The Trumpet/Whistle Blower


For the all the Trayvons of the World

A call was raised
Through the channels of alarm
To report suspicion once again
Three rings for security
Preserving
coveted safety
Reporting
Resulting
Surprise to the
Suspected
Unexpected
Confrontation.
A trumpet was blown
A long blast
A warning
Resounding
Shout
Signaling imminent danger
Of a stranger
Unwelcomed
For reasons yet to be justified
Ratified
by experience past
that the enemy
is clothed in…
·      color that can’t be denied
·      gender stamped with crime
·      a hood presumed to hide identity.
Sound of trumpets
Interrupts sleep
Everywhere in the city
thump on the door
and the bathroom floor
blasted fire driven by
a scream silenced in the alley
police alarm
phone rings
buzzed in
the single shot
Chaos in the jungle
and then SILENCE…
Forming unwarranted militia
the hands of hands
Yearning safety in control
With a gun at arms reach…
Impatience fed by cynicism
Underground doubt of a
Worshipped system
Benefit of those
Who believe how it all
OUGHT
To be.
Failing the rest
A high percent
Cost to pay
for candy and a drink
calmly walking home
Under the rain.
If only the one arm
Of justice, right, and privilege
Were a cell phone
A call no matter intention
To signal and alert
Would that have been enough?
To raise the ringer
Would it be enough?
To say
“I wanna know who you are”
Instead of…
“I already know your sorry punk ass”
Would it be enough?
To say
“Why are you under the rain?”
Instead of
“You do not belong here.”
And the answers may have resulted in conversation
Not confrontation
And no gun would have glistened
under the rain and the shimmer of the moon
a bullet wound
A Bullet
would have not crossed
a young heart that ended
in an odd beat so soon?
Warfare
Cold battle of ideologies
Slithering underneath the polite
Smile and small talk
Solves nothing.
Nobody likes the whistle blower
Nobody
Nobody celebrates
The sound of the trumpet that interrupts
The calm no matter how false
No one knows who benefits
From a sour musical note
Disarming and alarming
Distress that moves to action
From the comfort of slumber
What a job!
Sometimes the sound
Bang is enough…
For some
follow up is needed
A harsh blast to end what has not yet begun
others just want to see where it leads
To frighten the enemy away (Judges 7:22)
It is all it takes…?
A detonation up in the air
To cease the fighting (Samuel B 20:22)
A warning
not death penalty
for our final sentence.
Raise the shofar for peace
peace cannot be acquiescent
submissive
permissive
willing to yield to injustice
for sacrifice
of a gift in eternal heaven
tomorrow
but the present
for today
is the day I hurt.
Raise the shofar
and announce
Anew
Benefit of doubt
Good intentionality
To love and be
Community in victory
A victory of humanity
That loves neighbor as self
Self that loves neighbor
Regardless…
I keep the watchman
In close quarters
Aware it serves
At either side of the wall.
The crowd like in Jericho
Outside wanting in,
And the guard calling in
To keep them out.
What if we were to raise the
Shofar to bring the wall down?
Let the melody of verse
A concoction of rhythm and rhyme
Channel for calm
Reverse
The hurt in time
A past of pain passed
regain
Some collective
Conscience
For our own gain

The Trailblazer


TEXT

The trail of peace
Freedom
For the Israelites
Did not start quietly
At the silence of the oppressor
Drowned Egyptian death
At the other side of the Red Sea.
It started there,
Just the desert;
dry plains that will test
Heat and pain
Over faith
Of a God that promised
Milk and honey
But was it all baloney?
Just empty words…?
Peace for the Israelites
Did not start with a plague
A staff or a sword
but a word
a cry out of desperation
for deliverance
about pain
a plea, a prayer
of the forsaken
that was heard. Exodus 3:7-8
The trail for freedom was blazed
Despite Moses bewilderment
Amaze!
Before a bush blazing away
A call to call
A call to tell
Speak and say
“go tell them”
“tell them I said”
“I am said…”
“Tell them?”
“Say what?”
“What do I tell them?”
“Why me?” Exodus 3:11-13
Hesitantly the trail was opened
For slaves to cross
From cage to desert
From desert to war
From war to settling
Among unwelcoming stares
Foreign land to call but never own.
With the words of a prophet
That was told:
“They will listen…
Believe me,
They will listen to you
They will listen to me.” Exodus 3:18
But we all know how the story goes…
Ears that hear,
Always.
Seldom,
Hearts that listen.
Scarce are the feet
So swift
To advance
It takes time
40 years to be precise.
Burdened journey
With baggage of doubt
Questioning slowly
Diminishing faith
Raising mistrust
Raised eyebrow
From the brother, the mother
The sister,
Sinister,
Does not give up at the
Temptation to be calm and kind.
Not to be misunderstood
As docile push over
Who quiets at the face
Of injustice.
Not to be misunderstood,
Because the meek
Still strikes the rock for water,
And the tablets before frustration
And turns the tables of moneychangers.
Peace arrives only after the sand settles in the dessert
Just after the sand storm buries the vulnerable.
The task of the trailblazer
Starts with a word
A call to see the path
Where no other has set foot before.
It is a call for the fool
That dares to care enough to risk ridicule
And being proved wrong
To set trust on a tree on fire
A wooden staff
And a clumsy mouth.

CREDITS: Background Sound Effects of Desert Sounds from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRy58bZNU4Q.

Intro to The Trailblazer, The Trumpet/Whistle Blower, The Prophet and The Voice that Calls in the Wilderness.

As friends and colleagues engaged in conversation, dialogue and at times debate on social media over the Zimmerman trial it was obvious perspectives were diverse.  While racially speaking some people are of my same opinion that the Trayvon Martin crime is a black and white issue; the complexities of the investigation, trial, outcome, and responses can never be black or white, shades of gray and every color in between prevail. 

As a person who was naturally inclined to black/ white, either/or notions, I have been forced to grown accustomed and even find joy in living in the liminal space, exploring the spaces in between and find truth in them.  Most importantly because it is only in those middle spaces where we give power to the voices of others and we are able to listen and learn from them.  That has been invaluable for my growth.  Some people might be tempted to classify this approach as ambivalence or relativity.  I hope you can see beyond that judgment.  Do not get me wrong, there are certain things I know to be absolute truths, like the fact that God is and loves us.  However, I cannot bring myself to claim I know or have the absolute truth about all there is out there to know about the world.

This four-part piece is specifically a reflection on how I witnessed clergy, laity, leaders in the Christian church respond to each other while engaging in the events of the Zimmerman trial.  The reason I felt compelled to reflect on it is because this has not been an isolated dynamic.  On the contrary, I have seen this particular synergy take place in other social media interactions, church meetings, and ministry settings in general, like the local church.

What are you talking about, Teresita?!

I found it particularly interesting and at times disturbing that as ministers and makers of the kingdom I succumb to the temptation to judge other’s ministries, calls, and approaches to ministry because they do not match what I feel called to do.  In other words, I saw far too many colleagues calling others to shut their voices in the name of keeping the peace, our ultimate calling. 

However, peace has never been achieved without a voice.  Peace has never been achieved without someone blazing a trail: a trail of thought, a trail of conversation, a new way to see and achieve new things.

Peace has never been achieved, without the call of the trumpet/whistle blower that warns the people to prepare at the threat of war or attack.

Peace has never been achieved without the harsh words of the prophet.

Peace needed the voice of John the Baptist calling in the desert to prepare His way.

These pieces are my attempt to bridge peace among all of us working for the kingdom in different ways so that while we may not all agree on perspectives and approaches, we can at least support and respect each other in this peace-making enterprise called the Kin-dom of God.