Sermon on The Hill

Today, on the darkest of days, December 21st, I had a dream.

It came in that slowed down space

between sleep and wide awake

where seconds seem like minutes and minutes like hours,

maybe that is why I remember it so clearly.


I was standing unnoticed outside of the capital building, mid-day,

in Washington DC, on a grassy area just outside of a black metal fence

protecting the building and its inhabitants,

amdist others entrenched in their individual pursuits.


a security guard mechanically looking this way and that

at nothing in particular, a young mother pushing her sleeping child in a

blue and white covered stroller, a couple of men with grey green veterans hats

pointing this way and that and peering at a trifold laminated map.


and then something welled up from deep inside of me

an awareness that pointed to a previously unrecognized voice

that had been framing the last several months of my first waking breath

with feelings of insecurity, paranoia and unworthiness.


this awareness was previously focused on the political news of the day

and how awful such and who and where and what was

and now it turned its attention to something inside of me,

a being not me, and not other than me,

that could now be heard as though some unseen signal was tuned in

on an FM radio channel in my mind.


the voice first crackled, then with more focused attention, became clear.

it was spouting a manifesto directly aimed at the part of me

that most needs acceptance and nurturance,

statements meant to keep that fragile self cowered in a corner.


suddenly in this generic scene’s silent solitude, the wicked voice erupted through me

and I spoke, voice echoing widely as through a megaphone:


Blessed be those who would rather die than be humiliated

            They shall be universally loved.

Blessed be those who do whatever it takes to be victorious

            Collateral damage will be meaningless to them.

Blessed be those who harvest and consume without ever planting

            Their weighty might shall trickle down to nurture the lowly sowers of seed.

Blessed are those who offer iron fist protection to the insecure

            The cold comfort of their grave will be like a finely leathered living room.

Blessed are those who succeed solely on their own merits

            The commodity of celebrity will promote and protect their brand.

Blessed are those who live in steel certainty

            For they will never be wrong.

Blessed are those who eternally defend, attack and deny,

            They shall escape persecution in their own name’s sake.


and then I fell to the ground and looked around.

everyone had stopped, staring directly at me and all around my knees and legs

there was what appeared to be a broken mirror about the size of my torso

split into tens of pieces, and I reactively began to put them together

like a puzzle with linear spaces in between parts.


an older veteran gave me a piece of cardboard from the side of the road

that looked like the roof of a makeshift shanty,

the young mother offered some glue, and

sliver by shard I arranged the mirror mosaiq

and then hung it from my neck facing outward over my chest

using handcuffs from the security guard


the wicked voice was still present but subdued

and with it there was a humility, like springtime soil, that spoke through me:


Blessed be those who are persecuted,

 for they shall be set free.


and I stood and began walking about the outdoor mall area

as witness for others to see themselves in the broken mirror mosaiq,

and nodding heads and simple acknowledgments revealed that they now knew

it was their own brokenness they were seeing.


a moment later, a flash of light split through my eyes and

I was awake.

a sweet cool comfort gripped me and has not let go

as I see that my view of the wickedness “out there”

has a partner inside of me

and that this is part of the human condition.


and I will not return the violence by trying to make the voice go away

an eye for an eye will only plunge me deeper into the darkness

and only through embracing the whole

will the hours of light ever extend.