a reading for today
I miss Issues Class! If ever we had things to discuss in Issues Class, it is now. So, so much is going on. Alas, those discussions aren’t happening in person in the same way. However, I still feel a desire to share some new ideas with you. So, today and Wednesday of this week, I’ll be sending you short excerpts to consider. They will be accompanied by a bit of scripture. I invite you to use them in prayer, discussion, or however God leads.
Playing Cards With the Jailer
By, Mitsuye Yamada
A brief metallic sound
the quiet night air
in my ears.
I am playing cards with the jailer
who shifts his ample body in his chair
while I fix my smile on his cards
My eyes unfocused on the floor
behind him where a set of keys spiderlike
begins to creep slowly across the room.
Come on come on your play I say
To distract him I tap the table
With a wide gesture
he picks up the keys
hangs them back on the hook
The inmates will keep trying will keep trying
Their collective minds pull the keys
only halfway across the room each time
The world comes awake in a stupor
My brown calloused hands guard two queens and an ace
My pink polished nails shine in the almost light
I have been playing cards with jailers
For too many years.[i]
Romans 8:22-24 New International Version (NIV)
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?
[i] Mitsuye Yamada. Desert Run: Poems and Stories (Latham, NY: Kitchen Table—Women of Color Press, 1988), 55.