brave hope

sunrise.jpg

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]

new resolution (mid January)

new years resolution.jpg

Let me adjust my eyes this year to see with a new resolution.
Let me pull back the veil, just a bit each day
So that I might see your glory,
Tucked into each small corner of this place, of this life.

Let me see you when I look at the dawn.
Let me see you when I hold a friend close in my heart.
Let me see you in the day’s unfolding.
Yes, even in the mirror, let me see you.

Even in the mud and muck and mistakes,
Even in the maddening rush of selfish flurry
That seems to engulf us all.
Even in my blindness, teach me to see with other eyes.

And then, slowly, perhaps, you will sneak out.
You will reveal the secrets of your mystery
That all, all, all is being called home,
Drawn into the mystery that will transform life to LIFE.

 

[photo by Marwa Morgan per cc 2.0]

in the image

mirror image

I keep trying to make you in my image:
Liking what I like,
Rejecting what I reject …

But then I remember that I got it backwards, again.
You ask me to love what you love
Leaving your fingerprints on all I touch.
Becoming a small aperture of grace.

Open me to this possibility – that you might
Live through me, in this small corner of the new reality,
Giving light to my light; life to my life.

[image by John&Fish per cc 2.0]

deep wood

dark wood

I am in a dark wood, trying to find my way. All the trees look the same. What seems to be a path will disappear in a tangle of brush after just a few steps. The moon has not come up. The sounds of the night wear a menacing edge.

I try to keep from panicking. I tell myself to breathe. How did I get here? How can I find my way home? It is as if I suddenly came to consciousness in this place. It seems I’ve been here quite a while, but unaware. Which means, unfortunately, that I can’t retrace my steps.

There is no visible threat, but my heart is beating in my ears. I can hardly think. I’ve heard the stories of terror and all of them are breathing down my neck at once. My imagination fuels my fear.

As I cast to the right and to the left, I see the dark form of a large tree. I make my way there and, circling the bulk, I push aside a low branch, and crawl inside the canopy. I find a place where there is a bit of room and I lean myself against the trunk.

With my back to the tree and a large branch on either side, I feel my panic begin to subside. Here, at least for a moment, I can breathe and take stock of my surroundings. Here, cuddled up against the bulk of the tree, I release my frantic wanderings and whisper a prayer.

Then, to my surprise, I begin to notice other things. I feel the slightest breeze and it carries the scent of pine upon its breath. I notice that the ground beneath me is covered with a blanket of pine needles, softening its surface. The branches on either side are full of life, earning their monicker of ever-green. I raise my eyes to see the stars through the highest branches, punctuating the night sky with hope.

The moon sneaks out from behind a cloud. It had been there all along. It’s face wears a craggy smile as it sends its shimmering light upon the grasses down the hill. Turns out, this tree is at the edge of a clearing. From it, I watch a cautious doe lead her fawn out into the open space. She lifts her head at a sharp sound and sniffs the air. Then she resumes her grazing.

The wood is full of undeniable danger, but it is also filled with beauty. Now my prayer has turned from desperation to gratitude. For a moment I am in a wood that is deep with wonder. It is the same wood – mysterious, and whispering grace.

 

[photo by ShinyPhotoScotland per cc 2.0]

God, herself

When you remember
That whatever you do to others
You do to God, herself,
You see an even deeper reality to
“MeToo.”

Refusing to listen to words of truth
Is a refusal to listen to God
And a denial of the very heart of the relationship
That holds the world together.

Nevertheless, She persisted.

[photo by John Mavroudis from the cover of Time Magazine, 10/18]
[My gratitude to joekay617 for this reminder]

could it be

dandelionCould it be that you whisper within me
That every breath is your breath
That every hope holds seeds of your hope
That my love echoes yours
That my eyes are shaped by your beauty
That you are in me
And I am in you
More fully than I ever knew?

Could it be that you are training my eyes to see
The life that shines between all things
As they dance together in your hands?
All things, all things (yes, even that)
Are in your hands.

I see only dimly, now.
But, oh, I long for more.

[photo by Chris Luczkow per cc 2.0]

not perfect

scrappy flowerIt started with very good
Not with perfect.

I started with very good
Not perfect.

That was the plan all along.
That is the gift of life.
Very good.
Not perfect.

Perfect needs nothing,
No one.
Perfect should not change
Else it is perfect no longer.

Good can grow.
It needs soil and sun.
It is not complete in isolation.
It needs relationship.

That’s what makes it very good.
It’s born with the holes
Where the stitches can go.
A necessary part of the whole.

That is very good.

[image cropped from photo by scrappy annie per cc 2.0]