it
doesn’t change the Genesis saying;
for me, confirms it;
“In the beginning God was making;”
I just believe it.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Aerial Warfare

(A Haiku Trio)
by Jim Rapp

High, high, high atop
the pine a winged one, silent,
silent, scans the scene.

Far, far, far below
the pine tree counsels footed
ones, “Hide here. Hide there.”

No friend to winged ones,
he. “Be gone,” he cries, “Be gone!”
“Spare the footed ones.”

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

From Where I Sit

In past years I showed a U. S. State Department film entitled From Where I Sit to my Social Studies classes. The film began with the image of a rotating, tumbling chair frame. The first angle from which the audience viewed it would not have caused most people to think “chair”, but as it turned and more perspectives were revealed it became evident to most that it was indeed a chair. One’s interpretation of what it was depended upon “where one was sitting.”

It is easy, in a blog like this, to give the appearance of superiority, to speak with a certainty that says, “I know better than any others what the truth of the matter is.” To avoid sounding arrogant I’ve not done much prose blogging lately. I suppose some of my poems have nonetheless been just as self-assured and arrogant, alas. Sorry about that.

But it is still true that what we see is what we see – from where we sit. If I had stopped the film before it was evident that the figure being shown was a chair, and if I had asked the students to tell me what they saw, I would have gotten a variety of answers and some of the students would have been insistent upon their interpretation of the data. Perhaps if they had discussed their perspectives they might have actually come to the conclusion that it was a chair they were viewing. Or perhaps they would all have gone on in ignorance of what they had seen.

Our social and political world is no different. The data is being shown to us daily, coming from a myriad of sources. We can only see it from a limited number of angles. With that incomplete data we must decide what we are actually seeing and decide what course of action, if any, we should take regarding it. Sometimes we are more sure of ourselves than at other times. Sometimes we humans will fight and die for the truth we perceive.

But the wisest course is to compare perspectives with others who see it differently, from where they sit. The things presented in this blog may sometimes ring (or reek) with certainty. Take that to mean that, from where I sit it sure does look a certain way. Take what you read here and add it to other perspectives including your own present view of the matter. I’m doing the same, reading, discussing, even arguing, and gradually changing my opinions of what I am seeing.

We may never fully understand what we are seeing but as “rational creatures” we are doomed to forever be trying to interpret the images revolving before us. We cannot NOT do so. But we can do so with the understanding that our view is only one of many views and with that understanding we can have the humility to allow others to hold opposing views while we collectively attempt to arrive at a consensus.