Your words to me:
Ask, seek, knock.
So, what do I ask?
I ask to know You.
No small ask, for a small me.
Yet somehow I dare to hope
That it is your call
Echoing within me,
Evoking this desire.
Oh Holy One,
I ask to know you.
And what do I seek?
I seek a deeper understanding,
One centered in my heart
Rather than my head.
One that helps to anchor my soul
In a truth too big for explanation.
Big enough to lose myself,
So that I might be found.
Oh Holy One,
I seek understanding.
So where do I knock?
I knock on the door of your heart.
I knock on the side of the mountain.
I knock up against the daily news.
I knock on the walls of my cell.
I knock inside my skull.
Everywhere I turn,
Whatever I encounter,
Surely you are there,
Since you are everywhere,
And any doorway is a threshold
Oh Holy One,
[image edited from photo by Joanna Paterson per cc 2.0]
They say that the word for ‘sin’ can be translated as ‘missing the mark.’
But what do you call it when you make a direct hit – on the wrong mark?
What do you call it when you strive for ‘rightness,’ rather than relationship?
What happens when I delude myself into thinking that the way to God,
Is right living, right acting, right believing?
Somehow I miss the insight that the road to rightness takes me far away
From the God who is right here, aching to embrace me, just as I am.
The bullseye of my faith is not doctrinal correctness, but love.
Or, perhaps, it is not a bullseye at all, but a sacred center.
What if I’m not supposed to strike it from afar,
But to lean back into its enfolding?
What if I have been taking aim with a bow made for strict accuracy,
With straight arrows of good intent,
When archery, itself, is not what I am here to learn?
What if I’ve not so much been missing the mark, as missing the point?
[photo by Emily Moe per cc 2.0]
The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny.
— Abraham Lincoln
The tyranny of self, of course, leads to the tyranny of others.
When self rules – at least the self that wants it all –
There is no freedom.
Once again the mystery –
Giving is receiving.
An open hand liberates.
[photo by Thomas Hawk per cc 2.0]
One of the realities of summer
One day it is a blossom
The next a fingerling
The next, almost too big.
Ask me if I’m growing squash
And I’ll likely say yes.
But, really, it grows on its own.
My part is minimal.
The rest is miracle.
Sun, water, dirt, seed –
Become an edible delight.
I can barely keep up.
I am grateful for these quiet miracles.
And the fact they don’t depend on me.
[photo by Joan per cc 2.0]
A list of things that will pass:
- The soft sighs of a sleeping child
- Spring’s cool mornings
- Flowers that wake after a rain
- The ache of yesterday’s exercise
- The strength of my resolve
- The urgent demands of this day
- The current political mess
- The opportunity on my doorstep
- This, this, this, too.
A list of things that will not change:
- God’s love in all of this
At last, I can breathe again. Nothing is too precious or too painful to be outside the realm of the embrace of love. I am grateful.
[photo is my own … already she has changed]
[Thanks to Brene Brown for her work on foreboding joy.]
When someone sits me down
And tries to tell me what I must believe
I think I see Flat Stanley, standing beside the pew.
It is as if he’d been smashed between the pages of a book –
Only the correct translation, of course –
And now, with things all decent and in order,
We can get on with the rest of our lives.
We can just slip him out when it’s handy.
And put him back when he gets in the way.
[image modified from photos by Temple Moore Trail (pews) and PRO Tito Perez (flat Stanley) per cc 2.0]
Isn’t it interesting how I keep getting things reversed?
I’m supposed to be made in the image of God …
But somehow I’ve found a way to make a god that looks like me.
… perhaps ‘interesting’ is not the right word ….
[photo by TheoJunior per cc 2.0]