Coffee by Unsplash, Pixabay

For the last several months, I have barely been able to get a Focused Moment written in time for the service at West Hill on Sunday. Sometimes, it’s been written late on Friday or early Saturday. But some days, I’ve penned it Sunday morning; once even on my phone on my way to the church (Scott driving!)! Seriously have to get my mojo back here!

This week, though, I triumphed and sent the Focused Moment to annie, our admin person, on Friday with enough time for her to get it printed and ready to hand out. But guess what? On Sunday, I skipped right over it, completely forgoting to read it during the service!

Which may be a good thing. I’d read the lectionary passages for the fourth Sunday of Lent, 2018, as part of my weekly preparation. Each week, I read the passages for the same week of the year in the next year’s lections so that I can create resources in advance for clergy and leaders hoping to include non-theistic elements in their services.  Reading the passages, I decided to focus on the concept of blame, a pretty straightforward Lenten message.

As I did my preparation, though, I realized I had bitten off way more than I could chew in a single Sunday. So I’m extending the “Blame” program over the next week or two, focusing this week solely on the distinction between dispute and conflict. So I can use the blame Focused Moment for next week.

Which means, for the first time E.V.E.R., you’ve got the Focused Moment a week in advance!!

So who is it?
Am I to blame?
Some oversight, neglect, turning away of my head?
Or perhaps the turning away
was of my heart?
Was it some slight I do not remember perpetrating,
its details lost in the long-forgotten debris
of distasteful memory,
sealed far away from daily discourse or rumination?

Is it them?
The expectations and demands laid upon me as a child,
sewn into the garment of “Who I would become”
even as I was first becoming?
Did they slough off their own personal demons,
transferring the weight to my fragile frame,
watching the shadows work their way
into my being,
their strengths,
their weaknesses,
their hungers?

Is it us?
Are we complicit in the weaving of today
as we were yesterday?
Can our hands move away from the shuttles
that will weave all the tomorrows yet to come?
Is there any way to step aside,
refuse to play,
leave our sorrows and, yes, too, our joys
out of what will be
so it might emerge
unencumbered by who we are?
Or are we only and ever inextricably bound
to the blame
tomorrow will lay upon us
never freed from what will be?

6 thoughts on “Blame

  1. Harvey Joyner

    This is an awesome poem that caused me to relate to the Judas story within the passion narrative of
    the Jesus story, of how the blame for Jesus’ death was shifted from the Romans to the Jews. It also reminded me of how we are often complicit with others and others with us in a history that haunts us.

    1. Gretta Vosper Post author

      Thanks so much, Harvey. I think we all have different levels at which the concept of blame washes through us and this time of year in the Christian story is soaked in it. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Barb

    Thanks Gretta, very thought provoking. I am going to use these words for some personal reflection. I am wondering if we are ever freed from the burden of blame. Do we live our lives with integrity, taking responsibility for the things we can do to help to change in our world for the better? Or do we hide behind what is, thinking we can never make a difference, so why bother. I think there comes a point in everyone’s life where we need to take a stand for what is right. We could ask who says what is right? but we know, deep down inside, we know what is right, no matter what we say or what our religious thoughts are, we know what the right thing to do is. The question is, can we or perhaps it should be WILL WE do it.

  3. Doris Hollingsworth

    Blame and shame, interesting that these two words rhyme. It seems to me that these two human conditions are linked in many respects. We can be on the receiving end or the dishing out end. Of the two, I think shame is the more crippling. It burns deep, whereas blame can be justified away by our more rational thinking, rightly or wrongly of course.
    Thank you for sharing your poetry. We hear what’s on your heart and you touch ours. A good Lenten reflection.

  4. northierthanthou

    It’s always nice when life lets you focus for a bit on what you want to make your business. I suspect it’s a bit nicer still when the subject of your focus turns out to be a focus.

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