Memorial Day

It has been almost a decade since my father died after his helicopter crashed on descent.

I still feel flashes of pain when I am reminded of that pain.

Ordinary haunting is a longterm normal for we who grieve.

The death of one man changes the world.  

Evoking Jesus.

He took every crash, every act of misery and self-destruction.  Drained the cup of history to the dregs of genocide, exploitation, war, famine, epidemic, deadly contagion.

Hell to pay for us. The wrath of holy Love, the grief of God poured out. 

For us.

To atone for the transgressions of a single garden-variety human would be unwatchable, unlivable, unthinkable, unbearable– awful.

The ransom for all our billions is so beyond reckoning, we do not try.

But we should.  

We should at least reckon the cost and the pain, fear, horror and brutality it took to redeem our ordinary wrongs-gluttony, lust, prejudice, and greed.

We should; we shall.  

We will either be defined now by our debt to this Eternal Savior or we will be defined forever by the life we squandered at his great cost.


lately I have begun to speculate

About the geographical location of

Peter in the hours of the crucifixion

Because I am a coward too

I want to say I would be 

At the foot of the cross

But my feeble heart 

Suggests otherwise 

Snacking perhaps

On ancient Aramaic Oreos 

In some forgotten corner of 

The praetorium 

During the inexplicable hours of 


I would slide my helpless hands

Along this cavernous darkness/

The wound in his exposed chest

Grief an animal

Grasping for crumbs

In the dark heart of the world


Isaiah 28:20 (NIV)
The bed is too short to stretch out on, the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.

I maintain
That poetry
Is what prophets write
When ordinary warnings

How you will be
Preach to me
About tomorrow
Whether it will rain
And we will all
Be swept away
By all the things we never said
Before the invention
Of the rain