A poem: The infiltration of empire

Days are ordinary and repetitive
as we live for the prosperity of our nation;
yet a motivator behind all that we do
is selfish gain and fear of coming last.

This is the tension, love and lust: to give to others or ourselves;
to live in fear or in freedom; to live it up or give it all.
With ears to hear, O saints, listen and learn:
the empire of unrighteousness has invaded our lives in full.

We put on our shoes
before we think of our souls:
with the soles of our feet
we flee from all grief.

We do not know how to stop:
it goes against all that we do.
When life leads us to a red octagon,
we slightly slow, then speed off again.

The noises of business and pleasure continue
amidst the daily work of our hands.
We pretend to ignore their mind-numbing sound,
yet when they are silent, we fear and panic.

Our conversations seem sincere
as if we care for our friends,
yet in the back of our minds
we only care for our pocketbooks.

Children expect and wait all day
for their fathers to come home,
while fathers become slaves to work,
or go on the run to escape commitment.

We’re given weekends for family and friends,
and judging by our schedules
our spouses are potential clients
and our marriage is our mistress.

Divorce is second nature and first response
to conflict in covenantal love.
We embrace the anguish and frustration
and divorce our commitment to work through.

How long can we run before our pain catches us,
and binds our hands with the rope of despair?
We wear the masks of “I’m doing fine”
when we have no idea how “fine” feels.

What shall we do, Lord, since we are the ones
who preach a message of sacrifice and love,
Yet only love the all-demanding “I”
while hardly heeding our neighbors and you?

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