life in the suture zone...

In the earthquake faults between tectonic plates, the suture zone is the in between place where they meet. I find in that a metaphor for the times in which we live... and invite your conversation in the suture zone.

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Location: Bakersfield, CA, United States

... a struggling, but mostly joyful, apprentice of Jesus.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Has anyone out there been praying for me to learn patience or something?!? Would you please stop!!!

Friday night when I got home I opened an estimate of benefits letter from my health insurance company. They were informing me that, after six months of deliberations in a dark, smoke-filled rooom somewhere in Los Angeles, they've decided to deny the claim for my daughter's surgery last March. Well.... Well....

There's a whole lot I could say, as you can well imagine! But there is probably an equal amount of what I should not say, directly corresponding to what I could say.

Please be patient with my posting. It seems that another major circumstance/distraction has blown up in my face and interrupted my ability to post here. There are letters to write and attorneys to see as I pursue the ERISA appeal process. Oy, vey! (Again, only Yiddish suffices in these moments!)

By the way, rather than adding a comment to those on the last posting, I wanted to say out here in the open that I think Marshall is a marvelous poet! If you haven't read them, you might want to check out the comment sections of the last several posts. He has graciously added the poems there. There are a lot of people struggling with faith on the suture zone of our times. I appreciate his honesty and lack of pretense with the questions -- and the God -- he is struggling with. This is something we very much need, IMO.

Just reading some of the posts on other blogs/forums of people that I know who live in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, I have already seen people trying to make sense of this in relation to their faith in God. Does the struggle reflected in poetry help us? Yes, most definitely. It may not give us the black and white answers that modernists crave, but poems are often more honest about the struggle and lack of resolution of all the tensions. Again, my opinion.

Anyway, the people in those areas are facing a challenge much greater than the one I'm facing. Mine doesn't compare... but it's mine.

Grace and peace (said through gritted teeth in the direction of Los Angeles!),



Blogger Tones said...

Hang in there, Owen.

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Marshall said...

Thank you, Owen, for your kind commentary on my poetry. Thank you, too, Tones, for your "appreciation." I think that's a great word, by the way. I can't "enjoy," for instance, the opening half hour of Saving Private Ryan, but, wow, do I appreciate it.

And, yes, Owen, hang in there. There's a great truth at the end of a Hemingway story: "Life is so..."

As I paste the poem below, I find that it actually pertains to your predicament... Sorry about that. :) It was meant to be just a sort of thank you for your kind words. Ah, well...

May God bless you with a speedy and positive resolution, my friend.



How much of Moses makes its way
into the Law? Jesus says that Moses,
not the Lord, approved divorce.
St. Paul has “no command from the Lord,
but I…” Who is it then who calls
the Galatians fools? Did God declare
the wars then not let David build
for bloody hands?

Or is God the drop
in a raging sea that tips the scales
and sets the sailors free? Intent
on evil? – go. He may deflect
the worst of your blow; the flowers of
the field may know. Atrocities
take place; the doctor sighs and mends.
They say he’s angry; he may be.
I am. Further is hard to see.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Marshall said...

Sorry - ignorance at work: what means "IMO"?

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Marshall said...

Never mind. I got it. :)

10:37 AM  
Blogger Owen B. said...

Sorry about the abbreviations, folks. Just so everyone knows, IMO stands for "in my opinion". You may also see IMHO, which stands for "in my humble opinion". I have hesitated using the latter very often since I am suspect of my humility when I am bold enough to post or comment. I guess it is obviously not humble if I expect everyone to know the abbreviations, eh? Ah, well...


10:45 AM  
Blogger Owen B. said...

By the way, thanks for your encouragement, Tones and Marshall.

On another note, I hope everyone is doing okay with the word verification process used in commenting on this blog. Believe me, it's better than the spam that has been popping up everywhere.

Thanks again,


10:47 AM  
Blogger Malia said...

Insurance bugs me. We have it so we can "afford" medical care but then whenever the insurance company deems it in their best interest, they can take the "coverage" away from us and not pay for something because of some loophole or whatever in the policy. While I don't know what your daughter's surgery was about, I hope you can find resolve with this and peace with the decisions.

9:21 AM  

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