Fractured Parables — Lenten Post 2

My Lenten devotion this year is to dwell with the parables … thirty-two or forty-six or forty-eight and what about those Thomas parables? Lent with the parables … really not so much fractured like fairy tales, but pushed and pinched and pursued and prayed down that long path where they elude my simple meanings.

Pushing the parables March 11, 2014
Luke 10:33

God, I suspect the traveler wasn’t
the poster child for “Good.”

Marriage in tatters,
prayer-life in shreds,
plans to lighten up on the wine
cheats on taxes, bets on the chariots,
bad temper, covets his neighbor’s … ass,
slacker at work,
not in touch with his parents
nearly often enough.

Shout out for the Samaritan!

Nothing much going for him but one
deep honest —
“Shit, that could be me!”

March 12, 2014
Luke 10:32

God, forgive the Levite –
he was texting,

it was just the one text,
really quick, terribly important.

The rest of the trip he was paying attention.

You forgave the soldiers,
who famously “knew not what they did,”

surely you can forgive us
when we miss it all,
or go through life like an accident
waiting to happen. Amen

March 13, 2014
Matthew 25:1-13

Thank God I was left out!
I know the damning conclusion
Matthew pastes
on Jesus’ cautionary tale,
but I was the lucky one.

My stingy friends?
Oil-rich to party hearty,
but I stood on the dark side of the door
with my empty lamp —
and my beautiful lesson.

Since that night, I’ve been certain
to bring enough time or energy,
hope or sleep or patience —
to be a friend, a wife, a mother,
your waiting child.

I missed the chicken dance –
but it changed everything. Amen.

March 14, 2014
Matthew 13:45-46

God, your kindom is like this –

a family whose infant is dying
decides to give his heart
to a baby boy across the country
who has waited ten months.

The pearl of greatest price
is not the one we buy
with everything,
but the one we give away
when our hearts are breaking.

(with much love for the family who gave Baby Bryson a heart. Bryson, a great nephew of our congregation, waited in the hospital for a heart from his birth till he was ten months old.)

Spanish translation — thanks to Gerardo Oberman

Orando las parabolas
14 de marzo de 2014
Mateo 13:45-46

Dios, tu Reino se parece a esto –

una familia cuyo hijo está muriendo
decide donar su corazón
a un bebé al otro lado del país,
quien lo estuvo esperando por diez meses.

La perla de gran precio
no es aquella que compramos
con todo lo que poseemos,
sino aquella que entregamos
cuando nuestros corazones
se están rompiendo.

March 15, 2014
Matthew 13:31-21

God, there are so many tiny things
we do not want to grow –
a cancer cell, an angry word,
a lonely day, a child shamed,

“one more for the road,”

an extra minute waiting
in a soiled Depend,
one razor cut, one bet,
a small skid,
gluten where there should be none,
a text in haste, a bully post.

God help us choose
mustardseeds —
those tiny things that will grow
into the nest-places of birds,
with option for mountain moving.

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2 Responses to Fractured Parables — Lenten Post 2

  1. rezrevres says:

    Maren, you have a real talent for cutting through the extraneous and superfluous and paring-down to the core, in a manner that enhances the essential message. Lovely as the poetic prose of the Bible can often be, I somehow think that an itinerant preacher from Galilee would likely be a lot more familiar and comfortable with your “Fractured Parables”. Thanks for so generously sharing your talent and time. Matthew.

  2. Maren says:

    Thank you, Matthew, now here is the parable where I can’t get through my own back door because my head has grown so bit. … I am honored.

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