Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

23 May 2010

. . . and a child shall lead them . . . .

Someone sent me this video:

This child is an adult today.

When a child says this,
she is labeled bright, 
and everyone smiles
and sheds a tear
for their own lost innocence.

But at least we listen to her.
I am a grown woman
my feet have passed through many doors
on this planet.
When I spoke like this
to my last boyfriend,
he laughed at me,
as if I was a naieve fool.

Sometimes, in the West,
we also listen to the
wise from the East,
who understand
what we want to hear:

Or we listen to elderly, saintly 
Indian women
who carry the burden of being
thoughtful, caring 
Christian adults
for all of us
(despite the fact that they are rarely
members of any recognized christian assembly).

But (in the popular Western mind, we believe)
they can't really be credible;
after all, this woman
lives in such a backwards, crowded land
and she almost looks like she has no gender.
So we let them live
their lives of sacrifice,
and take comfort from the fact
we mouth agreement with them,
and send them a little money
every now and then.

When an adult man speaks in a manner like this,
he is labeled a fool:

Well, I've watched this world
in the hands of men
who would have us believe
that children,
saintly third-world women,
and vegetarian congressmen
are misdirected.

Throughout the 20th Century,
I was willing to listen
to the war mongers
because I was mad
at myself, and felt that
was the only solution.
But now I can see that
the dream of annihilation
can be all too true,
and it is not
what God intended.

We need to start listening
to the innocent
and the misdirected
before it's too late.

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