Stephen Bennett

Rookie - 20 Points (June 1949 / Quincy, Massachusetts)

The Problem That Loves You - Poem by Stephen Bennett

The trouble in life that everyone fears,
avoids, puts off, or denies...
that seriously hurts, or angers, or provokes the demand “Why? ”
discourages, defeats or just
threatens our dreams
through obsessions or sufferings we may not even meet,
I have personally, myself, come to believe
is the uncomplicated, fully understandable, totally complete,
pure and direct... one and only specifically communicated message
that we probably will ever get
from our God...
the true beginner of all these things,
which have all come forward, from all
the way back to out here, where we now live and think.

our very mysterious and totally awesome friend,
says nothing
in any personal ear catch-able talk.
So what gives about what He’s given?
What He’s put us into has so much power
over us and over everything else.

We are traffic controllers with unknown instruments
employing procedures untaught... so self-made-up
over so many tasks we can’t do or can’t start...
the management of failures that
no matter what, never seem to break down...
or fall finally completely apart.

Like everyone of you, whatever you dare...
from leaping and shouting pulpit-eers to their
obedient and long suffering faithful listener’s ears
to atheists or witches or the lost who don’t care...
All of us, I think, see the central figure in the story of God
as an occupant set up in an office that’s very far off
Though He’s getting messages in from us, and messages
out to us are sent, He still seems to us so much
to be working always in a wholly different event.

And this particularly problem we have is something
that God must surely know,
and although
it is, without question, totally against us and against He Himself,
we assume, with the whole great volume of happenings
around us... so huge
with His Being so amazingly busy too, the answer we’ll eventually learn
must be part of a nearly endless list... waiting there as long as it must
for its turn.

And we know, or believe we do... any God really there
is not, and can be neither overwhelmed nor through. His higher thoughts
and His higher ways are in full control. It’s from the enemy that
all problems come. It's believed... Tests for us for our soul.
And the real entity of victory is something we receive after
the problem’s end... something we don’t see now...
or can’t... something beautiful, something we hope for, and if
we last long enough, we both maybe think and believe
it has to be Him, our very own God, right there Himself.

When, after our wait, He finally reaches into our pain
and lifts us out,
we’ll then rise ourselves up and stand before all brothers
and sisters to testify of His workings and praise
His name and His love. But if God is God, then listen... think...
if He is... He’s all over us... all of the time...
like for one amazing example... Now.

Right now. There’s something in the something
we can’t face and can’t stand and that we so much wish would stop
that loves you and me. And that’s the whole truth of everything.
There is nothing else.

Everything... Everything... Everything that hurts us,
Everything we hate. Just as
everything we love and everything great
and everything that’s more then we deserve...
or that’s less... every collected and single thing
of every kind we can and do have now
in our life will be gone. Taken back
by Him... Our Friend.
For in the end, He has a card to play
on everyone, anytime He thinks good,
or whenever He wants. So, what does He want then?

There must be an entity of meaning in the way
each chip in front of us gets raked back... in the bad
things that come,
and the good thats held back. With each of us thinking
the game that’s being given us can't end, His taking of this pile
or that... is timed into His joy of creating... His meaning
for everything, for us and for He Himself.

But He’s not like a mischievous child. And we ‘re not like His bugs
in a jar, with our wings being pulled out. Nor is it like, since we’ve
been bad, exchanged dirty needles, He’s now made us sick.
The fact is, if He is what He is and we are truly His, then
no matter how it seems or looks, ultimately,
we can never, in true fact, ever be really hurt.
This being so,
any problem we see, the more it paralyzes our hope
with intimidating powers and with threats that continue to lurk,
when we become wise, we'll see it as really Him in disguise.
Only once we can see this, it probably then will no longer work.

So stop here and think...
What if the entity of His word’s message is not the victory?
What if, in the absolute bottom line fact, it is actually
the very problem itself?

If it were, how could anyone ever explain that to you or to me?
Without victory’s impossibly infinite carrot... completely bought into
and absolutely believed,
how could the problem’s stick have such an effect on us,
and the end where it whips from and the carrot string's hanging down starts,
be so very far out from the living mind and its heart?

Once upon a time, back there somewhere, in Matthew or Mark,
Jesus said to them that if you can’t get this parable,
(of the sower) , what will you ever be able
to get? And He realized that most of what He was saying...
went over everyone’s head.
Where was there any person with ears for Him?
He got His disciples and He got us to talk to instead.

Neither evil nor virtue, nor punishment nor reward,
are truly real.
Aren’t they the liar’s creative shout.
From the first taste of the fruit and our fall, the idea of right
and wrong has fully grown itself all the way out
to become the ground and source behind the man-made
strategies of earthly power. Calling anything against us
wrong, is based on the enemy’s lie. Remember
how our Lord shouted, “Why do you call me good? ”
Remember? A fallen world this is, and what does that mean?
A world with a problem for sure, but I think
the problem is actually what loves us. It must be.

What if our being good has little to do with what God wants? What if
what He wants for us, is to be alive... to just be what He’s made...
all the way... a freedom so free
that anything that catches it, or it catches up to, makes freedom
even more what it is,
and becoming more of itself, makes it more and more
like nothing anywhere else? He asks us to try
to be good only,
only because being good can so defy
the impulse spontaneous, and because trying to be bad
gets in the way of... of... can’t you imagine, if the greatest imagination
there could ever here be... able to make anything... naturally able
to dream far more than this. Can’t you see what you’d be doing?
Can’t you see what I think? Imagine yourself that as this
greatest imagination there is, you tried to imagine something
unquestionably greater than this now greatest thing...
something greater than you. And why not? Would you
not try to imagine it, and if you could do that... then make it
and watch how it works. Couldn’t that be what’s going on?

So what would an enemy to that do? And why?
How can the hold on all that’s around us
seem to be so potentially confining,
so against us and so wrong?

We have only to look at all of what really does hurt...
All the people we need so... All the people we don’t
and that’s where He is... or He’s nowhere at all.
His lips and nose are pressed against the glass of our lives.
Every wrong idea you found came from a right thinking mind.
Every evil behavior was done by someone that’s good.
The love that you find is failure to be by yourself.
The work that you’re doing is failure to stay back in bed.
Look at everything that hurts you... everything that surrounds
your hope and your joy, that comes on you with fear,
pain and dread. It’s Him. He’s right there.
So go ahead. Let your mind smile.
Let it laugh, and let your soul say, instead...
“Hello! ”

All the joy is the target, and we know how hitting it works.
But any true failure of missing
is where the miracle lurks
for only through this
can happen the death and rebirth.

Thus... the problem that brings your deepest hurt
is the real and perhaps almost too true,
as to be an almost painfully uncomplicated message
from a God that in absolute
reality and truth does love you.
So dare after all of this world’s joys,
so the blessing of a fallen world’s failure
and His most mysterious and miraculous cross
and His true kingdom coming through
your free will unshakably standing will
finally and fully come, in all of its glory
out of what in this world will finally be lost.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Poem Edited: Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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