On Foolishness and Nostalgia, or Chapel in the Czech Republic: A Story and a Poem

I wrote most of this post four years ago and it was first featured on my retired blog Geriatric Jazz but you know #tbt. I’ve edited it only for brevity’s sake, I have left the grammar, syntax, and style of four years ago. Please forgive any style or grammar issues of 22 year old me. Because now I’m wise and smart and 26 1/2 years old.

I’ve also included a poem.

In the Czech Republic at an evening camp meeting, my friend Ken shared a first-person narrative on Jesus Christ. It was strange hearing Ken speak as Christ, I think Ken would agree.

Ken admitted that in the past when he’s shared his faith, the Gospel, the story of Christ, he did it apologetically. I do this, too. Let me be honest for a moment: I’m a bit nervous about who may read this and if they might be uncomfortable, I’m a bit nervous that YOU’RE reading this and if YOU might be uncomfortable. But Ken felt that Jesus would have never been apologetic about Himself and that Christ only presented Himself sincerely. So at this evening session Ken spoke as Christ without apologies. Ken’s presentation was mostly a fist-person retelling of COLOSSIANS 1.15-23:

For God was pleased to have all his fullnessdwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

Colossians 1.19-22

It was incredible how the room reacted. In the room there were a handful of Christians, a handful of Atheists, a handful of Agnostics, a handful of people who were just there. But in the ten minutes that Ken was sharing there wasn’t a still person in the room. Some responded in anger, spoke aloud the folly of what Ken was saying. Some sat on the edge of their seats hanging on Ken’s next words. Some shifted uncomfortably.

There was a buzz about the room.The tension was palpable. The air charged with electricity as people heard about this Jesus.

One person later said of what Ken said, “That was very sharp. Pointed.” It was as if they never had heard the Gospel presented so strongly.

The story of Jesus changed the atmosphere.

As the story of Christ finished the room fell into a tense silence. The kind of silence that happens at a party when somebody has said something they shouldn’t have said.

The gentleman who was running the camp came up, looked over the crowd, and said:

Isn’t he a fool? Isn’t Jesus a fool? Or, he’s not. But you have to make a decision.

I’ve made my decision:


I’m going to let him down every time, and He’ll call me back to himself every time. While I was so far lost in my worst moment, the Innocent One suffered my consequences.

A poem:

Holy Fools

Let us be holy fools;
  partaking in the folly of grace
  given to us by the Great Fool Himself. 

Not counting equality with the Almighty
something to be grasped
   He makes Himself nothing,
   puts on His Sunday best,
   becomes a man.

Hear our ridicule and laughter:
      Crucify Him,
      Crucify Him!
We betray, we deny, we mock Him,
We nail Him to a tree.
   Then hide ourselves away
      in the upper room
   as He lays dead
      in the ground.

But on the appointed day,
   that blessed dawn,
   when the sun paints the sky
   with brush strokes of scarlet,
   clothed in morning radiance
that Great Fool rises.
And He find us in our hiding places,
   the nooks and crannies we burrow in,
   chained to the wall of the cave screaming:
        We are wise
        We are wise
        All there is and ever was
and drags us with His wounded hand
        into the sun.

On Foolishness and Nostalgia, or Chapel in the Czech Republic: A Story and a Poem