Friday, January 29, 2010

Trending up, or moving backward?

I wrote the poem below back in 2002 after being troubled by the increasing reports of sexual abuse of children by clergy. My consolation then was, at least now we are aware of the problem and are calling people to account. In many ways, we are progressing in areas of ethics, enlightenment and compassion.

Recently, the airwaves have been so full of myopic shouting that I am thinking we take one step forward and two steps back. One thing is for sure, decisions made out of fear will not tend to lead us forward.

I am optimistic that our trend will continue to be upward, though we have witnessed some backward steps of late. I present this poem from eight years ago in affirmation of that upward trend.

Slowly God Arises

And slowly God arises
Arising, God turns
Pulling up tent stakes,
Cracking the foundation
And loosening the ties
Of a stagnant civilization.

One turn showed us not to enslave.
Another turn gave honor to women.
Yet another turn showed us
Not to send our children to factories and fields,
forfeiting their lives for illicit capital gain.

Now the turn shows us
To respect our children
And to protect them from harm.

And slowly God arises
Until a new awareness comes;
An awareness that children have been crippled
By the abusive actions of people we trusted.
No longer can we tolerate such abuse.

Slowly God arises.
Arising, God turns;
Cracking the foundation of tradition,
Breaking the bonds that held us.

With each turn
We are astounded.
Why did we not see this before?
How could we have let this happen?
Yet with each turn
We see that we cannot go back.
Astounded by sight
Loosed by light,
We walk at a new level
As slowly God arises
And rising, God turns.

The church did not show us.
Governments never called for justice
Until sight came upon the people
And scattered throughout the land,
"Just as the lightening comes from the east
and flashes into the west..."
But none can stop the rising
And the turning of a new day.

And slowly God arises.
Arising, God turns
Carrying the pain and the hope
Of broken bonds and shattered illusions.
Arising, God turns
To present us with the challenge of a new day,
To walk on a different level.
We are astounded by sight
And loosed by light
As slowly God arises.



  1. Brilliant treatment of a difficult subject.

    Slowly God arises.
    Arising, God turns;
    Cracking the foundation of tradition,
    Breaking the bonds that held us.

    Is so apropos. Thank you for sharing your abundant talent.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Carolyn -- and thank you for perusing my blog site. I hope you continue to find things you like here.

  2. Hi Charles, this is my first time here and I was directed to your blog by Rick Watson about the featuring him on your post. I went back a few post to this one and I'm so glad I did. Your inspiring poem is poignant and full of hope. I so wish more people would read it.

    1. Thanks, Julia! I'm glad you came this way, and I appreciate your comments.


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