the turning

morning light.jpg

When I remember
To give you the first fruits of my morning,
When I turn my mind, my heart,
First to your call,
Silencing the pull of other voices,
That is when my heart finds home.

Why, then, do I neglect this turning?

Who knows?
Who needs to know?
These questions just delay the turning.

It’s not about fixing me.
It’s about finding you.

So … I tilt my head,
I tilt my heart,
To listen.

And there you are.
I hear what I cannot quite hear.
I know what I cannot really know.
I find, despite my fears,
That I do believe in you.

I believe just enough to cuddle my soul
Within your whisper.
I believe just enough to breathe with you.

In and out,
We exchange the thread of life.
In and out,
You cleanse my heart of dread,
And seed my hope.

And so these three arrive with my turning
Faith, hope, and love.
Your love, of course, is what evokes my own.
And mine must follow, once I turn and see.

Good morning, Holy One.
Thank you.

[photo by Susanne Nilsson per cc 2.0]

your story

prayer.jpg

Oh Holy One,
I turn my heart to you.
I tune my ears,
Seeking the frequency of your heart.
I close my eyes,
So I might see beyond distractions.

This moment of turning
Turns the world.
Until, at last, I glimpse a different story.
It is a story more true than
The one that shouts to me from the TV,
Working to stir my fears.

Your whispered presence
Tells a deeper story.
Not about distance,
Not about disease,
Not about death.

Your story holds a secret melody
That sings of hope,
Of healing, and of resurrection.
You placed yourself within the struggle
To bear, with us, its pain and loss
And walk us through to promise.

Slowly I begin to understand.
Stories are life incarnate:
Life held at a distance,
So that I might better see.

The stories I listen to,
The stories I tell,
Shape me.

So, help me hear your story
The one you speak within my heart
The one that holds the world with love
The one that makes me one with you.

Oh Holy One,
Help me to pray.
Help me to hear your voice amid the storm.
Help me to walk with confidence upon the waves,
Looking only on your face.

Teach me, again, your story.

 

[photo by Via Tsuji per cc 2.0]

helping me hold on

bluebonnets

joy in my flower bed

 

some quotations from those I admire:

valarie kaur.jpg“I believe this is a time to love without limit. This is a time to see no stranger. In doing so, we gather information for the kind of world we want, where no one is uninsured or disposable, where our policies and public institutions protect all of us. 

And if panic or grief or rage seizes you suddenly, it’s okay. It means you are alive to what is happening. The work is to breathe through it. It becomes a dance – to panic, then return to wisdom; to retreat then find the courage to show up with love anyway. 

I spend all day in fear. But tonight, I got quiet enough to hear the wise woman in me, and she said, “Breathe, my love. Like any long labor, we are going to take this one breath at a time.” “                                            Valarie Kaur   [photo from Flickr per cc 2.0]

 

richard rohr 2.jpg“Right now I’m trying to take in psychologically, spiritually, and personally, what is God trying to say?   When I use that phrase, I’m not saying that God causes suffering to teach us good things. But God does use everything, and if God wanted us to experience global solidarity, I can’t think of a better way.  We are in the midst of a highly teachable moment.”    Richard Rohr   [photo from Flickr per cc 2.0]

 

a future salad in my garden

a future salad in my garden

 

“… As we struggle with our new circumstances and wonder what “normal” will be in the future, it’s comforting to be reminded that there’s familiarity all around us and within us.

Joe KayNature is doing its long-anticipated, seasonal thing. People are still showing kindness and love, if from a distance.

It’s a reminder that we, like God, are in the business of constantly weaving together the old and the new into something that will be filled with grace in its own ways.

And it will be very good. Challenging? For sure! But also good.”   Joe Kay [from his blog, with permission]

 

Brian McLaren 2.jpgBrian McLaren offers some great wisdom on how to pray in the midst of crisis, posted as a daily meditation through the Center for Action and Contemplation, here.   [photo from Flickr per cc 2.0]

 

All this … and a mysterious gift of hope, given, shared, welcomed.

 

I need a different story

 

held .jpg

You would think all this time at home
Would bring a stillness,
An opportunity to breathe,
A chance to sit and think.

But, as I am now aware,
That takes a disciplined intentionality.
The rat-a-tat-tat of news coverage
Pounds at my soul.

I am not automatically quiet,
Even at times like these.
I must decide to turn my mind, my heart,
Away from insistent distraction.

Yet (take a deep breath)
You are here. Even here.
Your touch can spread peace, rather than fear.
There is no quarantine that can keep you away.

And so, I close my eyes.
I lean my head back, ever so slightly.
I imagine your arms around me.
I can feel your love anoint my soul.

And in your embrace,
I let my prayer become an ointment for the earth.
I see, in my mind’s eye, your hovering hope.
I relax my grip upon control and give it all to you.

The trial of this time,
The real suffering that ensues,
The anger and accusation that rise too easily,
Are not the only story.

You tell a different story,
One that even death cannot destroy.
And somehow I will let myself believe that your story
Is the one that will prove true.

[photo by Roger Ahlbrand per cc 2.0]

Rising

sunrise.jpg

That red ribbon on the horizon
Is a sign of your coming.
Already you are rising to the day.
Already your hope comes.
Already the arms of the trees reach for you.
Already my heart yearns,

And you come.

You will come to me each morning
Tiptoeing over the curve of the earth
Smiling in the ever-increasing light
Until, one day,
My eyes will be closed to the sunrise.
That day,
I will be be tiptoeing over the curve of eternity
Into your arms.

[photo by kingkubby per cc 2.0]

delight

gossamer wings.jpg
For me,
delight may be
the surest evidence
of God.

That eternal smile
makes it possible
to grasp my days
and venture forth
with courage.

There is
within delight
a firm assurance
that all will,
indeed,
be well.

And I can breathe again.

So, I keep an eye out for delight
and hear God’s chuckle when it shows itself
amid the rubble of my days
like a geode broken to the light.

My own heart laughs when I see it,
hidden in plain sight
already there when I turn my eyes.

The laughter of my soul
breaks down my fear
and blows away despair
like feathers in that holy wind.

 

[photo by Chris A per cc 2.0]

learning to dance

dance steps.jpg

It’s such a silly dance I dance,
Trying to decide if its you or me
Who takes each step, within the flow.
So, thinking too hard about the steps,
I stumble.

I forget that dancing is less about my feet,
And more about the music.
My focus, once again, awry.

Only, on occasion,
The beauty takes me from myself.
I find that I am whirling in your arms,
Alight with joy, full of you,
And … fully me.

I do not lose myself.
I loose myself,
When I turn my attention
From my feet
To your embrace.

Then, I find the music
And I can dance.

 

[photo by DrewToYou per cc 2.0]

better

vining .jpg

The green of the leaf,
The heat of the sun,
The laughter that bubbles up
When good friends meet
After a long absence,

The sweet satisfaction
In a sip of cool water,
The uncomplicated giggle
Of a small, dear child,
These are evidence of you.

These are embodiment of you.
These are where, again, you create life.

Theology is good.
The pulse of life is better.
I rejoice in them both.

[photo by Mary Beth Griffo Rigby per cc by nc nd 2.0]