28 noviembre 2008

so great a cloud of witnesses...

thought one:

The Almighty receives the worship of martyrs... breathing and otherwise. What on earth am i going to say to Him?!

thought two: on "pacifism"

Christian's obligation to loyalty to God far up and above "fatherland" (patria) or any handkerchief of dirt. i only have 1 life to live and 1 death to die. why for the USA? i admire people of principle, maybe, but my heart feels regret to think of any of my hermanitos spilling their blood for stars and stripes when they could easily be martyrs for a Kingdom which can never be shaken (nor sold out, nor compromised, nor commercialized) if they really wanted to. but Christian martyrs are to die hoping, after living a life of martyrdom. apparently IEDs are more gratifying to the male ego... errr, not "ego," no, not that. "healthy male need for conquest and destruction." (i could almost [sic] that.)

but even as i write, i've got some southern brothers praying they won't shed blood as they try to right some wrongs done to women and unclaimed children. you want violence and satisfaction in executing justice? have i got the supra-state for you...!

thought three:

Faith defined? illustrated? described? with verbs. Definitely linked in Heb. 11, anyhow. What would the writer of that most unsettling and beautiful book say of me, or of thee?

"By faith, she... didn't drink, smoke, or chew, or go out with boys who do."


(this could get depressing.)

but i don't want a depressing faith. (what a contradiction in terms!) i don't want a depressing hall-of-faith entry.

i want a guerrillera hall-of-faith entry.

"By faith, she brought up orphans, communed with prisoners, adopted the abandoned, beat down abuse, outwitted injustice, lifted up the oppressed, set off spiritual explosive devices of love in the midst of the enemy, and blessed God to die as a martyr."

let those who wish to die as martyrs live like them too.

thought three: (this thought and the next from my college days, "like"s mostly excised, some paraphrase, italics replacing capitals, imaginary words intact:)

"Pick up your cross and follow me." [commanded before Christ's crucifixion. no one had ever made the cross "wonderful" before. it was NOT at all positively connotatated, not jewelry, not church decoration, not a symbol of God's unthinkable love. it was not redeemed. it was horror. let us paraphrase, symbolically:]

"Put the noose around your neck. (Make it easy for your executors) and follow Me... [to make good use of it."]

"And he who has not sat down in his electric chair, [strapped himself in, really,] is not worthy of Me."

"He who desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, fill up the syringe and follow Me."

is this not the most super-radical thing you've ever heard? my gosh! that's sendero luminoso-ish. [death cult language!] accepting not just the "possibility" of death, [not even the "probability" of sacrifice,] but accustoming oneself to the inevitable end of your story... [so much is made easy if we would just resign ourselves to death. "a corpse doesn't struggle against sin." (G. Tebbe, who else?)]

if i know how my story will end, do i want to lose my readers with a pansy-ish middle? or worse still, what if i should, by my actions today and tomorrow and the day after, insert a different ending. an empty one. an ending unconnected, unrelated to my Jesus. do i leave Him to carry His death sentence alone? [will i never know Him "in the fellowship of His sufferings, conformed to His death"?] or, as a true comrade, do i join alongside Him in His execution, knowing that they struggle is not in vain, that the glory of the liberation [and of others!] is. worth. it. and how can a reactionary noncombatant cultural-bourgeois even get close to profitable maryrdom? the road there is steep, selective, and needs Christ as guide. He is waiting; the road is clear. Do i follow?


i remember in Hind's Feet on High Places, how i wanted her just to call the Shepherd and not let Him go. but its an allegory. what do I do? i am not a good soldier. i am beyond a neophyte. i can't even pick up my gun. but Christ will walk with me... [He'll] have my back, my front, my soul. You lead; i'll follow. happy.

... Christ is like, "Follow me," and i go sit under a bush and say, "i can't. i don't know what to do." He's waiting at the trail, saying, "Let's go," and i say, "i can't. i don't know how to blaze trails; i'm too stupid." He's standing there saying, "Let's go," and i, sitting down, doing my hair with my helmet totally off, my shield tossed to the side, say, "i can't. i'm such a pathetic follower."

do i not get it?

thought four: militantly

for those on the front lines- the offense- that they would see victory... for my recruited comrades- may they sit [with Your voice uninterrupted,] hearing Your stories and the stories of the heroes, and why it was worth it to count all things loss, pick up the weapons of your own executions, and go launch the offensive that liberates us and costed your lives. may their souls fill with iron, their blood with fire. that we would remember the chains of the enemy. remmeber the stench and filth of the prison camp... remember our former fellow prisoners. remember the slaves that are this moment being worked, tortured, and propelled ever closer to their deaths. that we would not be wandering off to check out the enemy's entertainment system, cinema, or concert halls while our brethren are out getting their bodies bruised and broken so that slaves can sing free.

that we'd be powerful recruiters. the future enlistees!!! [....] God, let them strap on their helmet, pick up their weapons. Let them see your soldiers with faces like flint, in full gear, with battle scars and front-line stories and be absolutely restless to see combat.

give us stories...

let us walk worthy of: 1) our Commander's death; 2) our own.