When 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]
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
Through the fray
And into the deepest heart
Of eternal love.
It is as if
No price were too high
To bring us all
[photo by Marlon Malabanan per cc 2.0]
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]
There 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]
What if, perhaps,
My arms, today,
Were meant to bring
God’s dear embrace
What if my smile
Was meant to show you
Just how much
Has blessed my own?
What if our lives
Could quietly reflect
God’s very being,
In this moment,
In this place?
[photo by Archigeek per cc 2.0]
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
Yet each is filled,
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]
Lean your ear against the heart of the earth,
Feel its breath upon your cheek,
Listen past the noise of the news,
Past the roar of traffic
Even past the thumping of your own heart.
You can catch the whisper of hope
That will not die.
It’s there, you know:
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.
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]