a bit of praise

moon behind a treeI give you praise today
For what you have done,
For what you will do
Indeed, for what you are doing.

I give you laughing, joyful, giddy praise.
I give you a deep and grateful sigh.
I give you a tear of relief.

For your life within me is life
And my life within you is grace.

The hope I hold tentatively, hopefully
In the deepest corners of my heart
You hold with me, as you fill even those dark corners
With an assurance that moves from hope to promise.

It is that deep assurance
That gives me strength to move
Out of my corners and into this day.

When I fall down, when I get up,
You are there.

the life of a leaf

fall leaves in MaineGreen leaves spend their whole lives
Nurturing the tree they call home
And sending vital oxygen into the world.
In the fall, when they retire,
They turn their souls to beauty –
Revealing gifts of color that had been hidden
Under the hard-working chlorophyl.

There is beauty in the bud.
There is beauty in the green.
There is beauty in the orange and yellow that follows.

I am rejoicing in each new turn of beauty,
In the leaves, in my friends, in myself.

[photo is my own]

life peaks out

hide and seekI do so need you, Holy One.
I need to find the touchstone of my soul.
I need to know that REAL is real.
That life is more than living,
Breathing more than breath.

It is so easy to be wrapped in this fog of forgetting,
This mindless urgency of ‘should.’
Help me remember, as I enter this day,
That you are here, beside me,
Yes, even deep within.

Help me see life peaking out around that corner.
Help me hear the giggle in your call.
It is not a game of hide and seek you play,
But a game of seek and find.
Where pure delight is eager for discovery.

Help me feel your deep anticipation.
You can hold on to joy amid the noise of life.
For you, the end is sure, and soon.
Although creation rushes forth with such abundance
It somehow never leaves the heart of your embrace.

You ask me to hold faith,
Not so that I can prove myself,
But so that I can hold that joyful confidence with you.
Knowing that the eternal embrace is just a snuggling closer
Within the arms that already surround me.

[photo by Francesc González per cc 2.0]

Fierce beauty

two friends embraceThere 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 Book of Life

Book of LifeThe true book of life
Is not just a list of names
It is a wealth of stories –
Yours and mine.

And each day, we have the chance
To write another episode,
Enriching heaven’s dance,
Which has already begun.

I want to learn to dance with you
To lean my ear upon your chest
And feel the beat of life
To feel your rhythms in the very heart of me.

Even my self-conscious, awkward moves
Are not enough to stop the music.
It is all a part of the undeniable narrative of love
Danced out, within your arms.

[photo by Jo Naylor per cc 2.0]

prayerful imagination

angel

Sometimes, when words won’t do,
My imagination opens the way for prayer.
And so I pray for my friend,
That You will comfort her with your Spirit,
That You will cloak her in your grace
And bring healing.

 

 

Here is the prayer of my imagination:

I see my friend lying in her bed, with labored breathing and discomfort in her soul.  And then I see them: around the bed, a circle of angels is holding hands with one another.  They stand so close that their wings touch each other and form a wall, a curtain around the bed.

One angel begins to sing, softly. Her tones are just barely audible.  The tune, a soothing melody of hope and love, begins to flow from one angel to the other across the circle and around it until it is almost as if they have woven a canopy of song above her bed.  They continue their singing and the canopy grows more substantial, revealing intricate patterns of color and light, of texture and depth.

At a signal from one of the angels, they all soften and lower their voices and the canopy itself is lowered until it covers my friend like a blanket.  The touch of it seems to ease her breathing and soften some of the lines upon her face. She sighs in momentary respite from her pain.

They continue their melody and the blanket enfolds her more closely and then begins to melt into her very frame.  Its melody makes its way into her flesh, into her weary body and brings hope and peace. They sing until all of the blanket has dissolved in this way; all of its healing strength is now within her.

Then a single angel smiles at the others in thanks and they leave. All but that one angel. She takes her position at the head of the bed, watching my friend, holding her steady. She will remain.

Amen

[photo by Bernard Healy per cc 2.0]

what if

a friend's embraceWhat if, perhaps,
My arms, today,
Were meant to bring
God’s dear embrace
to you?

What if my smile
Was meant to show you
Just how much
Your life
Has blessed my own?

What if our lives
Could quietly reflect
God’s very being,
In this moment,
In this place?

What if?

[photo by Archigeek per cc 2.0]