Jesus on the side of the road

And then there was the time

Jesus walked up to the man

on the corner.

You know the one.

The guy with the cardboard sign

that says

“Homeless. Please help.”

Or “Will work for food.”

And Jesus

(well not really that Jesus,

but a Jesus,

like a Santa Claus,

someone who is said
“yes, I’ll take on that role”

walks right up, not even in a car

like everybody else in a hurry

on their way to their job,

or the Kroger,

or Starbucks

but never here,

always on the move –  

that Jesus walks right up

and sees the man on the corner

 the leper, the blind man, the lost sheep

and looks him in the eyes and says

”Hey. What do you need?”

And he says

money,

 or home,

or a job,

but really he’s saying

Healing.

Freedom.

Grace.

He’s saying he needs to be

released from this prison

without bars

he found himself in,

or maybe locked himself in.

He forgets.

And Jesus reaches out a hand and says

do you believe you can be healed

(do you think there is hope for you

or have you given up already)

and the man hears the music beneath the words,

sees the light peeking out from the clouds

that have rained on his parade

for so long he wonders

why he keeps showing up

and thinks

maybe,

today is the day

that I no longer have to define myself

as homeless,

or chronically ill,

or abused by my parents,

or widowed

but instead

as a precious child

of God

chosen, and  loved, and whole.

And the healing happens,

right there on that corner,

with all those cars rushing by.

And then Jesus disappears,

 this latter-day Jesus,

this vagabond messiah

and the man

is still there,

on the side of the road,

still homeless,

still divorced,

still without a job,

but now he’s awake

 and he thinks

is this what healing looks like?

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My heart is a grey well

My heart is a grey well, a swirling mist, a wind of sighs.

It says to me, finally, in a voice so small, 

A voice I had almost forgotten,

“Ah, finally now, you will listen to me.”

Tears roll from my eyes at this unexpected reunion

Of self and Self, of spirit and Spirit.

This is a second childhood of my heart 

The ground of my life has been broken 

And look, within, a small green shoot of bamboo

Growing towards the light.  

Old ways won’t tend this new life

Old paths will not lead me onward

Now is time to be patient and trust

In the still small voice inside my soul

That says you are safe, you are home.  

We women are not seen (poem)

We women
are not seen
as sovereign
but subject.

We women
are not seen
as full members
of society.

We are seen
as animals
as pets
as property.

While legally
we have the right
to vote
we have very little else.

Our bodies are seen
as things
to be owned
to be used
by others,
but not as our own.

We are seen as playmates
and not people.

It is as if we are members
of some foreign country
exiled from our homeland
surrounded by people
who have not granted us
full citizenship.

In short,
we women
are not seen.

Spiritual but not religious – poem

“Spiritual but not religious”?
So was Jesus.
Jesus didn’t come to create a religion
he came to start a relationship.
Jesus wants you to know
that God loves you personally.
That God isn’t some
amorphous thing in the sky
waiting to catch you screwing up.
God loves you
God made you.
God wants you
to know God personally,
directly,
without an intermediary.

Jesus couldn’t stand
the religious authorities
of the day
and how they made sure
that people
saw them praying,
and saw how big
their prayer shawls were.

Jesus wants people
to show
how big
their hearts are.

Jesus wants us
to be in relationship
with each other
and with God.
He wants us to serve God
not by religious observance
but by taking care
of each other.

Jesus would rather a person
never go to church
than spend all their time
in church
and none of their time
helping people.

With Jesus,
your religious observance
would be in a soup kitchen
or helping people clean up
after a tornado
instead of sitting for an hour
in a building, in “church”.

Jesus came to tell you
that you
are the church,
not the building.
That we collectively
make up living stones.

Jesus didn’t want us
to be anything
other than equal.
We are not supposed
to have
ordained and lay people,
but all the same people.
We’re not supposed
to have
bishops and popes.
The only one
above us
is God.

So “spiritual but not religious”?
So was Jesus.
His teachings are true.

“Images of God” is now available!

My 6th book, “Images of God” is now available on Amazon. It is a collection of inspirational poetry and photographs. I have published it in two versions – black and white (seen above) and color.

Here is a link to the black and white version –

https://www.amazon.com/Images-black-white-Betsy-Nelson/dp/1548191027/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1498665462&sr=8-2&keywords=images+of+God+betsy+nelson

The color version is more expensive due to the publishing process that has to be used.

Here is a link to it –

Invisible war wounds – poem

My Dad had PTSD,
invisible war wounds
from a war
he never left home for
in fact, he had to
leave home
to leave the war.

He was a son of a veteran
who brought the war home
in his pockets,
in his perfectionism,
in his need for things to be
just so
and it never was,
because it never could be.

Gone were the days
of an innocent youth,
it never happened.
He was trained by an incompetent,
unwilling
drill sergeant,
masquerading as Dad.
He was living in an army
he never enlisted for,
was shanghaied
simply by virtue
of being born.