hard things

let go
One of the hardest things to do is to let go.
It seems an abdication.

But, when I cannot actually be responsible for it all,
It may be good to let go my desperate grip.
It might actually be wise and helpful.

So, how, exactly, do I let go?
Should I move my fingers just so?
Just what is the gesture of release?
See? I step out of one quandary into another.

Perhaps, if I would just accept the gentle embrace,
And return the love to its source,
Then letting go would simply happen.

Ok … so, how do I do that?
Again around the circle.
Dancing with the quandaries,
Rather than your grace.

Yep, letting go is a hard thing.
As hard as I can make it.

Did I just hear you chuckle?

[photo by Garrett Charles per cc 2.0]

leaning in

interfaith momentThe intent of my soul toward my god.
The intent of your soul toward yours,
Finds us leaning deeply upon each other.
It makes me smile.

Neither of us have a handle on the almighty,
Neither can hold the Whole within our minds or hearts,
But when the spirits’s fruits grow up between us,
I count it as a confirmation.

[photo by United States Mission Geneva per cc 2.0]


seeing more


The chief thing that separates us from God is the thought that we are separated from Him. – Thomas Keating


As I wake to this new day,
As I yawn and rub my eyes and peer into the breaking dawn,
I begin to see the edges of things, coming clear.
And, today, there is a subtle shift in vision.
I begin to see the heart of things, as well.

Within the frame of morning,
I begin to see a shimmer of your presence.
I begin to imagine your smile upon the dawn,
Your fingers brushing the edges of the grass,
Your hope rising upon the horizon.

And it is here that I begin to know
That imagination is not mere fantasy
But the early sign of the gift of entrainment
The fruit of practice
The pattern behind the patterning.

Rote practice is not the key,
But a continual turning of the heart toward you,
The intention – not to do the work, but to be open to it –
Has begun its work in me.
And that is what dawns on me this morning.

I am so grateful.

[photo used with permission from Mike Bizeau’s beautiful blog – nature has no boss]

The Other Cheek

longing for light… I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow. – Matthew 5

What kind of good news is this? Don’t resist? Let the bad guys have their way? In fact, give them even more than they ask? Geez!

Get real! If someone busts my chops, I’m not gonna hang around and let them do it again. I’ll fight back or I’ll leave and plot my revenge.

How do you think you’ll win by letting the bad guys have their way?!?


I remember now. That cross thing.

Surely you don’t expect me to follow that path. Surely . . . This is so totally bassackwards. I think I’ll just sit down here in the dirt and sulk. I mean, really!

Really? Can you really mean that I should give myself to abuse and let it go . . . and let it go, again? (It really does seem wrong, doesn’t it? I mean not even just selfishly foolish, but bigger picture foolish, too? Doesn’t it?)

Where are your eyes? Mine are too blind to see . . .

I have been struck across the face. Slapped silly, I guess.  Help me know how I should respond. It seems so wrong …

Can you take this half-baked prayer and breathe life into it? Into me?  I do hope so.


6 16 08

[photo by Christina VanMeter per cc 2.0]

assurance of faith

holding faith

My faith is less a conviction, grasped tightly
And more the whisper of grace resting lightly on my open palm.
It is not something I accomplish or hold on to;
It is a sweet gift continually opening itself in my heart.

My heart is opened in return.

It is not so much ‘my’ faith
As it is your assurance deep within me,
Singing a lullaby of love
That bids me rest my soul in you.

And when I do,
That peace,
That love,
That assurance,
Flows beyond the boundaries of my being
Into my small corner of the world.

I have faith in you
(when I am within you).
You have faith in me.
(You placed it there.
It will not be contained.)

Thank you.

[photo by lf-style per cc 2.0]

words’ play

a movie stillness
There is a set of words that seem to vibrate between noun and verb –

Even when you place an article in front of them
A wonder
A presence
My hope
My faith
Your love
They won’t stand still.

You cannot pin them to the page.
They want to dance.
You can’t point to them… and yet you know they are there.
They are not just a thing… or an action.

They play my ribs like a piano.
They evoke being –
Evoke it in me … and in the world
And that changes everything,
Or, at least, it could.

[photo by Patrick Emerson per cc 2.0]

Unwrapping a gift

unwrapping a gift

As a child I always unwrapped my gifts slowly,
Cutting the tape with a slender knife,
Trying not to tear the paper,
Preserving the ribbon.
It was my way of making the anticipation linger.

My sisters used to laugh at me.
Now, sometimes, they join me …
Extending the moment,
Making the process a part of the gift.

This morning, I hold within my hands
A small gift, as yet not fully opened.
Indeed, as I carefully remove the wrapping,
I find another layer underneath.

I cut a piece of tape
And the paper on that corner pops free.
I turn the box and touch the knife to the edge of the tape
Another corner, freed.

The gift, I realize, is the gift of attention.
To feel the crinkle of the paper,
The release of tension as it opens up,
To see, with sweet surprise, the beauty of each layer.

I look to the first wrapping, now at my feet.
It still holds the creases of the box,
Curled up, as it is, into a shape
That echoes its earlier embrace.

It is not the box, but it hints of its presence.
Just as the practices of my faith
Hold and convey a form that is very like the gift inside
They help me see its shape.

I am grateful for the wrapping
And the treasure, deep inside,
Not yet fully revealed,
But happily anticipated.

[image modified from photo by mob mob per cc 2.0]

Attempt at a Creed

faith's small boatI believe that God is love, that love is the path and goal,
That Jesus brought it close and made it more clearly visible,
That the Holy Spirit stirs it up within us and among us,
That community is the place it is practiced and grown,
That it is stronger than hate and stronger than death.

Circa 2011

[image by Joe per cc 2.0]

New Year’s embrace

hopeful sunrise

Come with joy into this day, into this new year.
There is much to do and much to experience.
There is a dance, already begun, reaching out its hand to you.
There is a deep smile spread across the universe,
Offering you a whisper of undeniable hope.

Open your hand.
You have closed it so tightly around nothing.
For nothing is all that you can control.
If control is what you seek, you will come up empty handed.
But if you seek joy, well, take my hand and join the dance.

The future is closed or open by your choice.
Choose life. Choose relationship. Choose me.
I am as real as you dare to believe – as real as your very breath.
I AM – and life, true life, is yours –
It is out of your grasp, but within my embrace.

[photo by Leonardo per cc 2.0]