#ShutTheHellUp... To convey a visceral Gospel, we must sometimes use visceral language.
(This is a week old repost. If you want to stay current visit Medium.com/fuckthisshit to stay caught up with the Advent calendar.)
Perish. Micah 4:9.
Callid’s words in the video above:
Micah. You ask me why I cry out loud.
Why don’t I put on a good face and prop up the crowd?
Why, you say, Can’t you just realize that things are getting better and have a little hope?
Your council is that I remember the glory of Zion and cope,
turning from the sight of now
to the promise of then
God, you say, has not perished and the time will come when
He will certainly deliver us.
But Micah, man, this news does crush,
It pounds and grinds,
And each cycle finds
More weight and burden that presses on us:
The stresses of lust.
The truth of power abused and revealed.
Covers blown once concealed.
Backroom deals and NDAs.
Nuclear weapons and trauma-laced days.
Do I hope beyond hope that someday we’ll see better?
I know I should. Write God some love letter…
But the fact is sometimes I feel like we’re in heaps of ruin out in open country
like stones have been poured down
and our foundations laid bare.
So, Micah… I hear you, I really do…
But right now there’s some stuff we’ve got to see through.
With the walls coming down maybe people will see
the American dream was built for me.
And if you aren’t quite this male or white or well
then this place can be horror, fright, and hell.
Micah, you asked “Is there no king in you?”
And brother, the fact is, the king’s in me through and through.
Too much desire to rule.
Too many kingdoms that need to be put down
given the civil unrest.
Too much power and too much beating my chest.
Yeah, that king is in me.
I’m trapped inside my need for power.
And when I don’t have it I use the King’s name.
Stake the King’s claim.
Play the same game.
Fan the same flame.
And call it destiny manifest.
And so I confess.
So why do I cry aloud?
Because too many voices tell me to just stay proud.
To speak first and listen rarely.
To name it and claim it and stand squarely
in the middle of whatever space I want.
It’s mine if I’m here, and I’m here so I get more.
Whatever, whoever, any open door.
Have pangs seized me like a woman in labour?
No, no they have not.
Those cries yield life through struggle.
These tears are because I know I’ve smuggled
the words of scripture into my own pockets for my own use
like a thief I have taken the power they loose.
So here’s what I can offer, brother…
When that King in me perishes, or has repented
and when my life has turned from all that He represented,
Call on me then to talk of Zion;
of that land of promise and sweet fruit.
It is not until I am empty that hope will root.
And Micah, one thing more….
Many cry because they have been shot down or groped.
Many still remember the trees and their ropes.
Many have called out in the actual pain of birth
their bodies full of power and grace.
time bending to the pace
of life emerging in flesh.
So before you go asking those questions to others
do some work and realize you are not the same as your brothers,
your sisters, and those who labor out beyond our words.•
Micah, some cry because crying is right
given what happened that night.
And because by morning at dawn
the tears must be gone
so that breakfast can be made for hungry mouths and work can get done.
This world is nearly more than many can take.
But lives are at stake,
so they’ll rise and resist
and so I insist
Micah, come at me if you will,
but most others have already had their fill.
•It is important that those striving toward justice on all fronts recognize the need for categories that do not just easily split into simple categories. Yes, brother. And yes, sister. And yes to those whose gender doesn’t sort so neatly. There will always be people growing into who they were meant to be and ways of thinking that outpace the words we currently have. Our task is to learn, un-learn, and re-learn what we need to clear space at the table for any who want it.
About The Author
Callid Keefe-Perry is a minister within the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). He is an organizational consultant, retreat leader, and teacher of discernment deeply influenced by both Quakerism and Ignatian spirituality. He is the author of Way to Water: A Theopoetics Primer, has been a public school teacher, is a performer and coach of improv theatre, and was the co-founder of a community theater in Rochester, NY. He currently serves as the Executive Director of ARC, an organization committed to supporting individuals and organizations whose work is at the intersection of spiritual and artistic practices, especially as they are done for the building up of communities and work towards justice. Callid brings to us a unique, powerful, visual and verbal take on #ShutTheHellUp’s third day.
#ShutTheHellUp is a organized by Tuhine Verma Rasche and Jason Chestnut. They rely on a collective of authors to grapple with messages of the Advent season. Find out more at Medium.com/FuckThisShit