Our Lord’s final stage of suffering began and His social freedom ended with a kiss of betrayal from the lips of one who followed Him for years calling Him “Master.”
Our journey of learning has its bitter moments, none more bitter than the times of subjection to duplicity, hypocrisy and betrayal.
Such a pleasant face!
What a wonderful disposition!
What do you want from me?
Or is it just that you have nothing to lose?
How easy it is to be pleasant
And helpful and polite;
How easy it is to show one self noble
And virtuous, even saintly
When there is something to be gained,
And the one with whom you are friendly has it.
Here, take what it is you are after.
I am so happy to give it to such
A pleasant fellow as you…
As long as you’ll promise me
To keep your end of the bargain.
I expect you’ll be as congenial as you are now,
When once you have what you seek from me.
You tell me you are honest;
You tell me you are reasonable and deserving
And just and upstanding and unselfish.
Fair enough! Here it is!
I could not have given it to a better man.
But sir, what about your promise?
What promise!? A misunderstanding?!
I was mistaken? But you said..!
I’m trying to get blood out of a stone you say?
Unreasonable?! But it’s broken!
You guaranteed it worked!
“As is” you say? “Buyer beware” you say?
Why is your face clouded?
Why are you suddenly so harsh and haughty?
Where are the meekness, the gentleness,
The politeness, the smiles?
Where are the tears and the impassioned pleas?
Why do you stomp where once you stepped softly?
You asked for sympathy and I gave.
You asked for generosity for your sake;
I gave that too.
Now I ask you for the same
And my request falls on a different man!
Are you the one with whom I dealt?
My, how you have changed!
You have what you want!
And I am again without.
So is the lot of the one who trusts in man.
Beware of those who want what you have;
Beware of yourself when you want
What others have!
Lethbridge, Oct. 11, 1984
The Lord is about reconciling, and not utterly destroying the first Adam in us
What torment we put ourselves through because of the value we place on the attitudes and opinions of others toward us. Realizing the effect of that grievous burden, we throw it off and are greatly relieved until a day comes when we find it had somehow grown on our backs once more to torment us, increasingly so. We must make a choice between praise of man and praise of God. How sweet the deliverance from chains that bind A man to many lords, As peace and rest come to his soul Which he has not known before! The disquieted mind beleaguered with questions, Bedraggled with doubt and confusion, Struggles to know the answer at hand Which seems to be but an illusion. How fruitless the concentration on Opinions of other people! How taxing the consternation About all their thoughts and actions! To the extent one values their words And seeks to be praised of men, To this extent are they his lords And idols are they within. Seek not to prove that the wrong are wrong; Seek not to prove you are right, But speak the truth both gently and wisely And leave it without a fight. Fear no man but fear only God, For once all is said and done, To God will we answer And He is the Judge Of all things under the sun. All things that are hidden Will come to the light In due time, whether good or bad, And when His plan is fully complete, Then all will receive praise of God. Dauphin, 1978, 79
I marvel at how worshipers of God so-called can become and are so much more important to themselves than the One they profess to worship. I marvel at how they worship themselves for worshiping God and how they do worship the worshiping itself. I marvel at how they insist and demand of God how that He should be worshiped. In essence, they are demanding that men worship them for their dedication and wisdom in the way they worship God. In essence, they demand of the One they profess to worship that He worship them! I marvel at the reversals of men, their utter contradictions and their blindness to it all. Tell me, all you religious, And answer me if you can, About the One you call your Master, Even the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you follow His example And do as He asks you to do? Or have you taken another way To serve Him as you choose? Did He wear religious garb? Did He call Himself good? Did He wear a gold-plaited electric chair Around His waist or neck, And over His head, a hood? Did He ask others to worship His mother? Did He call Himself “Father” or “Reverend” or “His Holiness” Or any other such thing? Did He ask that they pay His way? Did He ask that they kiss His ring? Did He gather a congregation And form a membership Over which He would hold sway? Did He sit down on a throne And put on a fancy hat? Did He ride a fancy horse, Protected by a sword? Did He baptize babies? Or ask for celibacy? Did He lord it over others with pomp And show and...