could it be true?

cowering formCould it be true
That the deep design of the world
Depends upon the kind of love
That gives itself to others?

Could it be true
That your example
Is the sustainable pattern for happiness?
That giving is the secret?

Could it be true
That the broader the circle of kindness,
The more open my heart and my hands,
The deeper my joy?

That grasping, holding, hiding
Are the soul-shrinking reactions of fear?
That your message, to ‘Fear not’
Is not simply a comfort, but a command?

Could it be true
That your wish for the world;
That your wish for me;
Is to trust enough to be open to love?

Isn’t that too risky?
What if I open my heart and get hurt?
It has happened before, you know.
What if this is just a sucker’s ploy?

I think I’d rather protect myself.
I think I’d rather pull in and depend on myself.
I think I’d rather keep what I have …
Until I realize that would never be enough.

The only way to relationship
Is to take the risk, and open my heart.
By myself, even with all my stuff,
I will not find true life.

Could it be true
That the deep design of the world
Depends upon the kind of love
That gives itself to others?

[photo byJoe Benjamin  per cc 2.0]


receiving lightBest I can,
and it ain’t good,
I give myself to you.

To my surprise,
it makes you smile.
Me, too.

Bigger surprise …
you offer me
your very self.

This wild exchange,
you for me – me for you,
is what you seem to want.

A poor bargain
on your part;
my best hope.

Your recreation.
Again and again.
I thank you.

[photo by Adrian Lim per cc 2.0]

After vacation

backpackI’m trying to get my head to reactivate after vacation.
Nice that it turned off …
Now … how to turn it on?

That’s always the fear –
That if I put something down,
I’ll lose the capacity to pick it up –
Or I’ll lose it altogether.

Yet, like a backpack,
You can’t carry it forever.
Sometimes you gotta stop for a while.
Sometimes you need a rest.

And when the rest is over
You must pick it up again.
It’s the hardest part of the journey.
Always a bit awkward.

So, Holy One …
Are you there?
Where am I?
Touch my soul awake.

At last, I find your smile.
Like a Cheshire cat, I see that first.
Hovering in my imagination.
Eliciting my smile in return.

I lean my heart back into your presence
And find the echo of peace
That waits there for me
Hovering at the edge of possibility.

And, at last,
Sinking back into your yes
I find myself, again.
Thank you.

[photo by Ville Koivisto per cc 2.0]

The high cost of othering

anguishI am at a loss for words.
And angry with myself for my own complicity.
For letting myself believe that I am somehow at a distance –
An innocent observer, sadly shaking my head.

Yet, I am also at a loss for action.
What can I do in the face of such anger and hate?
How can I respond without bringing the presumptions of my privilege
Thinking somehow I am a ‘fixer’ and ‘they’ need ‘fixing.’

Where is the opening for your grace
In this moment, and in me?
Let this common gash upon our souls
Create an opening for love.

Teach us another way.
Bind us in our common grief
Wake us to a common hope.
Help us find our way to resurrection.

And help me to recognize the steps I might take
Along that way.

[photo by debaird™ per cc 2.0]

You there?

facing an uncertain futureGod?
Are you there?
Are you worried?
Why don’t you just fix it all?
And can you fix me while you are at it?

If I give you just a moment –
Can you give me one day’s wisdom?
Can I give you – can I give your world –
One day’s kindness?

Perhaps that is a start.
A tangible way to love God by loving my neighbor.
I might even be able to love my neighbor
Just about as much as I love myself today.
That skeptical much, that begrudging much, that hopeful much.

One day’s kindness,
One day’s suspension of angry judgment.
One day’s pause to be actually grateful
For breath, for friends, for family, for hope
For the life you have given me.

One day’s kindness to myself
As the starting place
The opening place
To nurture kindness that can extend outward
From a center strong enough to hold hope.

From a center where your love for me
Gives room
Takes root
Empowers kindness
Allows change to flower.




[photo by Rob Baird per cc 2.0]

Love Does That

All day long a little burro labors, sometimes with heavy loads on her back and sometimes just with worries about things that bother only burros.

And worries, as we know, can be more exhausting than physical labor.

Once in a while a kind monk comes to her stable and brings a pear, but more than that, he looks into the burro’s eyes and touches her ears

and for a few seconds the burro is free and even seems to laugh,

because love does that.

Love frees.

Meister Eckhart (David Ladinsky)

little burro

I am that burro.
You are that monk.

[image by Convivial Studio per cc 2.0]

[the passage is from Love Poems from God – compiled and translated by David Ladinsky – a book worth reading and re-reading many times.]