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]

the exchange

mother and child
There is an image,
An exchange I witnessed,
That has been percolating
In my memory for years.

You’ve probably seen it, too:
A young mother
With her infant bouncing on her lap.
They are enthralled with one another.

What flows between them,
Almost visible as their eyes connect,
Palpable in the air between them,
Is the exchange of life-giving love.

The infant is held by something
So much stronger than her hands.
The mother is upheld
With something just as strong.

Their gifts to one another
Are so tangible
So vital
So real.

Yet each is filled,
Not emptied.
Full of a love that will not be contained.
A rush of life between them.

This is love incarnate.
Love enfleshed; love fulfilled.
This is how life is passed on.
Birth is just the beginning.

Perhaps this shows me why
The Christ came to us.
To look us in the eye
And give us life.

God breathed upon the clay.
Christ looked on us with love.
The Spirit, now within us,
Empowers life’s eternal flow.

It is like breath:
Receiving in; giving out.
Each delightful exchange
Brings life anew.

[image cropped from photo by Robert Moores per cc 2.0]

Listen

like music - trees reflected on a lake leave the impression of sound waves

Lean your ear against the heart of the earth,
Feel its breath upon your cheek,
And listen.

Listen past the noise of the news,
Past the roar of traffic
Even past the thumping of your own heart.

Sometimes, sometimes,
You can catch the whisper of hope
That will not die.

It’s there, you know:
Emergent life,
The pure gift of irrepressible love.

Such love does not demand attention.
Instead, intentional gratitude
Can help to open your heart to its sweet call.

Listen.
It calls you now.
And waits, patiently, upon your turning.

[photo from the blog nature has no boss, posted 9/5/17, by Mike Bizeau, used with permission]

i am

small child looking at himself in a store windowThe whisper of ‘i am’ within my soul
Is the echo of ‘I AM.’
Its breath would not be
Without the greater breath of life.

Yet, your great mystery is veiled,
Lest i be overwhelmed.
You hold back in order to give room,
In order to give time
For me to be.

I feel your tug upon my soul,
Your fingers brush my cheek,
And my hope catches its breath
In deep desire of you.

It is the first light of morning,
It is the call of a new day
That lets me take brief notice
Of eternity’s heartbeat in my own,
Calling me to be.

[photo by Lisa E per cc 2.0]

Now

resurrection

He is risen!

Now … we can rise, as well.
To life
To love
To joyful celebration.

Why wait?
Eternal life starts now.

“The risen Christ is the standing icon of humanity in its full and final destiny. He is the pledge and guarantee of what God will do with all our crucifixions.” – Richard Rohr

[image cropped from photo by lady habib per cc 2.0]

unnecessary crucifixion

crucifixion

Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity – it did not need changing! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.- Richard Rohr

Perhaps …
Could this be true?

The crucifixion was unnecessary.

God did not require it – we did.

It was not God who demanded sacrifice as the gateway to reconciliation.
God’s power to love and forgive was never held hostage to some cruel death.
Love has always been more powerful than sin.

We are the ones who required blood-sacrifice.
We believed so deeply that the price of sin was death
That we would not accept God’s love and reconciliation without it.

So, Christ, who came for reconciliation,
Who came to show us love,
Met our conditions.

God’s desire for relationship was so deep
That God yielded to our obstinate delusions
To prove in ways that only we demanded
The awesome, terrible depth of love.

God does not love us more – or less – because of the crucifixion.
But we can now accept forgiveness
And find a way to receive and return that love.

That is God’s desire – that we would love in return.

God will do whatever it takes to help us find the way to love.

[image cropped from a photo by Steve Snodgrass per cc 2.0]

the donkey

gentle donkeyI am back on the floor of the canyon and see the path as before. I begin, again, to walk the path, not sure where it is leading. I walk and walk, but I seem to make no progress. The scenery around me is so much the same, from step to step.

This sense of futile movement only increases as I enter a bank of fog. Indeed, I worry that I might inadvertently step off the edge of the trail and fall into a ravine. A sense of fear joins my sense of futility and I am tempted to stop altogether.

But then, I am joined on the path by a wise and gentle donkey, who just appears beside me, as I walk. His step is sure and he seems to know this path well. His presence strengthens me and quells my fear. It is good to have this bit of companionship. Occasionally I reach out to touch him; resting my hand upon his back as we walk; steadying my step.

I continue to doubt that I am making progress, but there is really nothing else I know to do but walk. And so we do. At last the donkey takes me to an overlook, where we can catch a larger view. To my surprise, we have actually progressed quite a long way from the floor of the canyon.

Later we stop to rest. I ask the donkey who he is – he is so wise and benevolent. His name, he says, is Jesus – and, indeed, he is.

I am mortified that my meditation has cast him as a donkey. But he only smiles: that is the best I can do right now, and he does not despise the role. He is willing to lead me through the canyon and carry my burdens. Someday I will grow to the point where he is no longer a donkey.

4/28/82

[photo by Laura Wolf per cc 2.0]