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Reptilian Brain


Stay alert this All Hallow’s Eve
for what lurks in secret places.
Critters and creatures
march in the dark,
coming for their sweets.
But another contemptuous one
lies in wait to warn us of what ifs.

I tell you,
keep watch for the reptilian brain —
This one, dressed as an ancient warrior
armed and ready to fight.
This one, dressed as an Olympic sprinter,
winged shoes on ready to flee.
This one, who lies deep within us,
anticipates its’ parade of dominion.

This, the brain
who hungers for more—
letting lust lure, not sated
by a spreadable feast, but
desires control of the crumbs,
winning the viable way.

Is this the brain the zombies have come for?
The brain that promises to rule the world?

I tell you,
this brain has
no time for surprise,
no ability to laugh,
no way for wonder
no interest in change —
“Keep the status quo,” it rages.

When this brain
rises to take the reigns—
Do not be afraid.

Instead, thank it for
its’ service of survival.
Then, remember!
Remember this
baby born for me,
born for you.
Divine flesh who
came as an infant
helpless, defenseless, needy.
Remember Jesus,
who grew to
raise the weak,
aid the lost,
heal the sick.

And, remember,
you are not made to be a reptile —
but a flesh and bones being
filled with heart and spirit.
When you encounter
another whose reptile
has taken over, do your best
to love on them
until their scales fall away
and their flesh and bones emerge.

We, the vigilant ones,
a healing salve
to 
a cold-blooded world.


On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17 NIV

About a decade ago, when I started to read the Bible for myself, I was amazed by the sinfulness of the people in the Bible. I falsely assumed all the people were “holy” in the Bible. It gave me great relief to see how messy people were. Jacob and his deceit. Joseph and his arrogance. Naomi and her bitterness. David and his adultery. John and James and their climb for status. Paul and his judgment. In these, and many others, I saw myself, my ineptness, my shortcomings. This drew me in to study more of the Bible. I realized if God can use these people, God can use me too. These days, it seems as if culture is always focused on the “perceived” strong and powerful. Yet, over and over in the Bible, God uses the weak, the lowly, the lame to show a different way. God is calling out to us to admit our weakness. When we do, God meets us there with open arms. For this, I am thankful.