Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Profane Poetry

Last week I was invited to poetry night at a local high school by a teen in the community. As a poet, I am always intrigued when I am introduced to someone with the same passion for writing, especially the youth. We arrived early and waited in the hallway until the program began. I fought agitation while we waited because I couldn't help but notice the lack of integrity the school took in cleanliness and visual appeal. Posters hung partially ripped from the wall, the vending machines looked as if they hadn't been clean in months and dust laid so thick along the baseboards it looked like carpet. I asked my husband "How are the students supposed to be motivated to reach for successful living in an environment that says "I don't care."
Shortly after, the program began.

There were 10 poets on the program. The writing teacher introduced each poet and gave a synopsis of each piece they were to recite. My heart sank during the entire program because nearly every poetic topic was about sex, death, embracing the dark side, lesbianism, hate, unanswered prayers and hopelessness. One poet wrote about taking her seat in hell and her 666 way of making money. Another young man used the phrase "open your legs to me" as symbolic means of gaining trust. Another student wrote about expecting to receive love from her parents only after hell freezes over. The use of profanity was upsetting and the sexual references were mind blowing. But nothing disgusted me more than hearing the teacher give the students accolades for their work. He even said that he was proud of some of the students for embracing the mythical and dark side. The principal and school staff applauded the student's work. I'm baffled because these are some of the same school personnel who meet about the high teen pregnancy rate, behavioral problems and education issues our community battles. I can't believe they can't tell that they are actually enabling the problems.

I wanted so badly to jump up and scream, "STOP! STOP! What is wrong with you people? Can't you see that these children are crying out and asking for help? This isn't art! It's pain!!"

I was appalled, angry, concerned and disgusted all at the same time. I began to pray in the spirit and I rebuked every demonic force trying to destroy these children. I was proud of the young person who invited me because his poem was the only one that spoke of hope and trust in God.

You see, I started writing when I was nine years old. My mom encouraged me to always speak life when I wrote. She told me that it was okay to write about my pain but to always include a victorious ending because as children of God we always win. Opening the community center has made me more aware of how things have become progressively worst over the past thirty years.

I've had to ask myself, "Where have we as the church been?"

Children of God, we've got to do better. The fact is people in need won't always come to us. We've got to go out and get them. Satan is holding our community hostage. We must be relentless in our efforts to regain our families. We've let our guard down and in some ways compromised the integrity of God's word. We've stopped evangelism, ended testimony service, quit preaching hell, fire and brimstone sermons. Yes! Prayer is always good but faith without works is dead. Time to get back to some
sho-nuff work We've gotta do better.No negotiations...let's go get them back!!!

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