defiant joy

irrepressible.jpg

Is it possible
To hold within your heart
A nugget of defiant joy?

It is.

To deeply know
God’s deepest love
For all the deepest parts of you.

To hold to love
Despite the angry shouts
And sadly shaking heads.

To welcome God’s love
So fully, so truly
That it spills out to others.

Even – though they cannot see it,
And don’t know how to receive it,
To those with sadly shaking heads.

That is the miracle of grace.
That we can offer love to one
Who cannot love us in return.

Father, forgive them,
For they do not know
What they are doing.

Let me be a conduit of grace
Let it flow to me and through me
To all creation.

It is. (amazing) It is.

[photo by Michelle Robinson per cc 2.0]

the chrysalis has broken

emerging from the chrysalis.jpg

Today

May you trust the dawn,
Which I am bringing.

May your heart find a way
To hold both sorrow and hope.

May your ears listen, in quiet solidarity,
To the grief of cruel rejection.

And know that such a time as this,
Is meant for change, for growth.

The chrysalis has broken open.
Do not fear its breaking.

I have not abandoned you.
Nor have I forsaken my deep love for all.

Rest within my arms for just a moment.
Do not turn too quickly from the grief.

Let me rock you softly as your tears fall.
May you know, deeply know, that love prevails.

Already, I love you.
I always have.

You are a mystery, born of love.
And your wings will soon unfold into that truth.

You are emerging from the chrysalis that held you.
Its constraints no longer serve.

But it will take some time for the sun to dry your wings.
And the breeze of freedom to lift you for flight.

You can trust my love to win, again and always.
It is less about resistance and more about release.

My ways are not your ways.
They are strong and sure.

Love will prevail, not through plots and strategies,
But, as love always does, in loving.

In the meantime, may your heart hold on to me,
As I hold you.

[photo by Dagmar Collins per cc 2.0]

God, herself

When you remember
That whatever you do to others
You do to God, herself,
You see an even deeper reality to
“MeToo.”

Refusing to listen to words of truth
Is a refusal to listen to God
And a denial of the very heart of the relationship
That holds the world together.

Nevertheless, She persisted.

[photo by John Mavroudis from the cover of Time Magazine, 10/18]
[My gratitude to joekay617 for this reminder]

tangible love

kindnessits nice to have those warm and fuzzy feelings
that let me snuggle down into myself
its like a good nap
fun for me, but pretty useless for others
unless I use the energy I gain for them
unless I act out that warmth in human connection

unless love makes a connection
I’m not sure its really love, after all

[photo by Hossein Ghodsi per cc 2.0]

about life

new life

the interesting thing about life
is that you must live it
now

you can’t save it up
or hoard it
or even spend it into debt.
it’s now … or never.

I keep trying to plan it …
but that doesn’t work.
it just won’t stand still while I get it right.
worrying doesn’t work, either.

in the end, I can only live right, right now
and only if I remember to do it
consciously
mindfully
rather than just exist

so
let’s live 2018

see the beauty of the moment
seize the glory of the day
be kind to the earth and all it holds
be present with one another’s hope and pain
be grateful –
grateful for the very goodness at the heart of it all

we are part of that goodness
let us live it
now

 

[photo by Sonny Abesamis per cc 2.0]

In the meantime

Quote

ominous times

“Meantime … that’s when the mean men come.”
– my own definition, circa age 5

Seems we are living in the meantime.
Seems the mean men have come.
When a mother dies, trying to shield her children from gunfire,
And the children are killed, too.
It is the meantime.

When the mean men come to power
And bend that power to their own advantage
Leaving behind the families who struggle to make ends meet
And then claim they are serving the nation
It is the meantime.

When the mean men use their power
To abuse and then silence the women around them
Who take their dignity and threaten their life and livelihood, too
Sometimes taking that, as well,
It is the meantime.

When the mean men point their fingers and shout
Trying to distract us all from their abuses
Blaming anyone who looks different or seems powerless
For the outcomes their own system perpetuates
It is the meantime.

When the mean men are ready to do whatever it takes
To preserve their positions of privilege – of wealth and of power
Building walls and buying guns, hoping to keep themselves secure
Not understanding that the imbalance and separation is their greatest risk
It is the meantime.

When white men and women (like myself)
Wear privilege like underarmour
So tight that it seems to us like our ‘natural’ skin
We think it hides our flaws beneath its smooth whiteness
It is the meantime.

I am complicit in the coming of the meantime.
The mean men don’t have to be men (though they often are)
They don’t have to be white (though it makes it more likely)
We just have to be small, stingy, self-absorbed –
Another definition of mean.

Can I also be complicit in changing the times?
Oh, I do hope so.
And the first step must be outside my own walls.
It is time to leave the meantime behind
But how?

It cannot be done through power and privilege
All my usual tools do not avail
I will not figure it out on my own
My head is too small and my eyes too blind
Will you take my hand and help me not be mean?

[photo by Oiluj Samall Zeid per cc 2.0]

the question

reachingSo, God …
If you are not depending on me to save the world,
What then?

If I am not the one who must uphold your honor,
If I am not the one who must proclaim what is true,
If I am not the one who will make all things right,
What good am I?

Funny how it seems I either think that I am God,
Or presume that I must do the work of Jesus.
Either I must tell you how to make (or fix) the world,
Or I must save it.

On second thought, it is not really so funny.
At best it is sad and delusional,
And sets me up for utter failure.
At worst … well …

Jesus, himself, says, ‘No one is good but God.’
Perhaps this is not a differentiation
On a scale of goodness.
(God is good. You are not.)

Perhaps it points to a difference in role.
In fact, all the stories in Luke 18
Might be read as a suggestion of this difference.

The unjust judge grants the woman’s pleas just to stop her pestering.
It is the tax collector, not the Pharisee whose prayer does its work.
It is in becoming like a little child that you enter the kingdom.
The rich young ruler, who has fully obeyed the law, is unwilling to give up his money, his power, and simply follow and rely on God.
Jesus tells the apostles of his coming crucifixion, which they cannot understand.
The blind man begs for sight, and though they try to quiet him, he continues to beg and is blessed.

None of these stories make sense when measured in terms of ‘goodness’ and ‘deserving.’

I must admit that, at first, I was not sure I liked this arrangement.
If it were about deserving, and if I were good enough, I could demand certain actions from God.
Then, after sixty-some years of trying to be good enough, I am slowly recognizing that there really is a better way.

So … What good am I?
Not good enough.
Good thing that’s not what matters.
That’s not even the right question.

When I’m reaching for assurance,
I don’t have to depend on me.

Whew!

[photo by Valerie Everett per cc 2.0]