Espiritualidades de resistencia — Guest post from Argentina

Gerardo Oberman shares in Red Crearte a true translation of Hebrews 11

Spiritualities of resistance (from Hebrews 11)

By faith our eyes can see that
which other looks do not cover.

It is faith that moves us to resistance,
it is the spirituality of ancestral mothers
which leads us to seek, in the world of the unjust,
the justice that balances relationships between people.

By faith our dead, though snatched by the empires of hate,
live and speak and teach through their testimony,
of their lives given for noble causes
and for dreams of fuller and more dignified worlds.

We are heirs, together truly heirs
of spiritualities that did not bend
before the powers or the temptations of evil.
We inherit love for the struggles they release,
for the songs that protest cruelty,
for the hugs that unite and encourage and sustain.

By faith we create strong-base communities,
with space for everyone, everyone, everyone,
where each one has a voice, is respected and loved,
and the community is founded on the gospel of full life
and not the fragile preaching of false prosperities.

By faith we embrace sons and daughters
that perverse systems reject and condemn.
We wrap their longings for a life without violence —
warm bed, fresh bread, skies without bombs.
We cradle your searches for land without owners
and without borders imposed by ambition and selfishness
of those who want an exclusive and expulsive social order.

By faith we journey the long paths of liberation,
although the deserts seem eternal,
and they build increasingly high walls.
Even if they want us drowned in the seas,
although we prefer the tranquility in sanctuaries,
even if they force us through the machine of fundamentalisms,
and by their petty spiritualities crucify us.

By faith we endure contempt
and we will have shall receive as our reward
renewal of the energies to continue.

By faith we will meet on the march,
regardless of denominations
that artificially have separated us.
By faith we will join the footsteps,
making every day brighter
of the spirituality of the people who resist
and who stubbornly believe and hope.

Because, certainly, empires will fall
and we will live to see it.

Espiritualidades de resistencia   (Sobre Hebreos 11)

Por fe nuestros ojos pueden ver aquello
que otras miradas no alcanzan a abarcar.

Es la fe la que nos mueve a la resistencia,
es la espiritualidad de las madres ancestrales
la que nos lleva a buscar, en el mundo de lo injusto,
la justicia que equilibra las relaciones entre las personas.

Por fe nuestros muertos arrebatados por los imperios del odio,
viven y hablan y enseñan a través de su testimonio,
de sus vidas entregadas por causas nobles
y por sueños de mundos más plenos y más dignos.

Somos herederos y herederas
de espiritualidades que no se doblegaron
ante los poderes ni ante las tentaciones del mal.
Heredamos el amor por las luchas que liberan,
por las canciones que protestan ante la crueldad,
por los abrazos que unen y animan y sostienen.

Por fe creamos comunidades de bases sólidas,
con espacio para todos, todas, todes,
donde toda persona tiene voz, es respetada y amada,
comunidades fundadas sobre el evangelio de la vida plena
y no sobre las frágiles prédicas de falsas prosperidades.

Por fe abrazamos a los hijos e hijas
que los sistemas perversos rechazan y condenan.
Arropamos sus anhelos de presentes sin violencia,
de cama tibia, de pan fresco, de cielos sin bombas.
Acunamos sus búsquedas de una tierra sin dueños
y sin fronteras impuestas por la ambición y el egoísmo
de quienes desean un oikos exclusivo y expulsivo.

Por fe andamos y andaremos rumbos de liberación,
aunque los desiertos parezcan eternos,
aunque construyan muros cada vez más altos,
aunque nos quieran ahogados en los mares,
aunque nos prefieran calladitos y calladitas en los templos,
aunque nos ametrallen con fundamentalismos,
aunque nos crucifiquen sus espiritualidades mezquinas.

Por fe sobrellevamos los desprecios
y los tendremos por galardones
que renuevan las energías para continuar.

Por fe nos iremos encontrando en la marcha,
sin que importen las denominaciones
que artificialmente nos han separado.
Por fe nos iremos sumando en la huella,
haciendo cada día más luminosa
la espiritualidad del pueblo que resiste
y que porfiadamente cree y espera.

Porque, ciertamente, los imperios caerán
y habremos de verlo.


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Filing my DND

It is so very helpful to families
when a person has a DNR —
do not resuscitate order — making clear
what that person wants
when the circumstances of living
have changed dramatically.

Minimally, it means no CPR,
and, with orders for life sustaining treatment,
also includes guidelines
for ventilator and electric shock,
for hydration, medicines, feeding tubes,

but more than that
it means respecting the value of life
that a particular person has.

Today I am planning ahead,
advance directives, not yet POLST —

but now I am filling out my DND
to make perfectly clear
to all my family and friends —

that I want Do Not Dismiss.

If my eyes dim,
put stickers on the red checkers
and bumps on the board.
Keep playing with me
and don’t cheat to let me win.

If my ears fail,
take me to every gallery opening,
and to an opera with the translation
above the proscenium arch —
I always liked the costumes best.

I am not embarrassed
by a catheter or a stoma bag.
Are you?
And my dance moves with the walker —
they’re rocking it.

Don’t take me off the committee.
Don’t expect me to need a nap,
or worry when I do.
Do not expect me suddenly to watch
soap operas and cooking shows.
Of course, I want my makeup —
some of the Uber drivers are cute.

But most of all — Do not dismiss me
when memory fails.

I am not as good as dead,
I am not lost or someone else.
And — wait for it —
dementia is not contagious.

So, visit me
and we will have more fun
than ever before.

Take me on vacation — I suggest Hawaii,
but also take a vacation from me.

Sing with me — I’m less self-conscious
and I store music
in the other side of my brain.
Walk with me in the woods
or the shore.
Take me to the movies,
and the Alzheimer’s café.
Bring the dog or the nail polish
(yes, purple. yes, my toes.)
an old photo album
or a new cozy mystery.

I may not remember it tomorrow,
but it will change your life.

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My white confession

My white confession

is triggered by being norwegian,
and the truth that the mosque shooter,
looked for inspiration
to the shooters
of Christchurch and El Paso
who were tutored in the school
of white supremacy,
which is, whether I want it or not,
indelibly soaked into my culture,
and alive in me.

God, I am responsible for
the terrorism in
Baerum’s al-Noor Islamic Centre

and, in no particular order,
and surely not including all —

for Charleston and Oak Creek,
Poway and Overland Park,
Quebec City and Finbury Park,
Charlottesville and Pittsburgh,
Utøya island and Oslo,
Yorkshire and Louisville,
Portland and Trollhättan.

All the messaging boards in the world
can be taken down,
but nothing will happen
unless I become a new message.

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Migration — the Butterfly project for children in detention


It is the time of monarchs here
and we pray for the safety
of their long
deeply endangered flight,
pesticide destroyed milkweed,
their only food,
and the possibility of extinction.

For surely this country
is a brutal place for migration
all migration,
fifteen thousand children
in detention centers.

And, oh, we hope to lift
upon even the slightest breeze
these children’s lives
fragile as wings.

(Please consider sharing this project of Bay Area  youth activists making butterflies with young people you know.)

To learn more go here


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Guest Post, Heather Kelly, Aotearoa, New Zealand

Heather Kelly of Invercargill sent me a poem. It is a Pentecost poem and it is set in the winter season in which Pentecost comes in the Southern hemisphere. It called to me today — a day when I saw the first red leaf in my yard in New Hampshire in the Northern Hemisphere in spite the the beauty of summer all around to remind me — Pentecost is not a single day with a birthday cake for the church, everyone wearing read, the passing of the peace in six languages. Pentecost goes on and one, beautifully unfolding, dangerously inciting, and naming hope and justice and salvation.

And it helps me ask myself … am I counting leaves? … am I delighting in sunlight? … am I missing waterfalls? … am I letting Pentecost happen without me?


Horizontal rain driven by westerly gales.
Two leaves cling grimly to my tree,
last evening there were five.

A waterfall has been created from the pool
where the trunk merges into boughs;
seven years and I have never spotted the
waterfall before! Wow.

Looking out into the garden while I listen
to my brief Pentecostal devotional,
I delight in sunlight sparkling like diamonds
on the oak tree,
realising that all the God given words were
contained in that vision.

Truly the Spirit dances in Creation;
in each loving encounter, however fleeting.

Heather Kelly, Invercargill, June 2019

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Prayers of intercession for India and China

Psalm 137 for India

By the waters of Kerala and Karnataka,
of Maharashtra and Gujarat
of Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu,
of Goa and Andhra Pradesh,
we sit down and weep

for those who grieve their dead,
for those in relief camps
and those rescued from flooded trains,
those with submerged homes
for those cut off and without fuel.

Under the giant banyan tree
of western India, we pause
and we pray —
in these days of monsoon flooding
and with those in the south and northeast,
for Nepal, for Rohingya refugees
still trying to restore hope.

And let it be that many of us
living in other places in the world
never be too busy,
singing our own songs,
to pause, to weep and to pray.

A prayer for China (1 Kings 19)

God, you are in the still small voices
of the prayers of the world

never in the typhoon
not Leukima,
nor the eight that have come before,

never in the flooding
the broken barrier
and the landslide that followed,

but in the hands of rescuers
searching for survivors
in the rubble of damaged buildings,
seeking stranded motorists,

preparing for the typhoon’s path
to the north,
then returning to care
for those who mourn
and those who will rebuild.

God, pass by every broken heart
and speak your still small comfort.

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Guest post — Robert Train Adams — music for “School Shopping”

Robert Train Adams has written music for my poem School Shopping. I am deeply grateful. Sheet music and mp3 follow. If you have trouble accessing, contact me at

School Shopping

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