God our Mother

In celebration of Mother’s Day this last Sunday, please listen to the poem, ‘God our Mother’ by Allison Woodward – at this link. It starts just after the 12:00 mark. The written version can be found here.

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It’s true, you know.
(You do know it, deep down, don’t you?)
Your first sense of a loving presence
Came before you had any words to frame the gift.
You were knit together in a womb of love,
Fully nurtured by another’s very life.

You were called to life by life,
To love by love,
Which are our best and first response.
So, even deeper than the sense of God as male,
Is the sense of love as female.
And God, you know, is love.

It is not sacrilege.
It is the true echo of God’s imprint on us all.
We are made male and female in their image.
Each of us hold that double imprint
Both masculine and feminine,
Full autonomy, fully given for another.

And so we hold the imprint of divine connection,
That gift expressed in our own gift of self,
The ever-whirling dance of all that is.
Each of us is a unique expression of God’s love,
The chance to give what no one else can give,
Ourselves.

 

[image modified from photo by Irina (Patrascu) Gheorghita per cc 2.0]

better

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The green of the leaf,
The heat of the sun,
The laughter that bubbles up
When good friends meet
After a long absence,

The sweet satisfaction
In a sip of cool water,
The uncomplicated giggle
Of a small, dear child,
These are evidence of you.

These are embodiment of you.
These are where, again, you create life.

Theology is good.
The pulse of life is better.
I rejoice in them both.

[photo by Mary Beth Griffo Rigby per cc by nc nd 2.0]

empty

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In those quiet moments
When I let myself be still,
When I release the ‘shoulds’ of my life,
When I let them drift from my hands like so many autumn leaves,
When I drop the other defenses and distractions,
When I risk acknowledging the naked me,
And I stand without excuse before the vastness of it all,

In those moments,
When it seems I will melt away to nothingness,
To uselessness,
To emptiness,
To loneliness,
And become a vacant husk,

In those moments,
If I do not turn from this discipline
To grasp at any cover or shield,
I find, to my surprise,
You have not turned away.

That was, of course, my greatest fear –
That you could not love the naked me.
And that fear,
As you predicted,
Has been cast out by love.

It is hard for you to fill that which is already full.
When I let the clutter of my life fill up my days
It is hard for you to find a place to enter.
Yet, still, you do.
No space is too small for you.

And that is,
Indeed,
A great comfort,
When my heart has grown small.

Help me clear the clutter a bit today,
So you can enter a bit more fully,
So I can notice, when you do.
That you do.

And we can smile, together.

 

[photo by Fabio Sola Penna per cc 2.0]

scapegoat

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We have sent the scapegoat into the desert.
It fled from our abuse.
We thought we had rid ourselves of the unholy.
But the abuse, itself, left its stain upon our hands.
The rejection of the other is, itself, the unholy.

The temporary expulsion of what we abhor
Only, finally, reveals that it has made its home within us.
When we are the source of what we hate,
No sending away, no huddling in isolation, will suffice.
There really is no fragmented purity.

Besides, the search for purity is only one path, and not the destination.
It starts with a sincere effort to focus on the good, the true.
But, that focus simply works to keep us yearning for the more,
Until we discover a deep and wonderful surprise.
Until we find that the whole is the Holy.

The Holy, far more powerful that purity, itself,
Can encompass all of who we are.
The mess, the muddle … and the yearning for more
Are all woven into the tapestry of love.
All we offer to the whole can be redeemed.

Only that which we hide,
Only that which we banish,
Only that which we deny,
Only that fragmentation of our perception,
Delays our embrace of your embrace.

But when we, at last, melt into your grace,
And leave the purification process to you,
And leave the labels and the othering behind,
And let you heal the fragmentation of our common soul,
Only then do we find the Holy wholeness that is you.

[photo by Carl per cc 2.0]

what I am not

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I am not Carrie Newcomer
I am not Rumi or Hafiz
I am not a brilliant prophet or great philanthropist
I am not even a good little girl
At least, not any more,
Not even on the surface.

So, what am I?

I am yours.
(and here a wry smile crosses my face)
I guess you are stuck with that …
With me.

But you are not stuck
And neither am I.
(and here a sweet chuckle rumbles your chest)
We are not stuck.
Deep within your embrace, there is movement.

Here, after your kiss
Exploded in the big bang;
Here, after your brooding spirit
Formed this blue marble in your hand;
Here, after my daddy’s eye’s twinkled
And my mom sighed;
Here you are: calling, calling me to be in you.

Not just me, of course,
You call us all.
Rock and tree
Sky and sea,
Even dark matter thrums in response.
And, somehow I know, we are coming.

We are all coming,
Every one.
In the end, love will win.
Love will melt the stubborn resistance
Of me, me, me.
Melt it into the quiet insistence
Of we, we, we.

The call … is irresistible.

Thank God.

[photo by Irish Typepad per cc 2.0]

 

the chrysalis has broken

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Today

May you trust the dawn,
Which I am bringing.

May your heart find a way
To hold both sorrow and hope.

May your ears listen, in quiet solidarity,
To the grief of cruel rejection.

And know that such a time as this,
Is meant for change, for growth.

The chrysalis has broken open.
Do not fear its breaking.

I have not abandoned you.
Nor have I forsaken my deep love for all.

Rest within my arms for just a moment.
Do not turn too quickly from the grief.

Let me rock you softly as your tears fall.
May you know, deeply know, that love prevails.

Already, I love you.
I always have.

You are a mystery, born of love.
And your wings will soon unfold into that truth.

You are emerging from the chrysalis that held you.
Its constraints no longer serve.

But it will take some time for the sun to dry your wings.
And the breeze of freedom to lift you for flight.

You can trust my love to win, again and always.
It is less about resistance and more about release.

My ways are not your ways.
They are strong and sure.

Love will prevail, not through plots and strategies,
But, as love always does, in loving.

In the meantime, may your heart hold on to me,
As I hold you.

[photo by Dagmar Collins per cc 2.0]

a bigger faith

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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]