Scriptures, Swine, & Shame

John 5: 3-9
Do you want to get well? Goodness asked.
And I did not hear.
I hate my life. I hate my life. I hate my life.
And Truth reminded me – I don’t hate my life –  I hate my current life circumstances.
I have hate for my existence, for that which exists in my life.
I hate the people, places, and things I witness all day, every day.
I hate the hate within me.
And all this is fair because it’s true.
That I actually don’t hate me – I hate the hate upon me.
Then the voice of Goodness reminds me that I have choices.
Choices: like a magic wand I don’t use.
Truth reminds me: you can make different choices.
Your choices. My choices.
Truth is asking me to look at my situation differently.
Asking me to remove the lens of hate and replace it with opportunity.
To ask, What’s the opportunity here?
It reminds me: if you want different experiences, you have to choose differently.
It seems so true and so difficult for my mind to understand.
My mind tells me that it’s too good to be true (so don’t bother).  
And another part of my mind wants to challenge; is it true?
Like a magic wand sitting in the closet; unused, with potential to change my life?
Does choice become a magic elixir? That which no-one is stopping me from drinking.
Is choice everything I have been waiting for? Hoping for? Dreaming of? A magic potion that could change my life?
Can I learn to be a good alchemist and transform this worthlessness into something valuable?
Can I reshape my life with the magic of choice?
Choice. Opportunity. Potential.  Truth reminds me that these three words are agents for change.
Truth is asking me to use those words. To chew them, digest them, embody them; so I can live them. To pick up my magic wand and use it. Practice. Learn their language, and to keep an eye out for the magic.
Truth is asking me to get out of my paralyzed mind and to let seeing be the new believing.
Truth is asking me to pick up my mat and walk.

 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
There is scripture written for it.
That’s some good news.
As I learn to discern, lest I judge.
A challenge to witness.
A change in the game.
My words become pearls.
My eyes gems.
My heart a treasure.
Time is my life.
Lest I cast none of these to swine.
A sort of toxic pain to witness.
I never knew it was an option to devolve.
It calls itself a man. It calls itself a Christian.
Confused it must be.
Or am I?
None of which it has enough qualities and characteristics to call itself so.
Human? Maybe. It has the gift of language.
Swine? It has a lot of pounds. Walks like a pig. Gunts like a pig.
Quacks when questioned – like a duck. Not a duck.
Domesticated Swine.
It has its own pigpen – with a Lazy Boy.
More good news named after it – such a good lazy boy.
Confused I am.
Is this the way of Christ? or of sloth and swine?
The half-human/half-swine stays in the pigpen all day- with random exits to the trough and to urinate.
It sits and sits and sits. Feeds on crackers and screens.
Feeds on a screen that produces news feed – using sticky fingers to scroll more feeds just a few inches from pork belly. Eating in the pen, with trails of crumbs and trash to boot.
It sleeps there. It wakes there and does it again.
This is its nature. This is its existence.
What do you call such a thing? What do you call such an existence?
Human Swine?
The Swiney life of a Christian man?
Confused I am.

Shamed and slaughtered. 
It’s what that religion taught me.
Shame as a control device.
I (child) shamed them via x, and they (adults) shamed me to stop x.
Shame on shame. Shame slaughtering my innocence.
Slaughtering my creativity, my curiosity.
A self-righteous shaming, slaughtering in the name of God.
It’s what that religion taught me.
If I made them uncomfortable. Shame on me.
If I did, spoke, breathed in a way that didn’t suit them. Shame on me.
They damned the goodness of God out of me.
They damned the beauty and the grace.
Kill Joys.
It’s what that religion taught me.
Shame has never left them. And it has residual in me.
Shame comes out of their mouth, “Shame on them. They should be ashamed.” Slaughtering people with words.
Slaughtering neighbors after Sunday church departure.
Shaming each other with scripture.
Shame in the name of God.
“You know the Bible says…”
Scriptural shaming.
An onslaught of damnation.
Damning each other. Damning to their own detriment.
Kill Joys.
Trying to make oneself better than other. Not by beauty nor grace, but by shame.
Shame slingers.
Monkeys slinging poo.
And so I practice; to be better than you – exempt the poo.
To evolve beyond monkey business.
To dissolve my obstinance for goodness and grace.
And because I don’t want to hurt you.
But then again I do. You taught me so well.
I want to shame you.
I want to slaughter you with any shame I can get my hands on.
And I want Jesus by my side as I do it.
I want to smear the Bible in your face.
I want to shove scripture down your throat – until you choke.
Oh yes…I very much want to use your own religion against you.
To serve you back your own blasphemy.
But I am learning to choose differently.
Learning to listen to the part of me that doesn’t want to hurt you- as to not damned myself. To no longer let you turn gifts and blessings against me.
Keep your religion. Keep your beliefs. Keep the establishment of your own righteousness. Ignorant or not, I don’t know – I am not your judge. Take shameful matters up with your own kind.
No more self-righteous shaming onslaughts that kill the Joy my God sent me as a Gift of love, beauty, and grace.
For thus I choose to serve the God of the Apostle Paul.
And may I muster the same words found in Romans chapter 10,
as to not slaughter you with shame but to offer some grace.
May you be saved.
Saved from self-righteous shame slaughtering.