Invited (or, Ode for Diogenes)
I wake up in the morning
And put on my cynical shirt
Button my cynical buttons
Straighten my cynical tie
And march out with my lantern1 to the
I sit in my cynical box,2 and wait
A woman approaches me
A glass in her hand
Half-full or empty, she asks?
I shrug, who cares? then laugh as a dog
knocks it from her grasp.
A man walks up, smiling
He has something in his bag to show me
A pair of glasses, rose-tinted,
He offers them to me.
No thanks, I say, I see better
The man and woman leave.
he And I am alone.
when the King comes to me.
I prepare to scoff, to mock
But he reaches out his hand and
gently touches my face.
In him is life
And his life is the light of man.”3
And he invites me
to step into his light.4
I set aside my lantern,
for I am changed.
- It is recorded that Diogenes, one of the original Greek cynics, carried a lantern in the daylight, saying he was “searching for an honest man.”
- The story is told that Diogenes the cynic used to spend his days sitting in a tub in the marketplace in order to express his freedom from material things. From his tub, he would heckle people for what he judged to be their hypocrisy, pompousness or greed.
- “In Yeshua was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4)
- The story is told that one day Alexander the Great himself approached Diogenes and, moved by the man’s condition, he asked, “What can I do for you?” Diogenes looked up and replied, “You can step out of my sunlight.”