When times get crazy
And dreams falter
And shouts threaten to own all ears
When your heart cowers
And pulls you into your small corner
And your tight eyes fill with tears
That is when it is hardest
To see any light.
And when it is most important.
It is not the denial
Of this world’s selfish curl
Or that same curl within your clay
It is not the self-protective scurry
To keep yourself walled in
And resign all others to the fray
It is not whistling in the dark
That keeps you safe
Or points the way.
It is holding tight to hope
And offering kindness
As a vital part of all you do.
It is looking for the light
And discovering, to your surprise
That it shines through you.
You are God’s portal,
A conduit of grace.
You are the way that love gets through.
[photo by Images by John ‘K’ per cc 2.0]
There is a beauty so fierce
That it cannot be hidden.
Neither wrinkles nor scars
Can mask its magnificence.
It flashes out from eyes alive with joy
And exudes peace even as it struggles.
For there are those who are anointed
With the touch of the divine.
That touch, in turn,
Flows from their fingers
And whispers from their lips
Dusting the world around them with grace.
This is a beauty that expands with time.
Familiarity breeds … amazement,
For its kindness is ever deeper, ever true.
Its very constancy adds to its glow.
The glory of a sunrise,
Even on the highest summit
Cannot match the beauty
Of a fiercely loving friend.
[photo by Mike per cc 2.0]
The wind chimes
Hang outside my window
And when the breeze is low
I can barely hear them.
My ears are deaf
But my heart is held
By their quiet, soft, round tone.
They melt into that hollow.
Before the world begins its clamor
And the responsibilities click in place
I am held by unspoken beauty.
Even at noon
When the wind is still
And the chimes hang limp
The beauty of hope remains.
And in the evening
When the cool and breeze return
My heart is reminded.
I find I am held, still.
Praise to God, to God, to God
Praise to God, my soul!
I can wiggle my toes into the edges of the ocean,
but never plumb its depths.
I can tickle the skirt of the sky,
and let it wrap me round
and let it enter in at every breath,
but even imagination cannot examine its bounds.
I can lean me back in your love,
and wake my soul to ever-new delights,
but it is more, is more, is more
than I can grasp.
Instead, it grasps me
and holds me
and stirs me to praise.
The edges of wonder dust my days.
and in the praising, stretch my soul
to gather wonder’s dust in sheer delight of you.
9 29 11
[photo is my own]
Thank you for the morning quiet.
Thank you for a fuzzy robe, pulled round my frame.
Thank you for a cup of coffee, warm inside me.
Thank you for a long deep breath.
Thank you for the words that rise in my heart when I am quiet.
Thank you for the words of others that stir my thoughts and tilt my soul.
Thank you for plants that grow, for life that sings.
Thank you for beauty, and for beauty’s call to my heart.
Thank you for your abundant grace, for your quiet peace.
Thank you, O Holy One,
For pulling the world into your embrace each morning,
For calling the future to a new awakening in you.
Quicken my soul.
Energize my work.
Let me be a conduit of grace into this day.
Thank you, Holy One.
[photo by Kristina Alexanderson per cc 2.0]
The single and true purpose of mature religion is to allow you to experience your True Self–who you are in God and who God is in you–and to live a generous life from that Infinite Source. If religion does not do this, it is junk religion. – Richard Rohr
The seed of my very being
Is your infinite heart.
I want to watch the seedling break the soil
And unfurl its tiny leaves to the sun.
I want to feel the itch of growth within me.
I want to hold the dew drop of grace
That gathers, slowly, in the fold of green
And then, with growing fullness,
Quivers at the edge of hope
And falls into your waiting joy.
Praise to the Lord
whose specialty is
a lame man’s legs,
and a basket lunch.
I think I can find hope
in such a One.
[Reflections on Luke 1:46, ‘Mary’s song. Image cropped from photo by Steve Cadman per cc 2.0]