**This poem serves as a reflection on my year so far and my hopes for the remainder of it. It is inspired by Manifesto: The Mad Farmer’s Liberation Front (Wendell Berry, 1991). Enjoy!!
Love the difficult process, the slow climb, the hope left within that which is not finished
Want more of everything money can never buy
Want what only grows slowly in time
Be afraid to live in complacency and to stay silent
Then you will have a voice echoing from your soul
Not even your calling will be a mystery anymore
Your mind will be free to move and ready to receive someone else
When society wants you to gentrify something, they will call you
When they want you to die for reputation, they will let you know
So friends everyday do something that won’t fit into the societal structure.
Love the LORD. Love the world.
Struggle for no tangible reward.
Take all that you can spare and risk it for someone in chains
Love someone who does not reciprocate it.
Denounce the certainty of one answer and embrace the ambiguity of many questions
Ask the questions that no one else will ask
Hope to live in a world where everyone is fully embraced with dignity and equity
Raise a glass to all you cannot yet understand
Praise selflessness for whom you have not embraced you have not loved
Invest in God’s kingdom and strive to build bridges
Say that your main foundation is the grace you did not earn
It is the miraculous liberation that you may not see fulfilled
Say that the table is full when your siblings come empty handed
Call that abundance and prophesy such returns
Put your faith in intentional action to piece together a broken world
Listen closely to a neighbor and hear the perseverance of another in the struggle
Expect that things will not go as planned
Love all for love is immeasurable
Be joyful though you have witnessed the brokenness
So that people do not lose their inspiration, please idealists more than cynics
Ask yourself: will this satisfy someone whose struggle to live has been erased by society?
Will this disturb the sleep of those who live solely for personal gain?
Go with justice to the borderlands
Walk with neighbors along the tattered streets
Feel the fullness of life within the resistance
Embrace your sibling and empower each other
As soon as the politicians and the city planners can predict the patterns of your mind, you must choose to break them
Leave them as signs to mark a false trail of the way you did not go
Be like the Phoenix who rises from the ashes stronger than before