Saturday, May 21, 2005

Circus Lessons

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks of "paradigm shifts" that "move us from one way of seeing the world to another" and that "create powerful change."(30)

As I begin to take the next steps toward You Lord, take me back to the beginning . . .

When did I make the paradigm shift to seek You?
When did I make You my own rather than a second-hand faith passed down from my parents?

I remember; it was when I was standing in Picadilly Circus in London, England.
I went to study theatre, but found You
-far from home, far from my new husband, far from the comfort zone that kept me luke warm.

And I recorded it in a poem . . .

Picadilly Circus in Black and White (July 1999)

Silver-buckled shoes stand
As the sun
While planets of traffic lights
Orbit in a carnival dance.
Precisely pinned hair
And a chic scarf of silk
Complete the illusion,
Shoulder to toe
Fashioned in midnight,
To stand out by blending in.
A man juggles fire
The coins of his life somehow
Weakening the flames.
I tossed that coin.
"I'm hungry. Please help if you can."
reads the sign of the gaunt man
in a black skirt.
His deep countenance draws
Only me.
While closeby
A queen's servant
Flushes a golden handle
Worth the money it would take
To send this man back home,
To warm wheat rolls
And hot tea with cream.
Back to her.
I paid ten pounds to see that handle.
An island drum
Pulls the rhythm of passing feet
To a court yard
To join the statues.
With eyes like glass in a downpour
When the wind blows
On the other side.
They dance like waves
That bend and pull
And depend on one another.
I begin to sway.
Two men across the alley
See through a different glass.
With flyers and a megaphone,
A cross is carried once again.
"Jesus is the answer!"
Far from home,
these words seem new,
I've heard it all before.
and time
and time again.
For the first time, I
Lost in the humidity,
Their cries descend
On another in black.
Her cigarette rides their flyer
For a safe landing on the pavement
Next to some charcoal chewing gum
And a crown of thorns.
The heals of her hands
Push at her cheeks,
As her voice transforms
Into a gluttonous cartoon character.
"Jesus! Jesus!" she mocks.
Fists of laughter
Pound the megaphones with
"Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"
The men stand true
accepting my challenge.
Her chuckles fade
Long enough
To guzzle white whine
As if raising a spear.
She looks so confident
So thin
So beautiful.
the veil is lifted.
My eyelids bow
To my hideous reflection.
And I walk away
To Seek
The bright colors of
My Savior,
My friend,
My Jesus.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what god's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Romans 12:2-3

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