Ohayō gozaimasu, Kakure Kirishitan

Good morning,
Hidden Christian.
Now is not the time to be afraid
for you have been made
in the image of the Christ.

Rise up,
Hanare Kirishitan!
Be not dismayed
though it seems your Faith has been betrayed,
hijacked in some ugly heist.

Come forth,
Mukashi Kirishitan!
Like Lazarus out of your grave,
kamikaze from Elijah’s cave,
rejoin the ancient Zeitgeist.

Reference: ( )

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Ode to M. Alcofribas

Though I am not as wise as Solomon,
when I think of a certain Friar John
whose abbey was made most Gargantuan,
I see a misreading of Immanuel Kant.

A church born from a babe in Bethlehem
is now most like the Abbey of Thélème
for it has cast off its royal diadem
to follow the mantra, “Do What You Want.”

(see this article for more info)

Posted in The Neo-Luddite and Technology

The LORs Prayer

Our Godgle who art online, hollowed be thy name,

Thy thingdom has come, thy will being done on earth as it is in cyberspace.

So weave us this day our daily web,

And forgive us our sims as we forgive those who simulate against us,

And lead us not into discontinuation but deliver us from the believable,

For thine is the programme to devour the story, forever and ever, Amen.


Forgiveness Is An Unending Circle

Most are aware of the tragic shooting of Amish school girls in Lancaster County, PA in October 2006 and perhaps many have heard of the Amish’s gracious response to the tragedy. I found the excerpt below to be well written so I include it here:

In the midst of their grief over this shocking loss, the Amish community didn’t cast blame, they didn’t point fingers, they didn’t hold a press conference with attorneys at their sides. Instead, they reached out with grace and compassion toward the killer’s family.

The afternoon of the shooting an Amish grandfather of one of the girls who was killed expressed forgiveness toward the killer, Charles Roberts. That same day Amish neighbors visited the Roberts family to comfort them in their sorrow and pain.

Later that week the Roberts family was invited to the funeral of one of the Amish girls who had been killed. And Amish mourners outnumbered the non-Amish at Charles Roberts’ funeral.

It’s ironic that the killer was tormented for nine years by the premature death of his young daughter. He never forgave God for her death. Yet, after he cold-bloodily shot 10 innocent Amish school girls, the Amish almost immediately forgave him and showed compassion toward his family.

And forgiveness has a way of coming full circle.

Terri Roberts, the mother of Charles Roberts, has found peace in the midst of her pain at her first-born’s anger at God and the horrible actions her son committed. She spends her days caring for her son’s most injured victim yet alive – an 11 year old girl who is paralyzed. Each week, Terri bathes the girl, brushes her hair, talks to her and sings hymns.

As she says: “As we reach out in ways that bring a touch, we can find great healing.”

Originally posted February 2012

Posted in The Sunday Driver: Life in the Slow Lane

In the Scars of the Tree

In the scars of the tree,
I see beauty.
Why less so in me?
My fingers trace the deformities
that give witness to wood’s history.

Yet in my heart what I think is ugly
is not what the Carpenter sees
for within its wounded tapestry
is the vessel for divinity.


On Thin Ice

Late at night, in the cold of a Dutch winter, an innocent man flees before his pursuer.

If he is caught, he will be put to death for his faith.

Coming to a body of water, he runs across the ice and despite the danger, makes it to the other side.

His pursuer is not so lucky and falls through the ice.

The man, Dirk Willems, hearing the cries of his enemy, returns and saves his life.

The “thief-catcher” wants to free his savior, but the authorities insist he follow the law.

Willems is arrested and burned at the stake, literally giving his life for another, his enemy.

(A note regarding numbers: As he died a long slow death, Willems “was heard to exclaim over seventy times, ‘O my Lord; my God,’ etc.” Strange to find this number in the account of a man who exemplified the Rule of the 490).


February 5, 2012


Midweek Essay – How Do You Catch A Unique Gospel? Thoughts on John

John is distinctive from the other Gospels in multiple ways. The other three gospels are synoptic, meaning they are very similar (as in syn – the same root of synonym). It is clear from reading them that they shared a lot of the same sources.

So what makes John so unique? The author of John is a writer after a wordsmith’s heart; the gospel seems to have been written by someone who loved Jesus and language, and thoroughly enjoyed using words to present the Word.

The part of John that I have always found most striking and was even more astounded by during my reading this week is the way John presents women. They are not simply in the background or second class citizens as would have been the case in the society of that time. They are in your face. Or in Jesus’ face as it were.

They are thoughtful. They ask intelligent questions. They are not afraid of Jesus. They aren’t afraid to be seen with him. They are not intimidated by him. Jesus relates to them as he relates to men.

In fact, sometimes the male disciples come across as kind of slow. Talk about an upside down kingdom! Jesus turns societal norms on their collective heads and leaves the disciples scratching theirs. Go back into the womb? He’s talking with a woman? Living water? What’s that? Duh.

Sadly today there are still significant parts of the church which continue to treat women like second class citizens. How can the Catholic church continue to justify only male clergy? Why is there a decided lack of women leadership in Protestant denominations, including parts of the Mennonite denomination? It is almost as if these areas of the church subscribe to the Greek idea of women having no souls, an idea in definite contradiction to the Jesus of John.

Which makes me start to wonder, was John really a Johonna?

From a post for a seminary class forum discussion

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

The Shunning

My people practiced shunning as much as
they practiced bundling though the barrier
placed between was so much more than a
rolled up hand-made quilt.

When difference was distrusted,
hidden by plain coat and covering,
the voice of dissension was muffled by guilt.

And though the practice fell from grace,
this ghost haunts me like no other.

I shun myself and my beliefs so I and
they are not shunned by another.

(Written: November 23, 2002)

Posted in The Sunday Driver: Life in the Slow Lane

Prayer Is The Connecting Thread In The Tapestry Of Us All

Today I learned as I have in many days past of all the things going on around me and I was sad because I was not a part of them. I have always had such a longing to be a part of everything. Today I realized that I am simply because I am part of the fragile frabric that is all of us living together.

Prayer is the connecting thread. If I learn of something happening that I wish I was a part of and am not, I can pray for the participants and the venture’s success. If I learn of a tragedy I can resist the urge to be angry or divisive and pray, which not only may help those affected but changes me within as well so that I can be a more compassionate, connecting person. In this way I state to the universe that I am a gentle keeper, not a destroyer, of this collective tapestry.

I am outside of events only by my decision not to participate through prayer. May I remember that when I am alone and in prayer I am never really alone.

Journal entry May 30, 2003 with additions