Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:

I saw the tears of the oppressed—
and they have no comforter;
power was on the side of their oppressors—
and they have no comforter.
And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.
But better than both
is the one who has never been born,
who has not seen the evil
that is done under the sun.

-- Ecclesiastes 4:1-3


Sitting in the church pew, staring up at that cross behind the pulpit. No one is on it. Of course no one is on it, this is one of those nice

friendly protestant churches. No blood or guts here. No graphic passion plays on Easter. No yelling from the pulpit. Nothing too shocking . . .

nothing at all.

The old men collecting the offering, the women in blue dresses, the pastors sitting on the pew against the wall, the young ones listening to

the children's sermon in the front. They seem at home here. They seem to believe they are protected. That Jesus on the cross protects them and

their family. Except the cross is empty. We have an invisible man guarding our children.


The rays of the electric bulbs glance across the empty candlesticks, givng us all the light we need. We wouldn't dare actually rely on candles. Let

the candlestick stand there, empty. We claim one candle can dispel the darkness, but we aren't going to take that risk.

My lips utter the remembered words of the Lord's prayer, prodded more by the collective power of other voices than by any need within me. And yet,

in my heart every statement becomes a question.

Our FATHER? Who art in heaven?
Hallowed be thy name?
Thy kingdom come?
Thy will be done on Earth?
Like it is in heaven?
Give us this day . . . our daily BREAD?
And forgive US? OUR sins? As we forgive those who have sinned against us?
Will you lead us (not into temptation, but deliver us from evil)?
If thine is the glory and the power and the kingdom forever,
What then?

The Zohar, a book not found in this pew, says "When the blessed Holy One remembers his children, who are plunged in suffering among the nations of

the world, He sheds tears into the Great Sea, and His voice resounds from one end of the world to the other." Funny, you think a voice that loud

would make a difference. What good is it to know the Divine is sad for the suffering children, if all He does is stand by and watch? The Bible

itself says they have no comforter.


The Zohar goes on: "Is it needful that these unhappy infants should die, who are without sin and without blame? In this, where is the rightful and

just judgment of the Lord of the world?"


Where indeed. The Zohar's answer is that the cries of the innocent act as intercession for those who need mercy. That God gathers them up onto

himself.


That is beautiful, but here is what it means: such a God will not prevent suffering in this world. Therefore, where do these people get their

protection? At night, they are unwilling to sit in the dark and believe in the sun. Instead, they turn on the light. Even in the glorious sunday

morning, they retreat inside and use electricity instead of the mighty burning orb of creation, Why? Because the sun is harsh and uncaring and

will not bend to the needs of man. So is the promise of God to gather up the suffering. On his timetable, after their death. If He sees them in the

basement, bleeding and raped, no he will not interrupt. He will blame and judge his creation who abuses the innocent, but he will do nothing to stop

it. Because if he wanted to, he could, or else he would not be God.


Edited by Jacob S (04/15/13 10:01 PM)
_________________________
Like a spent gladiator
crawling in the colosseum dust
who can count on his remaining limbs
all the people he can trust.
Like the one who stands behind him
cheering him on
Estatic when he stands defiant,
wild with abandon when he's gone

just stay alive.
do whatever you need to.
you are worth it.