The Sermon on the Mount as storytelling, Part 5: From preventing murder to opening one’s hand

“Oblivious,” affluent young couple beside a homeless woman on a bench, Montreal, by Mike Shell (8/8/2013).

From nonviolent resistance and retaining personal agency under duress (Part 4), we move on to consider our own violent impulses and our desire to cling to material comforts.

The fence around murder

In  Matthew 5:21-25 (NIV), Jesus expands upon the Torah’s prohibition against murder.  Levine and Brettler explain:

[This extension of the Torah] begins, “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times…, ‘You shall not murder’” [Matt 5:21]….

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Prodigal son

When Dad died
+++I could
+++let him go
+++because
we had gone to McDonald’s
+++together.
Double cheeseburger,
+++shake, and fries.

Watching him
+++climb on the exercise bike
+++as soon as we
+++got back
+++to the nursing home,
I saw him at peace
+++with

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Pandemic reset

Never mind the endless cycling
of what we call news

ensorcelling tales of political theater,
social distress, and un-
natural disasters

things happening
elsewhere.

We are in the salutary midst
of the fall.

XVI The Tower trump card from the Marseilles deckWhat is close
is real.

Think of children
now

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Gardening

How can a virus travel
+++and not love?

Or are we not now all infected
with shame
+++at our human nakedness?

We don’t want to know our own evil
so profess good, pretending
+++to smile without hurting.

So painful.

The Tiananmen butterfly warns us:
cyclones we’ve stirred with our grasping
+++While the world shudders.

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The Virgin of Hollywood, Florida – February 21, 2007

The Virgin of Hollywood, Florida

This story was originally published on Walhydra’s Porch in February of 2007.  For those readers who don’t know her, Walhydra is my grouchy old crone storytelling persona. When faced with some petty or significant annoyance, Walhydra gives voice to my complaints.

The only rule for these stories is that she has to come to some even-older-but-wiser resolution by the end—either on her own or through the intervention of The Goddess.  For more Walhydra, see here.

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