There is an image,
An exchange I witnessed,
That has been percolating
In my memory for years.
You’ve probably seen it, too:
A young mother
With her infant bouncing on her lap.
They are enthralled with one another.
What flows between them,
Almost visible as their eyes connect,
Palpable in the air between them,
Is the exchange of life-giving love.
The infant is held by something
So much stronger than her hands.
The mother is upheld
With something just as strong.
Their gifts to one another
Are so tangible
Yet each is filled,
Full of a love that will not be contained.
A rush of life between them.
This is love incarnate.
Love enfleshed; love fulfilled.
This is how life is passed on.
Birth is just the beginning.
Perhaps this shows me why
The Christ came to us.
To look us in the eye
And give us life.
God breathed upon the clay.
Christ looked on us with love.
The Spirit, now within us,
Empowers life’s eternal flow.
It is like breath:
Receiving in; giving out.
Each delightful exchange
Brings life anew.
[image cropped from photo by Robert Moores per cc 2.0]
Deep calls to deep, they say.
I believe it.
It skips my head and grabs my heart.
The universe moves
And something shifts within me
I feel the quantum change
Small and vast at the same time.
There is a truth spinning at the center
Humming in my soul
Vibrating across the strings of my heart
You can’t pin it down.
Observation, itself, makes it shift.
Only one aspect at a time can come into view.
It is simply too big, too vast,
Logic looses its grip.
It cannot hold.
But where logic pushes away,
Love draws close.
The heart of it all calls to my heart.
I know that it is true,
Not because I’ve figured it out,
Not because I’ve grasped it,
But because it holds me
And I feel its embrace.
[photo by NJ per cc 2.0]
There is a change coming
On the wings of the wind.
It blows where it will, they say.
And it wills to blow change.
It wills (yes, it does)
To blow love into the hearts of the earth.
It wills (I am sure)
To help us cuddle closer to each other,
Or to cool our anger
Or soothe our frantic, fevered mind.
It blows in gales
Or moves in quiet whispers,
Whatever will best bring the change it seeks.
It blows across my heart and yours.
Its ancient name was ruach or pneuma.
It is the breath of God.
And it is still bringing life to this clay.
It is still calling us to truer life.
We cannot control it
Or even understand it.
It does not follow any particular set of rules.
And so, the life it brings is far beyond
Even my dearest hopes and dreams.
And, if I can release myself into its flow,
My breath becomes its faint but eager echo.
Its wings are mine.
It lifts me – it lifts us –
To the very heart of God, herself.
[photo by Victoria Nevland per cc 2.0]
I finger my thoughts, slowly, like beads on a string,
Turning them in my fingers, observing their texture and color.
One by one they pass through my grasp.
I can hardly tell why each one arises, nor how it morphs to the next.
Each seems so real and intricate as it sits between my fingers
But as I let it go, it turns to vapor and dissipates.
There really are no beads before or after the one I hold;
Not that I can see.
Could it be that the time I spend in my head – planning or trying to understand
May actually be frittering away the life you have opened for me
Opened – but it’s out of sight, so, out of mind.
How do loosen my internal focus, so I can grasp a broader view?
Let me learn not to worry about the last bead or the next –
To focus less on thoughts and more on moments
To trust the string of your love
And let the beads arise and fall in grace.
This is my prayer
Today and tomorrow
(If I can anticipate the next day’s bead upon the string)
Let me come to life, one bead at a time.
[photo by Vicki C per cc 2.0]
Lean your ear against the heart of the earth,
Feel its breath upon your cheek,
Listen past the noise of the news,
Past the roar of traffic
Even past the thumping of your own heart.
You can catch the whisper of hope
That will not die.
It’s there, you know:
The pure gift of irrepressible love.
Such love does not demand attention.
Instead, intentional gratitude
Can help to open your heart to its sweet call.
It calls you now.
And waits, patiently, upon your turning.
[photo from the blog nature has no boss, posted 9/5/17, by Mike Bizeau, used with permission]
My mother’s lullaby was a version of an old Welsh song. I remember it like this:
Sleep my child, and peace attend thee,
All through the night.
Guardian angels God will send thee,
All through the night.
While the weary hours are creeping,
Angel guards their watch are keeping,
While my little one is sleeping,
All through the night.
As a child I focused on the ‘angel guards.’ It took me a long time to realize that the words she was singing most fervently were those in the refrain: “all through the night!”
Here’s to Mom and to moms everywhere
Who sing comfort, even when they are exhausted
And who embody those angel guards.
[photo by Carol Von Canon per cc 2.0]
On the edge of change
In the swirl of this, still new, millennium
So much is urgent and hopeful, yet full of tragedy and despair.
All the institutions of the old order,
Economics, education, religion, civics,
Seem in helpless disarray.
Yet there are sprouts of green amid the rubble.
There are prescient urgings and faithful actions
Calling a new world community to life.
What is this, emerging among us?
Could it be a new turning toward each other?
Could it be that a new world is rising, expectantly, in our midst?
So much change, yet so much deep coherence.
It reaches beneath the chaos to sing grace.
My heart is captured by this hopeful, unifying song.
Fingers crossed … I dare believe it might be true.
It certainly is true to my dearest hopes
And ushers in a belief worth believing.
[photo by Pamela Machado per cc 2.0 … Even creative commons is part of this emerging.]