Saturday, April 3, 2010

You're Doing Just Fine: God Said So!

Day 3 of Wordwoman's Springtime Parade of Poetry

This is a great example of a poem that can be interpreted and appreciated on several different levels; I think it would be a terrific discussion starter for a youth group or Sunday School class.

Jesus Told Me I’m Just Fine
Charles Ries

I sat in the rear pew of The Parroquia, the grand church off
San Miguel Allende’s city center called the Jardin. It was early
on Holy Thursday morning and the church was empty except
for the volunteers who were mopping the floor and dusting off
Jesus, who will be carried through the streets later that day on
the backs of twelve believers.
I was there to think, having argued with my brother the night
before over who loved our mother more. This is always a
delicate debate and unwinnable, unless complete and absolute
fidelity is declared to her memory. My love for her is deep,
but not so complete. My brother worries that the memoir I
am writing will not do justice to her memory. I tell him “It’s
a fictionalized memoir. All memoirs live more in the author’s
mind than reality,” but he was very drunk and would not listen.
The youngest is often such a gate-keeper.
So there I sat, eyes closed, listening for some message from
God. I often pray in this way, having a “My Own Personal
Jesus” moment in which the supplicant (that’s me), acts as if He
(God) is listening, pausing to consider my question, and then
stating, loudly and infallibly, (in my mind) the correct answer.
I’m quite certain that many dictators, demigods, and serial killers
have used this same conversational technique with a wide and
surprising host of replies, but I’m a simple man (today) and keep
my questions basic. “How am I doing, Jesus?” I think in my mind.
“Why, you’re doing just fine.” I hear His reply in a lexicon that is
surprisingly like my own (he’s a very personal God).
I leave the church grateful to God for taking time out of His busy
schedule to speak to me, and continue my work of fictionalizing my past.

© by Charles P. Ries
Used with the author’s permission.


Anonymous said...

Reading this poem caused me to stop and think and come up with this:

Not In so Many Words
in response to "Jesus Told Me I'm Just Fine" by Charles P. Ries

Actually, as He, Jesus, came over to sit beside me in the corner of the rear pew,
He snaked one arm behind me and caught my halo, askew in my frizzled,
frazzled hairdo.
Gently, he brushed it off with his sleeve, polished it with a bit of spit,
buffed it to a shine and then and there placed it square, back on my head
and gave me a look I didn't quite meet.

My idle fingers traced his relaxed palm, open, resting on the worn wood.
And with a sigh, I raised my eyes.
Yes, of course, it is You I need.
Doing this Christian thing on my own, well,
you see where that leads— my feet and mind wander.
I feel overwhelmed, afraid of who may think this, say that about "me".
When its You front and center I should reflect, your grace, your love,
your mercy that turns the world, flips it upside down and gives us all
a crowning glory, kicking our heels one day in the courts of heaven
---- Beside You.
c.Darlene Moore Berg

I am enjoying reading the daily selections. Thank you.

Jayne Jaudon Ferrer said...

Love this, Darlene, and it's so true! Inevitably, when my life gets out of kilter and completely overwhelming, I realize it's because I'm trying to "do this Christian thing on my own," as you so aptly put it. I think God must do a lot of sighing and eye-rolling. :-)

Stephanie Burnette said...

This poem made me think of my dad up yonder... I have "conversations" with him that tend to go my way :)