Wise ones tell me that there is a true me and a false me.
The true me is the one formed in the image of God
And gifted is particular ways
To reflect that image.
The false me is the one that I think the world wants to see.
It is the one I want to see,
So that I can feel that I am ‘worthy.’
The same is pattern seems to be true in collections of people.
There is a true family and a false family.
There is a true church and a false church.
There is a true society and a false society.
The whitewash is not working.
Our efforts to be ‘right’
Are, so often, so wrong.
So, how do we learn
To step aside
From the false companion?
Step away from the question of worthiness.
Put down the chore of living up to the law
And accept that you are already accepted.
When I was a kid, I thought of this as ‘do-overs.’
But that just set me up for another round.
When will I learn?
It’s not do-overs.
[photo by Mirjana Veljovic per cc 2.0]
Oh, Holy One,
I sit beneath the tree of my imagination.
I hold my troubled heart in my hands.
I don’t know what else to do.
You sit beside me.
You lean over and wrap your hands around mine.
You lean down and kiss my heart.
I offer it up to you, mostly out of desperation.
And you smile.
That, at least, is good; seems right;
Not righteous on my part, but true.
That smile softly changes the contours of my heart.
I move from grasping fear to gratitude.
Your smile tugs at the corners of my own mouth.
I feel my hands relax around my heart.
I feel my soul relax around my quandaries.
Your presence beside me is enough.
Indeed, it is more than enough,
I release myself into a surprising fullness,
My questions are not answered, but they are quieted.
I am held in you.
[photo by Felix Dance per cc 2.0]
A change in plans
Can be disconcerting.
It suggests that I’m not really
The one in control, after all.
It also reminds me
That my focus, all too often,
Is on the circumstances,
On things to do and places to be.
I have a to-do list,
Not a to-be or to-be-with list.
But, when plans change,
I am reminded
That the richness of life
Lies in the continual dance of relationship.
Circumstances are just the medium
Where we dance that dance.
Life is not really about what, but who.
And I am so grateful
For those who dance this dance with me.
They touch my soul with grace
And open my eyes to the deep.
With these companions,
Plans are dance steps drawn upon the floor.
When you are actually dancing,
There is joy in creating the dance together.
Change is where the life is.
[image modified from photo by Jeremy Keith per cc 2.0]
The mirror of my mind’s eye
Is much more flattering
Than the one framed on my bathroom door.
My imagined goodness, too,
Contains all the contemplated kindnesses,
Not just those actually done.
My projects are better when I plan them
Than when they reach completion,
With all their wrinkles and flaws.
The problem is
When I am content with imagining
Nothing really happens.
I must embrace the flaws
If I am to love the life that is,
If I am to live at all.
Like raw silk,
The slubs are part of its beauty.
They add richness and grace.
Those cracks, dear Lenard,
As you knew so well,
Are where the life gets in.
[photo by mary per cc 2.0]
In this quiet hollow,
In this deep, still, place
My heart at first is quieted.
It gives up the rumble of my days
And the persistent picking of my thoughts
And the undertow of worry.
All these are splashed upon the shore like foam.
They dissolve upon the great beach of your
Until, at last, they simply flow in and out without
They come and go, but do not call to me.
I find, at last a quiet space to be.
And there I sit and listen to my heart.
And to your whispered presence
In its hollows.
2 27 01
[photo by Kate McDonald per cc 2.0]
It can help to mark the endings.
Otherwise, things run together
And meaning gets lost in the tangle
Of next, next, next.
We can lose sight of the full circle.
We can fail to recognize when something is finished;
There is a quiet beauty in the sunset.
In the sigh at the end of the day.
It is a whispered permission
To let go what you cannot hold, anyway.
It is good to give it your best
And it is good to let that be enough.
That is when that period at the end of the day
Is, indeed, a blessing.
[photo by Sunny per cc 2.0]
For the gift of time,
The gift of timing
I give thanks.
For the moment, at least,
There is no hurry,
There is only now.
Somehow I must still my heart
Somehow, I wake to you.
I feel the whisper of your embrace,
And long to know it deeply.
I come, though I know not how.
I release myself to you,
And gratefully receive you, in return.
I am a single stitch
That helps to hold creation
To the heart of Christ.
In this, in this –
I find my hope and purpose.
Somehow it makes a difference.
And I am glad.
[photo by Cara Louise Horne per cc 2.0]