Thursday, August 14, 2014

Don't
let
the world's
bright blood stain
your hands. May it pulse
in glittering veins buried deep
beneath Earth's crusty skin. You who breathe the air, live free.
Let love like golden sunlight pour
in spirit and truth
from hands held
open
and
clean.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

If
you
would rise
heavenward,
stoop down to caress
the tattered fragmentary leaves,
the rocks that crumble first to sand, then dust, and above
all the little earthworms, fellow
flesh. Bow low, knees pressed
to the ground
that God
so
loved.

Friday, August 8, 2014

His yoke is easy, but you really do
have to put it on. Bear this burden,
and be borne by its light. Rising with the gravity
of fire and wind, obey his stern command
of mercy. Receive its blessing, and live as children
of God most merciful, God most kind, and God
all mighty righter of wrongs and bringer of peace.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Choosing

Choice is an odd phenomenon. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever managed to give a really adequate explanation for how it can possibly exist, but experience tells me that it is very real.

I do this thing.

I choose.

I decide, and in so doing I demonstrate time and again that the universe is much more than matter and energy in mindless motion. There are always various reasons and causes behind my choices, but there is a bright, bewildering freedom as well. I am constantly constrained both by my circumstances and my character, but within those limitations, I can choose to do one thing... or another. Whatever I choose, the fact of my choosing is a deep mystery that points to the great Chooser who was from the beginning, and whose intention contintually shapes and directs all our lives.

It happens every time I choose pistachio almond instead of fudge ripple, every time I choose to write a sonnet, and every time I choose to let the words slip by because this moment with my children matters more than anything I could say about it. It happens every time I choose to gather the courage to lovingly confront another's sin, and it happens every time I choose to swallow back my bitter words and just keep silent.

I participate in this god-like mystery of choosing all the time.

Except not really. Not always.

Sometimes I don't choose. Sometimes the ugly words just tumble out before I can catch them, and sometimes my silence is fear-bound and involuntary. Sometimes it's both all once, as shame of the words that I shouldn't have said holds back the words that I should have said, until they burst out, putrid, at some absurdly inappropriate moment.

Sometimes my actions are simply and entirely the product of my circumstances and my temperament. Sometimes the image of God is so obscured in me that I am little more than matter and energy in mindless motion.

It's pretty ugly when I'm in that state. We humans can't be good automatons, since that is not how God designed us. The moment we cease to choose, we cease to submit to God's perfect plan for us, since choosing--and choosing well!--is at the heart of what He wants from us. We can choose well, or we can choose badly, but when we aren't choosing at all, it's always awful.

When we choose badly, we start to lose our ability to choose at all. We slip into a spiral of hurt, shame, and just plain orneriness, until we find ourselves doing most of the things that we've decided not to do, and very few of the things that we wanted to choose.

Jesus paid a tremendous price to bring us back to our original glory as choosers in the image of God.

Grab hold of this gift, and guard it well!

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free...serve one another humbly in love." Galatians 5:1a; 13b NIV

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I was always told the passive voice
should be avoided, since it does not result
in drama. Still, my rebel soul's been captivated
by peace. Things have been said and done, and these
must not be allowed to continue on unnamed.
There are words which must be spoken with unrelenting
quietude, with love that leaves nothing forgotten, but keeps
no record of wrongs. Things have been said and done.
I have done my share of them; this much
I must confess. As for the rest, the telling
may be the task of another, but for me,
to speak will always be passive, and the words of blame
must all give way to deeds of restoration.
Things have been done, and much remains to do.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Love
is
neither
the fullness
nor the poverty.
Do not be distracted by such
incidentals. Love is the endless economy,
the current and the currency
that flows in between
the endless
motion
of
peace.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tears are somewhat elegant in the abstract.
Diamonds of dew rest on velvety rose-petal cheeks.
It's awkward, though, when your nose blossoms red,
billowing out to twice its normal width.

Beneath translucent skin, your glowing veins
form a lacy network, hot with pulsing blood.
Mathematically beautiful, but I flinch because I know
how one's stomach clenches up with every sob,
bile rising sharp and diamond-bright.