Monday, June 27, 2011

Psalm 8

O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth.
Highest God above all gods, ruler and maker of all life,
how incredible you are, everywhere I look!
Your beauty extends higher than the heavens;
your truth is spoken by children and infants -- from their mouths,
it is so powerful that enemies tremble and are silenced.
How is it possible that you can make use of us in our limited lives,
O limitless God, O holy Choreographer of planets and stars?
Yet even though our feet are grounded to this earth by gravity,
you have given us a role in the eternal dance, and
you have charged us with the responsibility of caring
for one another and for the creatures around us:
the sheep and cows, the birds of the air and the fish of the sea,
the resources of trees and fields and skies and earth.
O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth.
Highest God above all gods, ruler and maker of all life,
how incredible you are, everywhere I look!

Friday, June 24, 2011

In The Silence

Holy Silence,
Unspeaking God,
you dare me
to be still
to be silent
to be without
to be in space
and to trust that
you are the Space.

So I'm going to sit for a while, and wait, and
be in Silence and Space -- hopefully with you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I just need to know that the sun will rise
tomorrow, and then again the next day.
If you will promise me that much, God,
then I can make through tomorrow
and through the next day.
The days after that will have to fend for themselves
but I can hold on if these two tomorrows are certain to pass,
if it's definite that the hours of each day will turn on time,
that the tears will alternately flow and dry as needed,
that the fresh grave will one day grow grass,
that the wound will become bearable
(more or less),
and we will make it.
Not an insurmountable promise to make, God,
but it would be really helpful if you would make it all the same.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I will dance until I am exhausted,
twirling in circles with my arms wide
to take it all in, spinning as though the busyness will help me
to build up the courage to affirm that it is all good --
that it is all part of life,
that all that is life is good:
the breathe-deeply beauty,
the raw edges of sorrow,
the tender aches of affection,
the sweeping release of peace.
I will turn my dizzying dance into a song,
I will add words so that you hear my praise:
"God has given me the fullness of life
and the fullness of life is good.
Do not be heavy, my heart,
the fullness of life is good."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

In the morning

New mercy every morning
still surprises me
with its freshness.

I am delighted
and moved to tears:

the birds have written a new hymn,

the night's storms have yielded
to wisps of cloud art,

the cool air bathes my skin
and awakens my senses.

Ah, Mercy! You give me pause
as breath fills my lungs
and laughter soothes my heart.

Surely this is a mercy
that the LORD has made!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bitter Baptism

I am overwhelmed -- O my God --
eyes wide open, holding my breath
watching the flood waters churn over & around me
waiting, desperately hoping, for the waters to recede

And as I wait in the drowning, I wonder if this is the meaning of baptism:
to experience the overwhelming, the dying, the uncontrollable chaos
(which, after all, is often the biblical significance of water)
as an integral part -- even a precursor? -- to experiencing life

Which is to say, God, I wonder if you are inviting us by baptism into
a sacred intersection of tumult & harmony, heartbreak & heartbeat,
and saying, "Here: touch the element that can overwhelm & drown you
and there in the face of death, find the miracle that is life."

As sacraments go, dear God, can I just register the opinion that
communion is much nicer to affirm and to share?
"Eat. Drink." are not such hard commandments, and
the death that we remember at that table is not our own.

But in baptism...

We use funny religious phrases to beautify baptism like "dying to sin"
and we resist looking at the actual physical death-comes-to-us-all
meaning of baptism. (It's just as well that infants don't remember that
their earliest religious experience is a brush with the waters of death.)

God, in all that is overwhelming and suffocating right now,
I think that I'm looking for -- asking for -- the perspective to know
that death is part of life, that baptism isn't a one-time rite of passage,
that you experience the bitterness as much as (even moreso) than I do

That you call me not to avoid it...

That we are not baptized into safe life or simple life
but into holy life, which includes the crap and the pain and the beauty;
baptized to experience those intersections of death and life, and
to experience you there. God, help me to sense you there.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Psalm 69:30

bring into focus

o my soul
be a magnifying lens for
the Light
the Holy
the Splendid

sort of like the bright sun
focusing in on
the tiny ant
as an intense spotlight
but in reverse
and without burning:

my soul (the ant) in all its littleness
even, impossibly, enlarging
The One Who Is Already Magnificent
to the umpteenth degree

o my soul
the Intimate & Inescapable Sacred
with praise and thanksgiving
so that somehow
the Brilliant becomes even moreso

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