Incongruity – An Open Poem

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 027.jpg

About a week ago, I woke up in the early morning with these (not verbatim) words from verses 19-20 of Matthew filling my head, “Do not store up treasure on earth where moth and rust destroy.” Followed by the question, “Do you believe this?” The poem, “Incongruity,” below, flowed from this early-morning experience.

An “OPEN” Poem

I’m not, as you will soon see, an accomplished poet. So, in the spirit of the Creating Art from Theology small-group study, I thought it might be good to invite collaboration. Therefore, the poem is “open” meaning the poem is open to public revision and additions.

The Structure

Below are the structural elements (I say this in a very loose sense with hopes I’m using the right term) in case you are inclined to contribute.

  • The 1st two lines in each stanza represent principles from Jesus’ teaching mostly found in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:1-7:29.
  • If you only read the 1st two lines in each stanza (omitting the 3rd and 4th lines), the poem has a certain rhythm.
  • The last word on the second line of the 1st & 2nd, 3rd & 4th, and 5th & 6th stanza rhyme.
  • The last two lines in each stanza are discordant both in rhythm and in response to Jesus’ teachings.
  • Two words toward the end of the 4th line in each stanza sort of rhyme.

Underneath the poem is the question I mentioned, “Do you believe this?” The tragic answer is, when my actions are incongruent with Jesus’ teaching, I show that I don’t believe – I shout to the world that Jesus is not worth listening to – his words do not merit my obedience. And so, in my disobedience, in my incongruity, my life does not bring him honor – it does not glorify him as Lord.

Incongruity

Do not hoard and store your treasure
Where moth and rust destroy.
I am meeting an investment banker today
to strategize how I might capitalize.

Do not fret or plan your reply –
What you might say to annoy.
I will avoid all faith-related convictions
so I won’t offend my new-found friend.

Do not fight or oppose the one
Whose slap your cheek receives.
I read an article titled, “How to be Assertive!”

I have been told you should be bold.

Do not let your left hand know
What good your right hand achieves.
I updated my resume to highlight my generosity

though I just spent a few red cents.

Do not dread or fear the ones
Who kill, but can’t crush, the reborn.
I do not want to jeopardize my career so
I will try hard to please and to appease.

Do not flap or brood about
What you will eat, drink, and adorn.
I hear that disaster is near so I researched how
to come out alive and how to survive. ©biblestudygirl 2013

An Invitation

Please use the comment section below to add your own lines or redo mine. I think it will be fun to see how the poem evolves. If anyone participates I will republish the “group poem” later.

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