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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.

Today’s Excerpt:

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]

Today’s Scripture:

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.

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