In the time since I wrote my last advent poem, the news has once again erupted in a new skirmish in the culture wars. I keep finding myself sucked into these articles about Phil from Duck Dynasty being homophobic and A&E being intolerant. I tell myself I’m not going to read them but them I do, and I’ve found myself breezing through all of the most obscure blogs hiding in the dusty corners of the internet. I’m a writer, so I know the drill of course. It’s a strategy bloggers use to get more readers, write an article on a subject that stirs everybody up and try to be one of the first to get it out there for people to start sharing on social media. So why am I bringing this up? Because I’m supposed to be writing about love this week. Love, of all things. How do you write a poem about love, honestly? It’s been done. And I feel the same way about all these blog posts. It’s been done. It’s been done it’s been done it’s been done. The posts about LGBT groups being hypocritical because they’re also intolerant have been said. The posts about homosexuals having to live in fear because of a society that doesn’t accept them have been said. They were said last year, over Chick-Fil-A. They were said the year before that, over Oreos. And every year just as the smoke is beginning to clear, we get a few of those blogs or articles that offer a clarion call to everyone involved in the culture wars: Is this really helping anything? Are all of our shares and likes and blog posts changing any hearts? Are our boycotts and snarky internet speech doing anything other than making us more stubborn individuals who are incapable of civil dialogue over a disagreement? Well those blog posts are right. They will be made this year and indeed a few are already making their rounds, and they are a call to love one another. They will probably continue to be said even though they are seldom listened to, because love is patient and kind. But do not make the mistake that love is not passionate enough to die for it’s enemies. So my answer to the culture wars this year, as it should have been all along, is simply the gospel. A story of a Father who was willing to love his kids enough to die for them, despite how much they fought with each other and with Him. What other way is there to really write a poem about love?
If I Was a Father
If I was a father who had many children
then I would send them out into the world.
I’d let them find each other, I would bless them,
I’d give them law but let their hearts unfurl.
But I think it would not be long before
my sons and daughters turn against their kin.
My law, their shield, they’d make into a sword
to slay their brothers, sisters accused of sin.
And I would mourn for though they seem to live
I know what death has wrought in them who fight.
To blame another they could themselves forgive,
so I would take the blame for their own blight.
But I am not a father and this that I write of
is knowing the Father offers his bleeding love.