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]

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]

the space between the words

whispered wisdomSometimes, in reading other’s words, a phrase rings so very true that it expands my soul and feeds my journey. For me, these are among the ‘thin places’ that the Celts acknowledged – places where the space between the mundane and the holy is whisper thin.

I hope they will brush your soul with grace, and, perhaps, stir us all to action, as well.

Image of Franz Kafka

 

Art, like prayer, is a hand outstretched in the darkness, seeking for some touch of grace which will transform it into a hand that bestows gifts, Franz Kafka – [as quoted here by Maria Popova – photo by per cc 2.0]

 

Hannah BonnerTears were not weakness when falling from her eyes, they were what courage looks like when it takes a minute to breathe.” [Hannah Bonner-photo and quote used with permission]

 

Frederick Buechner

One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God.” – Frederick Buechner; photo by Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

 

photo of Richard RohrJesus 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 – [Image cropped from photo by Festival of Faiths per cc 2.0]

 

[From time to time I will add to this collection, placing the new phrase at the top of the list.]  [photo at the top of the post by Pearl Pirie per cc 2.0]

grace embodied

women in prayerWhen we think of you,
We remember how your faith unfolds into works of love;
How you persevere in hope, even when times are tough.

Your hope gives us hope;
Your joy brings us joy
Your faith inspires faith;
Your life shines life into our lives.

No wonder we give thanks to the Holy One
Whenever we remember you.
You embody the Spirit of grace
Who makes us one within the One.

No one can say, ‘Look! I made the candle burn.’
Instead what burns in you lights up another
And it goes on and on.

[a meditation on 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3]
[photo by Gregory Gill per cc 2.0]

too patient

patient as a sunsetSometimes
I think that the Holy One
Is way too patient:

Too willing to let the world
Find its way;

Too tolerant of the anger and vitriol
That floods the hearts of those
Who cannot find the universal love
That is right there with them, ready to embrace;

Too able to bear their destructive fury,
Yes, even to the point of death
(His and theirs and those they trample).

How can such infinite patience
Really be what is right?
How can the Holy One wait on us,
All the while enduring the evil we create?

So, I am often convinced that the Holy One
Is way too patient with everyone.
(Except with me, of course,
The patience toward me is just about right.)

It is as if the end is sure,
Despite the length and terror of the trail.

It is as if the moments of love that we return along the way:
The moments we see the beauty;
The moments we use our creativity to bring joy;
Are all a part of the culminating grace
That will bring us home, at last.

It is as if the Holy One
Has enough patience
And enough love
To bring us all
Every one
Through the fray
And into the deepest heart
Of eternal love.

It is as if
No price were too high
To bring us all
Home.

 

[photo by Marlon Malabanan per cc 2.0]

looking for light

candle light

When times get crazy
And dreams falter
And shouts threaten to own all ears

When your heart cowers
And pulls you into your small corner
And your tight eyes fill with tears

That is when it is hardest
To see any light.
And when it is most important.

It is not the denial
Of this world’s selfish curl
Or that same curl within your clay

It is not the self-protective scurry
To keep yourself walled in
And resign all others to the fray

It is not whistling in the dark
That keeps you safe
Or points the way.

It is holding tight to hope
And offering kindness
As a vital part of all you do.

It is looking for the light
And discovering, to your surprise
That it shines through you.

You are God’s portal,
A conduit of grace.
You are the way that love gets through.

[photo by Images by John ‘K’ per cc 2.0]