Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nobody Really Likes A Prophet

This is a guest post from my friend and fellow blogger Esther Emery. This is the first installment of my second Empathy series, with a focus on hearing from other perspectives and imaginations.

Nobody Really Likes A Prophet

I’ve been trying to tell you something. Something important.


But nobody wants to listen to me.

I speak rage, fury, terror.

But no one is frightened.

I am this close to lighting myself on fire in the streets.

But nobody hears.


I am all hearing.

I am all listening.

I listen for my people. And the woods and the hills cry out.

I feel devastated, overcome with grief.

I don’t know why things don't ever get any better.

I don’t know why people refuse to hear the truth.


This is wickedness, if I have ever seen wickedness.

You take advantage of people who come from other lands.

You ignore the cries of the weak.

(You pretend that you didn’t hear.)

You steal something, and say, “This is mine.”

Then you come into the church and say, “Now, we are safe.”


Religious authorities stand at the pulpit and say whatever they want

And the people love it.

They stand up in their pews and applaud.

They say, give us more.


But God says to you,

You are worshipping dead blocks of wood.

You are worshipping your own reflections.

There is a terrible thing happening in the land.

And I am sick with grief for my people.

I put my face down on the dirt and cry.


Do you really think that you are invincible?

Do you think that you are born higher than death?

Your houses and your pretty things will not protect you.

Even the pursuits you have turned to will betray you,

Because you turned to them instead of God.

They will bring you down.


But no one listens.

I am sick with grief for all my listening.

Death is creeping in at the windows.

Death is close, like a close neighbor.

Death will overtake us.

God says, It is not for this that I brought you out of Egypt.

You have lost your way.


But no one hears.

Our houses are filled with things that don’t belong to us,

The people eat delusion and fantasy.

I see a future of houses crumbling into dirt.

I see a future of faces turned dark and streaked with tears.

Vanity turned into humiliation.

I am all seeing.


I don’t know why God puts words in my mouth,

And does not turn the people to listen to me.

I cry out in the streets.

It is not too late!

When you fall, what do you do? You stand up again.

When you get lost, what do you do? You find your way.

This is a choice we make, to cling to these illusions of security.

To cling to our idols, and to these neighboring powers.

Go! Go again, and seek the good way.

Seek humility and justice!


But no one likes me.

Nobody wants to hang out with me.

I am depressing.

I bring everybody down.

My body is weak with all the sadness.

Death and hardship are everywhere.

Grief is hard by on all sides.


I ask, is there no hope?

Is there no medicine for us?

God warns me to prepare for misery and violence.

God says to me, tell them you are crying.


Based Jeremiah 5:26-31, 6:16, 7:4-6, 7:12, 8:21-23, 9:20-21.


Esther Emery used to direct stage plays in Southern California. But that was a long time ago. Now she is pretty much a runaway, living off grid in a yurt and tending to three acres in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. She writes about faith and rebellion and trying to live a totally free life at www.estheremery.com. Also, connect with her on Twitter @EstherEmery.

8 comments:

  1. Very well placed emotion and passion!!!

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    1. I'm glad you think so. Thanks for reading!

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  2. I'm guessing you're playing the role of Jeremiah!

    And I really love this photo of you, Esther - it radiates your pizzazz! :)

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  3. The imagery really brings it home, for me. "I am this close to lighting myself on fire in the streets." Etc. You really captured the passion and anguish of the weeping prophet. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for the opportunity, Jamie. I'm excited for the rest of the series.

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  4. Love this. Jeremiah is my favourite prophet at the moment. I love the anguish here, the sense of frustration. I feel that so often.

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    1. Jeremiah is always my favorite prophet. Utterly. Utterly. Nothing halfway for this guy.

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