Mark 7:22

adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, haughtiness, folly;

name what you will
make it as disgusting as possible
there is nothing unforgiveable
even before it is evident

repentance can be resisted
held until the twelfth of never
on a theory of righteousness
to save wrong’s embarrassment

foolishness is arrogance
returning envy for insult
greedily loosening deceit
all the while denying betrayal

to any list of evil
there is no last temptation
the shape of privilege
changes faces but not feces

The list of inside issues continues. There is no parsing of this list that doesn’t add to our resistance to acknowledge that there is a whole wilderness within us.

“The devil made me do it” is an all too easy way to stop our journey toward a retreat rest that will clear our eye and allow such as these to rise and leave without grabbing our attention and taking our partnership with creation for granted long enough to let it slip through our fingers and fall to the ground.

A second convenient rationale we come up with has to do with our being bad soil so we might has well let our dogs out to feed where they can. This dishonors a gift of life and love. Our ordinary wilderness gets turned into internalized evil.

What started out as an attempt to speak to purity rituals that keep separations within and between in place and growing, is seduced into an unhelpful listing of wrongs as though violence can only be countered with violence, evil with evil (even trying to claim a lesser evil as a good compared with evil per se moves down the road of hypocrisy).

While there is nothing inherently bad about listing the ways we don’t love ourself or others, they do trigger our fascination with testing boundaries. Whether they push outward from our inside or are beckoned outward from beyond ourself, it is our lack of experience with them that allows them to break forth. There is nothing that is hidden that won’t be revealed and so we need to return to learning and teaching non-attachment that we might simply allow temptations to rise and fall without grabbing our life as their recurring appearance passes by.

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