Monday, July 10, 2006

The Red Mist

Seeing red, a red sea
fogs up the brain
Acting irrationally
Bordering on insane.

The red mist permeates
The facets of the mind
Acting on impulse
Wits left behind.

Shots fired in anger
Impulses expressed
Leaves us walking wounded
Depressed and distressed.

Be angry, but sin not
Thus says the Word
Or pay the price for petulance
The cost remains absurd.

When sun sets on angry
It seethes in the brain
Permeating one’s thinking
A form of mental rain.

While there is righteous anger
It’s seldom the case
This is the motivator
Of acts done in haste.

Anger leads to violence
More often than not
Stealing what righteousness
A fallen person’s got.

Part the red sea in your brain
With the Spirit’s aid
Or leave a trail of victims
From choices you have made.

July 10 2006


kathy howell said...

The last two lines really hit home. “Or leave a trail of victims from choices you have made.” It places the responsibility for a choice on individual. In the “me” oriented American culture, we like it better if the victim is a person we've never seen face to face. It makes it easier to brush off any twinges of responsiblity that my threaten to dimish our sense of self-gratification. Ben reminds me of the truth that there are always victims.

Though Ben’s poem is about anger, I think it can be applied to any of the so called deadly sins, pride, envy, greed, anger, lust, gluttony and sloth. Anytime we indulge in one of these, there is always a loss of whatever “righteousness a fallen person’s got” and somebody is victimized.

Ben Witherington said...

And an amen to that--- glad you are safely home Kathy...


Joshua Brainard said...

"Trail" of victims? More like an interstate highway...

Hey Doc, saw ya last night on the James ossuary flick on HiDef. Nice work, my friend. I still don't get why they called it the first "physical" evidence of Jesus of Nazareth. Was Josephus and Tacitus and the NT not enough? Or did they just mean non-literary evidence? And if so, is that better evidence?

Ben Witherington said...

It is a question of non-literary evidence which can be dodgy, and in any case is not physical in the sense of having actually contacted or been part of some of Jesus' family's life.


Glen Woods said...

I appreciate Kathy's comments on the poem. Over the past years I have been learning that not only do we have individual responsibility, we also have corporate responsibility. That is to say we are individually culpable and responsible for corporate actions, such as the actions of cities, states and nations wherein we are citizens. It inspires me to pray more intelligently, become more involved tangibly and participate fully in the process of community.


Glen Woods

LorieB said...

Great poem. I also agree with Kathy's comments. All sin puts a fog over all common sense, and more importantly, God's voice. Thank you for the reminder.

Everett Gossard said...

Is it merely a coincidence that this poem was posted only a day after Zinedine Zidane's infamous moment of anger that so darkened the World Cup final?

One of my favorite quotes from commentators after the fact -- "Madness can descend in just one second, an aberration from nowhere" (Roger Cohen, International Herald Tribune, 7/9/06).

Cohen's madness is, I believe more of a temporary insanity kind of madness. Anger, on the other hand, is something that everyone must deal with. Some people explode and injure others, while some implode and injure themselves.

If this post is completely off topic and your poem was completely unrelated to Zidane's eruption, my apologies for this nonsensical rant!

Joshua Brainard said...

Mr. Ben. I've been mining your book shelf today. I find your perspective refreshing. Can I sleep in you basement? I can make good french toast? Never hurts to ask...

In your Acts comm. you said "In Luke 24 Luke has telescoped his accounts, so that the impression implicitly given is that all took place in one day." So, would you say that when different gospel writers leave you with a contradictory "impression" that this would not faze first century readers due to the nature of the genre? And they wouldn't dub them "errors"? Do you talk about your idea of inspiration in "The Prob With Ev"? Or somewhere else? I noticed that you don't take offense to the concept of Dan 8-12 having ex eventu prophecy. Honest, but scary for me...

Joshua Brainard said...

Oh, and could you recommend a source on what happened to the Holy Spirit after the first century? The gifts and such? Do you address that in your I Cor or Gal comm? If so, I'm like there, dude!

Ben Witherington said...

In fact I did write this poem after Zidane went insane temporarily--- good eye. As for you Josh, sadly I have no basement, but you are right that I do not think they would have batted an eye about telescoping and foreshortening things in the first century.