Sunday, March 11, 2012

A painful Saturday night, evangelicals and a funny poem

  1. I reached deep into parenting patience last night and spent about one half of an hour looking at Oliver's Wacky Pack collection. I made comments, tittered over the gross ones and expressed interest in the sheer numbers that he had collected.
  2. I watched Facing the Giants with the boys,  perhaps the lamest movie about high school football ever made. Weirdly, I hate football but am a complete sucker for a football movie (not to mention Friday Night Lights, one of the best tv series ever produced). That this pathetic excuse of a movie was also over-the-top evangelical Christian was salt in the open wound of football. Evidently, Christian filmmakers believe that God is on the side of the football team that prays the hardest and leads their entire sinner high school to revival, and they also write lines for the coach that include various Biblical phrases to pump the kids up (I apologize about the spoiler, but I'm assuming that no one here will waste their time on such pablum unless you want to be a martyr). I amused myself by noting how the opposing team (at the Georgia State championship) was made up of animal-like mostly African Americans dressed all in black while "our" team was entirely white, a veritable army of future Ricks (Santorums and Perrys). The only salvation was that even Oliver at some point looked at me and rolled his eyes. I know I probably sighed a lot and prompted the derision, and lest you think me entirely heretical, I did assure both boys that yes, I thought the movie was really nice, but the acting was terrible. I also threw in the fact that I believed in God but I didn't believe he cared one whit about football. Oh, and the other salvation was that we ate a lot of Girl Scout cookies.

How did you spend your Saturday night?

15 minutes go by....I am reading in bed...and now I've turned the computer back on and am finishing this post.

I opened up my New Yorker to this poem, which demonstrates, if not an act of God, a perfect synchronicity:


The Lord woke me in the middle of the night
and there stood Jesus with a huge tray,
and the tray was heaped with cookies,
and He said, Stephen, have a cookie,

and that's when I knew for sure the Lord 
is the real deal, the Man of all men,
because at that very moment
I was thinking of cookies, Vanilla Wafers

to be exact, and there were two
Vanilla Wafers in among the chocolate
chips and the lemon ices, and one
had a big S on it, and I knew it was for me,

and Jesus took it off the tray and put it
in my mouth, as if He were giving me
communication, or whatever they call it.
Then He said, Have another,

and I tell you I thought a long time before I
refused, because I knew it was a test
to see if I was a Christian, which
means a man like Christ, not a big old hog.

--Stephen Dunn


  1. I read that poem and I LOVED it and almost posted it. I am glad you did.

  2. !! Love the poem.
    Watched Hugo with the husband. We rarely watch movies, me even less so . It was beautiful and all , but terribly boring and slow. You?
    I am just thrilled that I sat outside to have my coffee this morning. Outside! March messes with a head and heart , but oh the hope.

  3. Loved Friday Night Lights (and I don't even like football!) and the poem made me smile :)

  4. What a riot! I am in awe of your parenting patience with cards and crappy movies (especially evangelical ones). Thank goodness you had cookies. And poetry.

  5. first that movie made me wince then that poem made me laugh!

    i am loving friday night lights, btw. these absorbing netflix dramas played on my kindle fire are like curling up with a good book that goes on for a very long time.

  6. I'm wondering if the "Touchdown Jesus" has helped Notre Dame's football team. I'll have to look that up.


  7. I love Stephen Dunn. Thank you for the poem.

  8. Thank you for the telling of your Saturday night and the patience required for all relationships, not just motherhood. I was envious of the poem, wished I had written something so great and so personal though I object to Jesus' choice of cookies. When he appears to me with a tray I hope he brings frosted animal cookies and Mexican wedding cakes. My afternoon was spent at the moving Pina Bausch documentary and arguing with my sweetie afterward about why he can't continue to spend 4 hours in bed every morning reading 2 newspapers cover to cover, while I have things to do. Patience!

  9. ever hear the song, "Drop Kick Me Jesus Over the Goal Posts of Life?"

    Saturday night...hmmmm...NCIS followed by a show on Animal Planet about cute kittens and cats. Then a glass of port to send me off to dreamland...ah...

  10. Excellent timing. My son just requested the frozen Thin Mints. I suggested about 10 other things... ANYTHING but the thin mints. Nope. So I reached deep into that well of parental sacrifice and opened the box. He took 6. What to do with the rest? What to do?

  11. I must admit I collected those damn wacky packs when I was Oliver's age and so I would have had a little nostalgia about them! And I too could not care less fr football, but adores football movies - though I may pass on the One you watched. Have you seen Game Changer on HBO yet? Looking forward to that - maybe tonight.

  12. Can't comment about wacky packs since I never heard of them (it or whatever); dates me, no? I always did believe that god was a "political football" so that makes sense to me.

  13. It is wrong of me (sinful) to think that was a funny poem? Because it was!

    I know nothing of Wacky Packs....

  14. love the poem!! I was laughing... was i supposed to?

    that sounds like a weird movie, and mb worse than my saturday night where my husband went to bed at 5:00 pm bc he had diarrhea the entire night before and was exhausted. so, it was kinda a lame night of watching food network with the girls.

  15. Well, I think I'll skip that movie. Football is painful enough, and the synchronicity of football and organized evangelism would just be too much to take.

    Interesting poem. I was with him right up to that last line. I think he may have fallen over the edge with that "big old hog" bit!

  16. As a Christian I have issues with "Christian films." 9 times out of 10 they make me cringe in embarrassment. Actually I can't think of the 10th that didn't. I've never seen Facing The Giants as I don't get football and I don't like mediocrity in film. With that said I will confess that I love Nacho Libre and Overboard. Go figure.



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