Sitting by Bethesda (John 5)

I know what inauguration month
looks like — me complaining
that when the angel stirs the pool
nobody is there to help me,
(not to speak of whining
that my bus to Washington
was cancelled.)

Really, girl, get a life.
(a looser-than-Peterson translation of
So, do you want to be well?)

One sad night in November,
an angel stirs
and Hillary Clinton says,
“there are more seasons to come.”
Another holy vortex
when Meryl Streep at the microphone
(in a dress I so could wear)
reminds us to remind each other
empathy is
privilege and responsibility.

And in a graciousness
signature to his presidency,
Barack Obama wades in the water,
to tell ordinary people
that change will happen when we
get involved, get engaged and
come together.

I know what inauguration month
looks like – poolside as white person
who, in spite of everything,
still expects angel-entitlement
offers slacker excuses,
and has a preference
for sketching the water-view
to any ice-bucket,

and both to the law-breaking
Jesus suggests.

Carrie Fisher is quoted as saying,
“Take your broken heart, and make it into art,”
which is also a gospel translation —
Stand up,
take your mat and walk.

Quotations referenced:
“So my friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary, let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come.” Hillary Clinton, November 9, 2016 – early morning.

“Change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.” Barack Obama, January 10, 2017

And we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. Meryl Streep January 8, 2017

“As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, (Carrie Fisher) said to me once, ‘Take your broken heart and make it into art’.” Meryl Streep, also January 8, 2017

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9 Responses to Sitting by Bethesda (John 5)

  1. Elsa Marshall says:

    As always Maren, Thank You! You are such a gift to so many of us. Blessings

  2. This is the best ever. The very, very best. Amen, Maren, and more, give us more.

  3. Maren says:

    Ah, my friend, that was the point of last Sunday. Thank you.

  4. “take your broken heart and make it into art” – Yes, and create space and offer encouragement for others to make art of their lives. Thank you Maren.

  5. Nathaniel C. Emens says:

    Hi Maren, Your words resonate, but I am 89 years old and have lived through the Great Depression, WWII We all believed in the great F.D.R. who was elected four times. My time on Earth will be short now. I will be writing letters to Senators in Mass., New Hampshire, and
    Vermont. I have been to the Holy Land in 1994 and 2013 and a supporter of the Palestinian
    Cause. I know a Palestinian, Arab, Christian who may be descended from the Palestinians, I now
    worry about the future of my three daughters. Peace and Justice, Nat Emens

  6. Maren says:

    Your letters will make such a difference especially in a time when so many people just do “clicks” — real letters are read quite carefully. I fear for the Palestinians and hold them as well in my prayers.

  7. so poignant! so powerful! Thank you!

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