Friday, November 25, 2011

Green Bean Casserole...and love

Consistent love
(by R.P.Edwards)

Consistent love
the child's desire
to warm the chill
to cool the fire
to calm the fears
to build the brave
to nurture "free"
to free...the slave
to always know
though distance great
the eyes, though hurt
will never hate
and falls are met
with arms a-wide
and warm embrace
where tears...can hide
then on, restored
and straightened, go
to conquer worlds
to strike the blow!
till death, at last
diverts above
to gaze upon

"You bean casserole?"

"Yeah, that's it."

I have to admit, it was endearing...and a bit disarming.  My O-so-grownup eleven year old, desiring the security of "the same," made sure that that particular menu item was on the Thanksgiving Table.  He wasn't going to eat it, but it had to be there.

And I thought to myself, how important it is for those with young eyes to have a consistent anchor of solace,, to hold onto.  To have an unselfish example of honor, truth, compassion, point them in the direction of the ultimate in all these.


And so, as the lad and his older siblings rush off to find the "Black Friday" bargains--the gadgets and gizmos that make them squeal with zeal...for the moment--I find myself hoping that the one gift they always, always, always can depend a father that loves them...consistently, surely, matter what. Forever.

Green Bean Casserole anyone?


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Then He appeared...

Our Savior, Sure
(by R.P.Edwards)

He looked beyond
The package, poor
The liar, thief, 
The traitor, whore
To see through blood
The child, pure
And went to Calvary
Our Savior

Ok, I'm better now.  Just came from the Granite City Christmas parade and I'm, well, better.  I saw the firetrucks; the marching band; the zooming fez wearers; the Cardinal mascot; the churches, the boy and girl scouts; the office holders; the corvette club; the myriad of candy throwers; Mr and Mrs Clause and, up and down along the joyful route--from the High School to the downtown digs--the moms and dads and bag-holding tots taking it all in and giving it all back...the joy of the coming season; the potential of peace on earth and all.

And so, I'll turn from the heaviness of knowing; from discerning our disease; I'll turn instead to the hope promised by the coming star.  Yes, the human condition is low, loathsome, damnable.  But, someone--a very important someone--the most important someone--thought enough of the universal "us" open his arms, embrace our ugliness, and offer a new, fresh beginning to all who would merely me. And His answer? "Yes...yes, I will. Of course I will."


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Of honor...and ignorance

The Scales
(by R.P.Edwards)

The hero stood
Before the scales
The nation sought
His weight
On one side, "Champion!"
Honor's child
The other?
A traitor's fate
His trophies nudged the needle
A moment, "Champion's" way
But his selfish, shameful, service since
Traitor's pay

"I'm a veteran myself," says I. "But not a real one like you." The older gent (accompanied by his wife) smiled and then drove slowly off the lot.

That was a while back.  Our church wanted to honor veterans, so a "thank you" dinner had been planned for November 11, along with some non-threatening words to go with the grub. Hoping to bolster the numbers I had decided to visit a few of the "halls" to pass out invitations.  The gentleman above had come from the local VFW. My next stop was the Amvets and, after that, the American Legion hall.  And, since a few years ago I had learned the difference between the various veteran hang-outs; that had prompted my self-deprecating comment.  Sure, I was a vet; but I was more of a place-holder; no war, no action; just immature me in my younger (much) days.  Indeed, the greatest battle of my then life was in trying to grow up (still ongoing) and my greatest "victory" was, without question, when I surrendered to Jesus Christ.

Anyway, I've been contemplating the whole "hero" thing. The pedestal thing. The bestowing of honor thing. And, I must conclude, that like many I have a tendency to broad-brush, lump together, view through spectacles of rose.  And, in the broadest sense, I suppose this is benign, acceptable, expected; but for the individual "honorees;" the "I actually know thems"; well, perhaps a higher standard needs to be applied.

You see, whether you're a "hero" because of your self-sacrifice in the military service; or a "notable" because you were or are a wiz at some aspect of sports (think Penn State), what you "are" out of the foxhole, and out of the spotlight, determines if the "honor" should be specifically placed...on you.  

And so, when it comes to, say, an abortionist who also happens to be a member of the VFW, or an army retiree who relishes his open adulterous lifestyle, or an exceptional elevator of points and percentages who moonlights as a molester, do I split my decision; do I offer partial gratitude for a past performance, and play down the current despicable state? Or do I--and I definitely lean this way--say, "Your shameful lack of character nullifies any recognition real heroes are due."

Now, don't get me wrong; I am well aware that "all have sinned" is stamped on our human DNA and, O, thank God for the second and third chances allotted by the Creator to those willing to actually repent; but the issue is heroes, and the honoring of the same.  And, when protesters are more interested in the loss of athletic prowess, or unabashed moral slime-balls receive a thank-you for their veteran status;'s disturbing.

So, as the title infers, perhaps "ignorance" is the salve needed to soothe our hero-hunting eyes.  But, if unrepentant shameful actions come to light, then let "us" at least show some character, and turn our eyes...away.



Friday, November 11, 2011

Because they gave...

Redux: Printed this a year ago (or so).  
Veterans Day
(by R.P.Edwards)

Oh how we love celebrity
The gifted
The degreed
But these have space
To flaunt their face
‘cause others chose…
To bleed

Veterans Day.  Originally Armistice Day, a show of gratitude to those who fought in World War I; now expanded to all vets.

I’ve noticed that this particular holiday doesn’t merit the same recognition as others.  Many institutions stay open and purr along as if it was just another November work day.  Indeed, my son’s university says…“wha?“ and my job wouldn’t think of “Holiday Pay,“ for this remembrance.  And, at first I thought it might be a “peace time” diss from a sometimes fickle public.  Then I thought some might consider it redundant.  After all, we do have Memorial Day.  But today, yes, this very day, I learned the real reason.  You see…it doesn’t fall on a Monday!  Ah…it’s so simple!  For some reason it must always fall on November 11.  Thus…no long weekend.

Mystery solved. 

So, do me a favor, will you?  What say you and I pause a moment from fawning over movie and TV stars; divert our eyes from political celebs; pull ourselves away from the electronic toys that consume our free time; and say a prayer for our service men and women.  And, along with the present, let's offer a bit of thanks for all those who have gone before.  For, without question, those who are so very high--their faces reflecting the sun--these stand upon the backs of the multitude; the many selfless veterans (living and dead) who do, and have done, their job; without fanfare, without applause; and often...without thanks.

And, if you are so inclined (and have the time) here's the video, The Stone...


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Survivor

(by R.P.Edwards)

He who fought
The foe of death
And lives
To face the day
Will scoff at airy arrows sent
By those who buck
And bray 

Said Presidential candidate, Herman Cain, yesterday, at a news conference:  "I chose to address these accusations directly rather than try to do it through a series of continuous statements or spokespeople, because that's the person Herman Cain is; is to take my message directly to the people. With respect to the most recent accusations, I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period!"

It was one of those "I'm tired" in the afternoon reclines and I, with remote in hand, opened the Fox news portal for a peek.  Instead of the normal fare there was an "any minute" anticipation of Mr Cain's addressing another "He did it" accusation that many years ago he said or did something the sexual harassment area.  Well, I was mildly interested so I watched, nodded, rewound, watched, nodded, rewound, and finally recorded the thing.

My take: I like Herman Cain.  He strikes me as honest.  Not perfect. But honest.  And although the "sexual harassment" charge has been levied; and if true it's reprehensible, I am mindful of...his enemies.  Meaning those who are diametrically opposed to his "conservative" views and these, dear reader, in my lengthy observation, often have different views of "life, truth, God, patriotism....honor." And, as such, no tactic is beneath them.

Yes, I know, that's a bit harsh, but I'm pressed for time and, through recent events, some of my sugary coating has been dissolved.  One more thing: the poem above alludes to Mr Cain's life and death struggle against cancer.  He literally stood face to face with eternity and, having survived that monumental contest, these little darts from the dastardly; though deeply wounding to the untested; to he they must be as bubbles blown from child's toy.  Hang tough, Mr Cain.  The "truth" will come out.

One more note: of late I've been in a bit of a funk.  An Ecclesiastical frame of mind (all is vanity.)  However, a gentle note from reader, Jeff, nudged me off my malaise.  Thanks Jeff.