I am contemplating causes.
Those things which clamor for commitment,
Constrain us to sacrifice for their worthiness.
Cancer has drafted the voices of millions.
Nearly everyone has a someone who has tasted of its dregs
And come up, if fortunate enough, forever changed by the bitterness of the disease.
It is broadcast from billboards and bumpers and tattooed on bodies.
It is touted from television and telethons.
It has been walked-for and Made-a-Wish for.
And millions declare this cause their anthem.
Cancer is a cause because it alters all that’s as it should be.
And we hate it for that.
Cancer is not greeting the sunrise with a steady stomach and
Cancer is not combing swishy ponytails,
Not relishing long walks,
Not having a voice or controlling the bladder.
Cancer is not having conviction of tomorrow,
Not nursing a newborn.
Cancer is not caressing the smooth flesh of a lover’s breast.
Cancer is not life as it should be.
Causes are taken up for holiness of all that’s as it should be.
Causes are the human call for restoration of right.
Causes ought to be Christ.
How can I call Christ a cause?
How can He be all that should be, if He isn’t all that is?
How can I take up a cause for the establishment of
something that is not yet,
And how can I be sure that Christ, the consummation of that which is not seen
Is really as it should be?
Christ contains all that we do know as it should be
And scatters it through a kaleidoscope.
He takes all that really is, refracting and reflecting ordinary
Through the lens of Himself and like cancer
Creates what is not.
But unlike cancer, Christ creates
All that is bigger, radiant and full of glory.
In our world, Christ is a cause because
He makes martyrs who do not slay themselves.
He is the Book which has not settled in grooves
On dusty shelves.
After centuries, Jesus is not irrelevant
As is normal for all names attached to dust-men.
His years were pocked with things not as they should be,
Things which are not now –
Blind men seeing, dead men walking, un-hands reaching.
He is things not as are in the confines of human intellect –
Fishermen teaching, murderers weeping then preaching.
He is redwoods from seeds no larger than a cherry,
Wings from a sticky chrysalis.
He is hearts that beat insatiably through decades and disasters.
Where is your voice for the Cause?
Where is your anthem for Christ?
For His cause, His utterly other worldly cause
Unlike all things as they seem – confined by years.
Christian, your Cause consumes all others.
Your Cause constrains you to declare it
Not only on bumpers and billboards, or bodies
Not only on television, telethons
Walks and wishes,
But in action and deed,
In expression and smile.
In small hand and sweaty backs,
In silence and solidarity.
In doing all things unlike as they are,
But all things, as they should be
As the Christ, whose Cause you carry.
(This poem is in no way intended to minimize the valiant efforts of all who have taken up a cure for cancer as their personal cause. It is only meant to draw attention to the fact that as a whole, we make a greater deal about something that steals lives than about the One God who promises eternal life.)