WHAT did you just call me?

Written by J. Ted Voigt : April 25, 2008

yeah it’s a compliment.
to be compared to Gandhi
or John Wesley
or Martin Luther King
(though to some it sounds more
like Guy Fawkes
or Che Guevara
or someone like that)
to me it just means
you’re not ready to sign up
for the standard plan.
the basic introductory package.

I’m trading comfort for awareness
suburbia for community
middle class for creative class
American for Earthian
Evangelical for Christ follower.
Conservative for
Liberal for
Progressive for
fearlessly independent

It’s not about who you read
or where you shop
or what you drive
or even what you believe
it’s about all doing all of those things
and everything
with meaning and passion
and a conscience.

walking when you could drive
not because it saves you money
not because of global warming
not because of traffic
but because you like the flowers
and walking helps you think.

it’s learning from children

it’s peace like a tree
unmovable, growing in all directions

it’s the slow, painful process
of resensitizing.

It’s a strange life
it makes some people cringe
but to whom shall we go?

Author Bio:: Ted is currently working as a Youth Pastor in Kansas City and putting his wife Sarah through Nazarene Theological Seminary. They both like barbecue and Indian food. Ted blogs a lot, and sometimes Sarah doesn’t get his poems.

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Viewing 11 Comments

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    I love how this poem implies that being a subversive is really about being sensitive and seeing the world as-is.
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    Typo - GANDHI
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    crap! thanks... i knew there was an H in there somewhere... there goes my perfect record...
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    Isn't there an h in Voight as well? ...Now we're just messing with you!

    Resensitizing....that is a beautiful concept that I will meditate on.
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    This is it. This is me.

    And I'm still dealing with the after effects of being taught poetry by a passionless, ticked-off teacher in the eighth grade.

    This poem will help to heal the hurts.
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    I'm glad I could help! Yeah my writing of poetry usually involves a conscious effort to ignore everything I learned about poetry (or writing for that matter) in public education. It's worked for me so far... although I'm fairly certain that what I write wouldn't really be considered "poetry" by some... oh well. I actually think "aesthetics" is a pretty good word for it...
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    Back in the day, when I was at college (Oxford), the college JCR (along with most of the other colleges) debated a motion censuring the University Christian Union for refusing to allow its building to be used for a Gay/Lesbian meeting. The politics and wrongness/rightness of this stand notwithstanding, we decided that we needed to reply to the motion. I can't remember if I volunteered or if I was volunteered, but when it came to the JCR meeting (200 students crammed into the bar) I represented the CU, and, I might hope, Jesus.

    I started off by saying that we believed that the motion was an attack on our beliefs. I was not going to defend the *university* CU's position on this, but some people might not know what our beliefs were.

    So for the next ten, fifteen minutes, I preached the gospel. God's love for us in Christ.

    One person tried to interrupt but I didn't yield the floor. At the end one of the more 'progressive' politicos walked past me, mumbling "that wasn't a speech it was a fucking sermon", and from that day on referred to me as "That damned subversive".

    It was a label I cherished.
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    Help me out here, rpg - how is denying access to a group you disapprove of being subversive?
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    'We' - those of us on that night - did not address that issue. Some of us within the college disagreed with the stance of the Uni CU. Some of us agreed whole-heartedly. Some of us thought the issue was irrelevant. We all decided that wasn't the point, and that the people who actually administrated the CU could deal with it.

    We took what was, actually, just one round in an entire barrage of hostility, turned it around and said 'here is Jesus'.
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    I think some use the term "subversive" because it's hip and trendy. Why get wrapped up in labels...just go live it.
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    yeah that's a really good point. I feel like "subversive" as a label is something I would only apply in hindsight, not necessarily like "lets go be subversive." hip and trendy or not, and labels aside, I do feel like it is a natural result of being an earnest follower of Jesus. but you're right, living it comes first. if not then it's a sort of hollow complaining.


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