land of rest

Land of Rest is a blog of Peter Jenks. Poems, quotes and photos are by Peter Jenks (unless otherwise noted or I miss noting an older post's photo) and are copyrighted, you are free to use these if you acknowledge their source.

This is also the site where I will be updating and listing the schedule for my radio show, Words of the Morning, which can be heard on WRFR.org on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7 am until 8 am.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

a couple of poems I wrote while away


A rubbish of regrets
     are piled high
                as I look back now
                on being a father
                in the shadow
                   of a Father God,
perfect in love,
exposing what I have missed
in my shot at love
and left a mess around the targets of my desire

A sludge of stress
streatched thinner than a thread
constantly pulling
tight, knotted around
my heart and mind
In the presence of the Divine
who always lets go
exposes the sticky dew of the threads of my web.

A mire of madness
swells beneath my dreams
and sucks my shoes from my feet
as I try to move.
So I stop.
And I see a frog,
hear a duck
and feel the worms
and finally become incarnate
with the mud my Mary
   apart from God now
so that I might know the love of God now.


What has God ordained?

Hoist high the failures
And broadcast my misfortune,
These are the seeds of my legacy
 This is the source of my Nile
        nourishing any semblance of meaning.

Set the course to where I have vowed not to go
and do not look back;
set as a sail  my dirty laundry
For here begins my epic tale,
This is my journey to Ithaca

What has God ordained?
Not my wisdom gilded expertise,
But the caves in my depression,
and the sores that might have healed,
      still oozing with tears of regret;
Here is where the holy hands are extended.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

the privatization of faith

We have abandoned our churches and religious institutions
for an individual experience of faith and belief
one that cannot be told to us, but discovered within us.
In doing such we have privatized our religion,
creating a new industry
where those who can present a new idea, or catch our heart,
can make a good living marketing their modalities.
We do so apart from many others
and like the church creating the idea of sin
so that we can understand redemption,
our new way needs our anxiety
in order to offer an antidote,
though careful not to alleviate the cause
so that cures can be offered again.

Friday, November 7, 2014

election reflection

We just finished the most recent election cycle and it has caused me to reflect upon elections.  What was more interesting to me, though, was our recent diocesan convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine.
At the convention we had several resolutions regarding the injustices inflicted upon the Palestinians by the Israeli government. This came up three years ago and was defeated and returns again.
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship had a good issue and obvious injustices that they wanted to address, but the complete defeat of their resolutions caused me to reflect upon how one gets things done and passed in an institution.
The first observation I had is that it is very important to not connect too deeply or personally with the cause.  When the cause and its success becomes tied to one's own identity, emotions and well being then one defeats one's own cause. This became evident to me when I watched people become more concerned about people's well being and not about the issue.  When the speaker found himself advocating a losing cause he became more adamant and forceful and began to equate a vote for his cause with Jesus and a vote against as a vote against Jesus. I watched around the room and people were immediately shutting down and reacting very negatively with his tactic.
If the process was seen as a long term project, and not simply two attempts at all or nothing, then progress could have been made more effectively.
I found myself reminded that politics on any level is all about compromise and relationship.  The issues follow and one has to be in it for the long haul to make effective change.
In Maine when the gay right to marriage was defeated, those working for its passage went local and spent years building a base, building relationships and working step by step and then when it came back, it passed easily. And the people had all the relationships to build upon for further issues that will come up.
The other thoughts I had was that it is always important to find common ground, no matter how thin and start there. And from there to discover the relationships and to find love for those on all sides, people hear better when they feel that the other person cares for them.  And I am more likely to change myself when I am in a loving environment and not under attack.
Being right does not cause others to change or vote your way, especially if the argument is airtight as it leave no ability for others to breath.
Being open, even to the problems that will ensue; being willing to engage, even if it means taking longer than planned; being willing to adapt and change as the process unfolds, especially when it leads into new territory - this will bring about change and win any election.




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