So, it looks like I am going to have to come up with
some new excuses for procrastination.
My ‘to do’ list has been altered by the need to stay home.
And now, I am beginning to see,
That the list is not all that has been altered.
The ‘needs’ behind the list have changed, as well.
Some have changed by circumstance,
And some by a dawning realization
That they were really not so urgent to begin with.
So, rather than berate myself,
I am taking a deep breath
And making a different list.
I ask myself,
What stories do I want to be able to tell,
When this is all over?
The new list starts there.
And maybe its a ‘to be’ list
Rather than a ‘to do’ list:
To be the grace I hope to see in the world.
To hold to hope so others can hold on, as well.
To offer kindness, even from a distance.
To let myself be held in the arms of God
Even when other embraces are the virtual kind.
Even in this moment, we look for evidence of love.
That is the story we must tell,
That is the story we must echo with our actions, this day.
That is the story I hold to be most deeply true.
[photo by john.schultz per cc 2.0]
That red ribbon on the horizon
Is a sign of your coming.
Already you are rising to the day.
Already your hope comes.
Already the arms of the trees reach for you.
Already my heart yearns,
And you come.
You will come to me each morning
Tiptoeing over the curve of the earth
Smiling in the ever-increasing light
Until, one day,
My eyes will be closed to the sunrise.
I will be be tiptoeing over the curve of eternity
Into your arms.
[photo by kingkubby per cc 2.0]
delight may be
the surest evidence
That eternal smile
makes it possible
to grasp my days
and venture forth
a firm assurance
that all will,
And I can breathe again.
So, I keep an eye out for delight
and hear God’s chuckle when it shows itself
amid the rubble of my days
like a geode broken to the light.
My own heart laughs when I see it,
hidden in plain sight
already there when I turn my eyes.
The laughter of my soul
breaks down my fear
and blows away despair
like feathers in that holy wind.
[photo by Chris A per cc 2.0]
It’s such a silly dance I dance,
Trying to decide if its you or me
Who takes each step, within the flow.
So, thinking too hard about the steps,
I forget that dancing is less about my feet,
And more about the music.
My focus, once again, awry.
Only, on occasion,
The beauty takes me from myself.
I find that I am whirling in your arms,
Alight with joy, full of you,
And … fully me.
I do not lose myself.
I loose myself,
When I turn my attention
From my feet
To your embrace.
Then, I find the music
And I can dance.
[photo by DrewToYou per cc 2.0]
Stories touch the truth so much more deeply and fully than facts. We think that we can grasp facts – hold them and turn them in our hands; use them as our tools.
Stories hold us. We know their touch. They resonate in our souls. But we do not control them. They are beacons and they shine forth from a source that is beyond us, though it includes us. We participate, we shape our own role to some extent, but the story is beyond the tiny corners of our possession.
[photo by Thomas Hawk per cc 2.0 on Flickr]
Sometimes, you can almost see light,
You know what I mean?
Most of the time, you don’t see light,
You just see what light reveals.
But sometimes … light, real light, shines forth.
Sometimes you can see what cannot be seen.
And sometimes, it happens through another’s eyes.
You notice that they notice … and there it is.
And your heart leaps,
And your jaw drops,
And you know, deeply know,
That LIFE is real.
Even a stone has that kind of life.
Even the busiest little girl can touch its edges.
Even your own heart can melt with it.
LIFE is just that strong,
[image by Susan Murtaugh per cc 2.0]
[Thanks to Richard Rohr for the realization that ‘light is not so much what you directly see as that by which you see everything else.’ (The Universal Christ (p. 14). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.]
Imagine, for a moment, if you will,
That your hands are dusted with grace;
So that everything you touch today
Receives a secret blessing.
Imagine the delicate shawl you spread
Across the shoulders of a friend
When you embrace in greeting.
Secretly, you fortify them for their day.
Imagine, when you gently touch the face
Of the child that comes to you for comfort,
That the care you show is a deeper balm
Than the band-aid you place upon her knee.
Imagine that the flowers in your garden
Receive an extra dose of light
Because you touch them
And admire their delicate beauty.
Imagine, when you touch a doorknob,
That a dusting of grace remains,
So that all who enter or exit there,
Find grace upon their hands, as well.
Imagine that you are given,
Just for this one day,
The chance to grace each encounter,
Bringing just a bit more life to life.
Imagine that this might just be true.
Smile at the grace you are given.
Smile at the blessing you can pass along.
Smile at the gritty, ubiquitous tenacity of grace.
[image modified from photo posted to Flickr by Matt Anderson per cc 2.0]