By Ernesto Tinajero
Can there be love without passion? It’s an important question for Christians because at the heart of God we say there is love. Love gets a bad rap in our culture for being a hippy dream. The reason is because love tends to be thought of as accepting all desires of others without question. Such a view of love leads to little passion. Love is fierce. Love risks the cross. Love is not embracing all we do, but a deep concern for a fully awake living that includes suffering.
Such a passion, the passion of Christ, is very evidence in our dispassionate Christianity that seems concerned only with our behaving well. Passionate love is missing from the world dominated by the celebrity pastors and Christian speakers who dwell on the individual and on conduct. Joel Osteen will never speak about the suffering of the cross because it does not fit in with his “God wants you to be a happy, successful American” narrative. He also lacks the passionate force that great love demands. Jesus goes to the depths of pain and suffering to suffer in commune with us.
When my son lay in recovery, I understood this deep passionate love of Jesus. Jesus was with me and suffered with me, my son, my wife and everyone else who suffers. Love moves to great heights, and will go to the pain of the cross to be with us. Such love forces us to sing and be moved beyond our small worlds to a great world revealed in love. The biblical writers were move to poetry to express such a deep love. Yet, the contemporary church writes little poetry and less love poems. How do we reignite the passion that makes men write love poems?
Death and Passion… Choose.
Sing, soul, sing of the failure’s of Achilles
who chose the sword over love and died
cursing fate, while his wife and child waited.
He chose the way of the gun, sword and death
dreaming only of his own glory. Bodies bloody
before his weapons produce nothing. Life
Ah, sing of the passion of the Man/God
in Jerusalem suffering from the gashes of love
on his cross. He awakened men’s senses
to love and living. Drink his living waters
of forgiveness and laugh at the weakness
of those heels demanding violence and
lacking a healing for our sickness
unto death. I sing of my wife in our shared
flesh of matrimony, living and becoming
one in two bounded by the Holy Spirit
of Life. We are called to chose. So sing,
soul sing of the truth of passion. Proclaim
it to the fools who think glory comes
at the end of barrel of a gun. Glory of God
remains in the caress of love forged
through shared suffering. Love, awaken
within us revealing the only battle worthy
of moving blood. Pity Achilles and his men
for their loss, for without love we remain
with Greek Heroes as thugs and brutes. Cain’s
stain remains when we fail to sing of love.
So sing, sing, sing of love in the flesh
with us. Sing of Emmanuel as God
Art, says Ernesto Tinajero, comes from the border of what has come before and what is coming next. Tinajero uses his experience studying poetry and theology to write about the intersecting borders of art, poetry and religion.