What About Me / Us?

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Creative Commons Nelson Mandela For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” by BK is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Jesus began the parable of the Prodigal Son / Waiting Father (Luke 15:11) saying, “A certain man had two sons.”

Amy Jill Levine commenting on the Parable of the Prodigal indicated that when the Jews in Jesus’ audience heard a story about two brothers they would automatically pay attention to the younger brother – Cain & Abel, Jacob & Esau, etc. 

What about me?
  Don’t I count?!”

I have stayed at home
     
faithfully tending
          
the family business.

I watched as my younger sibling
     
demanded…
     
gathered up…
     
left…
     
and returned in shame,
          
only to be greeted like
               
a conquering hero.

“What about me?
  Don’t I count?!”

We older siblings
     feel slighted…
Why all the attention
     
toward the wayward sibling?
     
toward the poor and dispossessed?

How can we hold up our heads?
     o
ur numbers are dwindling…
     
our buildings are suffering delayed maintenance
     
our “mainline” has been sidelined.

There it is!
     the trappings have become a trap…
     
the mission, missing…
     
the chalice, a challenge.

What will it take
     
to renew confidence and hope?
     
to transform faithful belief
          into trust?
     
to set aside over-thinking
          
and address under-doing?
     
to move beyond institutionalism
          
toward community?

 Perhaps…
     building social well-being
          not marvelous buildings
     more reaching
          less preaching
     not just talking the talk
          but walking the walk

Perhaps…
     a focus on justice
          instead of judging
     a concern for wholeness
          instead of holy-ness
     solidarity with the poor
          instead of “poor me!”

Perhaps…
     
a willingness
          
to empty ambition
          
to be what we truly are
          
to heed the insistence
          
to grow into our calling

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