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Thursday

Weep and Roar

Bless those who persecute you. 

Bless and do not curse.


Bless those who 

Chase you down

Alleyways and

Open fire. 


We are martyrs.


We don’t curse.

We take deep breaths. 

And we mourn. 

And we listen. 

And we breathe. 


We are Christ’s thumb

On the bleeding carotid artery

Of this world, and we do not

Curse, we are healers, 

We are lovers, we are 

Different. 


We see faces. 

And we bless. 


We rejoice with those who do rejoice, 

And weep with those who weep.


We don’t cut cords.

We don’t build gated communities. 

We don’t erase faces. 

No matter how ugly the faces.

No matter how distorted with rage

The faces.  

No matter what horrors

Those faces do. 

We do not erase

The image of God

In other people. 


We do not reduce. 

We do not declare Jihad. 


We do not make men

Into animals. Even if

They act like beasts. 


Because we are 

Christians. And Christ

Died to give us faces. 


And we don’t get to make redemption

Off limits to anyone. 


God said let there be

Faces. Love gave us faces. 

And we love the way

We are loved. Which means

We see 

Faces. 


Alton Sterling

And Philando Castile

And George Floyd

Had faces. 


And we mourn for them. 

And we mourn for their families. 

And their communities. 


We do not make them

Statistics, or typewritten text

In the New York times. 


We do not make them

Into what they should

Or should not have done. 

Or where they should

Or should not have been. 


We let their blood

Get on us. And we weep

For them. And for children

Wailing because their

Fathers are gone. 


Because we don’t get the luxury

Of amputation. 


Of removing their faces. 

And their families’ faces

For the sake of not being 

Undone. We do not wear

Bullet proof vests over our hearts

And we do not shove 

Those shaking mourners

Into a soundproof closet in 

Our minds so we can sleep. 


Because our God

Came down. Our God

Came inside our filthy 

Cockroach-ridden hotel rooms. 

Got our dirt on His clothes

And our filth on his face

And our sin on His shoulders. 


He touched our rotting

Limbs, he put his cheek

Against our sickness. 


And we are His witness. 


The Lord Jesus

Crossed out every boundary line. 

Bridged perfection and imperfection

With His body as the connection.

He erased our facelessness.


And told us to call God

Our Father.  Which makes us all

Siblings.


He died for insecure

People-pleasing cowards

Like me. 


He died for 

Gangbangers

And racist cops

And child molesters. 

And pastors kids. 


Try and tell me He didn’t. 

Try and show me 

The line you didn’t cross

To deserve to be saved. 


He died for the person

I couldn’t stand

To be on the same continent with. 


And He died for me. 


And we’re all equally worthy

Of God staying up in heaven

With His back turned

While we ethnic cleanse each other

Off the face of the earth

With our guns and our 

Campaign rhetoric

And our simple instinct

To look away. 


And we’re all equally worthy

Of God reaching down 

And snipping the cord

To our breath as we

All die gasping in unison. 


But instead, God came down. 

He crossed the tracks. 

Crossed the border. 

Crossed the yellow homicide tape. 

Crossed the gender divide. 

Crossed the great wall. 


Like Romeo and Juliet style, 

He loved the one

He was supposed to hate.  


He gifted us with faces.

Healed us and sent us back

To hold the faces of the dying

In our hands, gaze deep, 

Drink deep, and see faces, 

And see faces, and cry, 

I see you, and you have a Father, 

And I see Him in your 

Faces, hiding just outside

The lines, in the place where

Strangers become brothers

And enemies strip off their hatred. 


And one day we will be in heaven

Marveling at who made it.

And weeping with the person

Next to us. Weeping for who

We judged unworthy

Of being noticed

And loved by God. 


Because grace

Is staggering. And it’s 

Too big to swallow. 

And our minds will

Choke on it. Words fail and

Brains fail. The grace

That extends from a 

Holy God to an ugly me 

Is my indisputable proof


That grace is ridiculous.  


So instead of choking, 

Instead of swallowing, 

On this colossal grace, 


We let it out. 

We shout it out.  

Like angel’s trumpets

Breaking concrete. 


We speak

The gospel 

That dwarfs us. 


Like a pinprick

Uttering sky. 



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