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Jesus

Jesus pooped.

Jesus pooped and peed. All his life. Every day. He was fully God and fully human, and humans poop.

Muhammad pooped. Moses pooped. Gautama Buddha pooped. Mahavira pooped. Baha’ullah pooped. Guru Nanak pooped.

Augustus Caesar pooped, and that poop wasn’t purple. Queen Victoria pooped. Napoleon pooped. Churchill, Hitler, and Stalin all pooped.

Mao did not poop, or at least not as often as he should have. Mao suffered from chronic constipation. Perhaps this contributed toward certain tendencies of his.

Barack Obama poops. When he was in office, his staff had to carefully allocate segments of his 24-hour workday for him to poop. Even the President of the United States poops.

Jeff Bezos poops. Warren Buffett poops. Mike Bloomberg poops. No amount of money can buy off the need to poop.

Fictional characters rarely poop, relative to real life. The distance between our regular need to poop and pee and their paucity in fiction is telling. We would grow bored with stories if characters really had to poop and pee as repetitiously as we ourselves do. We look to narrative to screen out the need to poop, to offer things besides pooping, so we can pretend people don’t poop.

We all poop, with individual degrees of difficulty. We may end up with colostomy bags, but that’s just pooping in a lateral direction. If we can’t poop, we die. When our bowels call, we must stop and poop. Pooping bring us all to the same level.

Easter is many things.

Easter is the day when the cosmic Christ, a thousand parsecs tall, crushed the serpent of Death beneath his heel and reclaimed all those it had held hostage.

Easter is Pascha, the second Passover, when Jesus led us out of bondage to sin and death and into a new land of life.

Easter is when the Powers that Be, who thought they had stamped out a dangerous radical movement, found it flamed back up beneath their feet.

Easter is when a group of friends, who thought the dearest among them was lost forever, found he had been given back to them.

All of these and many more. The common element is joy. May today be a day of joy for you and may it continue on through the year. Alleluia! He is Risen!

 

 

See our king, he comes! He is king, he is rex and basileus, he is roi, tsar, konig and kaiser, he is sultan and emir, kabaka and negus, he is shah and shahenshah and padishah, he is raja and rajadhiraja and maharaja, he is tenno and taewang and huangdi, he is inca and tlatoani, he is Lord and God of all, from the photon to the galactic superclusters.

See, he comes! Riding on an ass; on a colt, the foal of an ass.

Since you receive light from another source,

Since you rise high in the sky
while many people watch,

Since you receive life again
even though your body dies,

Since you remove the darkness of the world
with your light,

Since you conceal your vast form
in a round white shape,

Since you bear a blemish,

Since those who read stars seek you,

Since you are appropriate for supplicants/night blossoms,

And since the hero of my poem
the Lord born of a virgin
who is conceived through the Holy Spirit
is like you,

Moon in the beautiful sky
you should quickly agree
to play joyously and happily
with the one who is entwined with Tamil poetry,
flowing like a waterfall.

Moon, come to play.

Was reading this afternoon Religions of India in Practice, a chapter about pillaittamil, the Tamil poetic genre of addressing religious figures as playful children, and came upon this, written in the 80s by Tamil Christian poet Arul Chellatturai. It brought tears to my eyes. I found all the pillaittamil beautiful, but this one just pierced me to the heart.

I wish I could have seen this when I was seventeen. It would have been perfect for my spiritual state at that time. But it’s good to have things to discover in middle age, too.

(A explanation of the poem’s imagery can be found here.)

Let me give you an example of Predicate #5.

A few years back, I realized that when I thought of the Buddha, I saw him in my mind’s eye as a person of East Asian descent. And I was confused. Because I knew, and had known since some point in my high school years at least, that Shakyamuni Buddha was of South Asian descent, from the great Gangetic Plain.

But the vast majority of my interactions with the idea of Shakyamuni Buddha had been through a screen of East Asian history. Most of what I knew about Buddhism came through my study of Chinese & Japanese history; most of the images of Buddha I had seen were from Confuciosphere cultures. So, naturally, I thought of Buddha as East Asian.

But he didn’t look like that. He looked like this. I was grateful to have that image of Sinhalese bhiksus. Buddhism having faded from all of South Asia save Sri Lanka, they were the only model I had for a historical Buddha.

I went through a similar process with Jesus. Early on I realized that Our Lord did not look like Hippie Surfer Jesus, but like a Jewish man. I have a mental image of him of which I’m fond, of a young man with ringlet beard and classic Jewfro, laughing.

I was once told (though I never confirmed this) that the Yemeni Jewish community was the oldest and least interbred in the world, so that if you wanted to think about how Jesus truly appeared, you should look to them. Here are pictures of Yemeni Jewish men. Here we have a model for the reality of the Incarnation.