I need a faith that is bigger
Than my humble hopes and paltry prayers
A faith big enough to touch the wire cages
That hold the refugees I am afraid to recognize
As my siblings and my friends.
I need a faith big enough to offer hope.
And I need hope that is big enough
To draw me from my couch,
Not in guilt or anger, but in energetic love.
Ready to work within the unfolding,
Sure of the partnership of the One who holds us all.
I need a hope sure enough to evoke joy.
I need a surge of joyful surrender,
Rolling down the grassy slope into your lap.
Knowing that your embrace awaits –
An embrace that does not close around me
But opens me up to more and more.
I need the energy of your bracing love.
I need that breath of life that comes
When the emptiness is filled with You.
When darkness shines
And the hollows hold abundance.
When, at last, I know that love is real and all.
I need to know that faith and hope and love remain.
I need to know, to deeply know,
That you have not turned away from me
Or from this world of your creation;
That you can redeem even these moments of pain,
Within the whole of your infolding love.
[photo by Giampaolo Squarcina per cc 2.0]
Does the morning bring hope,
Or is it hope that brings the morning?
When my heart is dark,
And the world seems set upon its own destruction,
I focus my eyes on the horizon
And hope for hope to dawn.
I cannot seem to conjure hope
Any more than I can conjure the sunrise
Or the appearance of daffodils in spring
And yet – Ah! Look! – they come!
Hope and the dawn
Come, hand in hand,
Striding up the hill of morning
Throwing off the darkness with a smile.
Awake, my heart!
Wake to that cool, sweet rush of grace.
Do not resist the morning.
Do not let fear of disappointment rob this gift.
Let me greet the dawn with a brave, determined smile.
Let me gratefully receive this gift,
Rising strong – yes, strong – within me.
I will not turn aside from hope.
[photo by Dennis Yang per cc 2.0]
Let them come to me, the little ones,
Who dare to see the world as wonderful,
Who dare to smile and giggle,
To reach out, to pull the world close;
To taste and touch and wonder.
They take the path with eagerness,
To find the open world – a gift.
They know the secrets of the morning
That have yet to be obscured by
Independence and responsibility.
Would that they would grow into their gifts
And yet maintain the strength of wonder;
Ready to enter the give and take of life,
Trusting in the web of love to hold them
Adding their own strands with dimpled hands.
Would that I could follow their example,
And trust enough to let my first impulse
Be a smile and an embrace.
Would that I could just believe enough
To let you love me; to love you in return.
Perhaps that is the narrow gate.
Only the true self can fit through.
There is no room for all the trappings I employ
To conjure love; to keep the world at bay.
It is in dropping those aside, that I may enter.
[photo by operabug per cc 2.0]
sometimes, words won’t do
they are just too tiny
just too constrained
but the absence of words
can leave an awkward emptiness
a sense of isolation
so let us build
a tiny bridge,
a fragile conduit
with our words
let us reach
with faltering hands
to touch the cheek of hope –
the hope that we all share
the hope that we might be
both truly ourselves
and truly one
with all that is
such is the gift of God
selfhood and community
a mystery to be honored
with our tiny, hopeful words
[photo by Jennifer Fred Merchán per cc 2.0]
When I encounter a problem, a conundrum, a quandary,
I want to fix it, as quickly as possible.
I work with what I know, and who I am, and what I have
To find a way around or through.
And that, sometimes, creates a bigger problem
My preconceptions get in the way.
If I could back off far enough, or shed my frame,
The problem might just be transformed.
Instead I build a kludge,
A work-around of convoluted wires and patches.
I solve one problem and create another.
Too often, it seems my theology is a mass of kludges –
My own and those of others.
The longer I stay in my head,
Requiring explanation or understanding,
The longer I delay delight.
For somewhere beyond what I can grasp,
You wait to gather me in.
I am bound by my own befuddlement.
But even in that moment,
You find a way to set me free.
Slowly, I am learning to release my questions
And, instead, be held by wonder.
[photo by Marco Assini per cc 2.0]