Reborn as a court reporter
Inside a waking dream
Trapped between misspelling Subpoena and shouting guilty over and over
In a feudal land someone personified Justice as a woman, as a joke.
Oh the bliss that reason brings
Cold, calculated, harmony of all things
Where we agree, to agree, to disagree
That we can all agree on something.
“If only I got what I deserved”
Said no man ever.
The wrongs of another cannot be punished too harshly
Until you turn the eye inward,
To the mote and see yourself,
Find mercy for yourself if you can.
Such a futile exercise for man
When you are done with yourself,
Ask if you can ever withhold forgiveness again?
Finding Mercy by Charles Cooper
We are all of us judged every day. We are judged by the face that looks back at us from the bathroom mirror. We are judged by the faces of the people we love and by the faces and lives of our children and by our dreams. We are judged by the faces of the people we do not love. Each day finds us at the junction of many roads, and we are judged as much by the roads we have not taken as by the roads we have.
The New Testament proclaims that at some unforeseeable time in the future, God will ring down the final curtain on history, and there will come a Day on which all our days and all the judgments upon us and all our judgments upon each other will themselves be judged. The judge will be Christ. In other words, the one who judges us most finally will be the one who loves us most fully.
Romantic love is blind to everything except what is lovable and lovely, but Christ’s love sees us with terrible clarity and sees us whole. Christ’s love so wishes our joy that it is ruthless against everything in us that diminishes our joy. The worst sentence Love can pass is that we behold the suffering that Love has endured for our sake, and that is also our acquittal. The justice and mercy of the judge are ultimately one.
~Frederick Buechner originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words
Somewhere between what it feels like, to be at
one with the sea, and to understand the sea as
mere context for the boat whose engine refuses
finally to turn over: yeah, I know the place—
stumbled into it myself, once; twice, almost. All
around and in between the two trees that
grow there, tree of compassion and—
much taller— tree of pity, its bark
more bronze, the snow settled as if an openness of any kind meant, as well,
a woundedness that, by filling it, the snow
might heal…You know what I think? I think if we’re
lost, you should know exactly where, by now; I’ve
watched you stare long and hard enough at the map
already…I’m beginning to think I may never
not be undecided, about all sorts of things: whether
snow really does resemble the broken laughter
of the long-abandoned when what left comes back
big-time; whether gratitude’s just a haunted
space like any other. This place sounds daily
more like a theater of war, each time I listen to it—
loss, surprise, victory, being only three of the countless
fates, if you want to call them that, that we don’t
so much live with, it seems, as live for now among. If as
close as we’re ever likely to get, you and I, is this—this close—
Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 19, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets
I am for you, not against.
I am not like your anger,
I am not your fear.
I am your joy, your peace.
I am your breathing, your heartbeat,
your blood, your Being.
I am the fullness of you,
unfolding as you let me.
I have only blessing for you,
like a mother for her newborn.
I am your perfection, longing for you.
My judgment is not harsh, but pure mercy,
my seeing your brilliance folded in the bud,
my knowledge of your beauty waiting in you.
I do not judge your doubts
but give you strength to tear them open
and find in them the mirror of your grace.
I know your childish fears,
your helpless lashing out,
I have seen the rage seeping into you.
My wrath burns not against you but that lie.
I will hold you until you quiet in my arms.
You are angry because you are afraid
that I am not here for you
but I am here
Be still, and let me hold you.