Jacob and Esau

Jacob and Esau, you will fight.
Like Isaac and Ishmael before you
and Joseph and his brothers after,
you will contend. This is your lot.
It is our nature.

But it is not your fight.
You were born into it.
You are Isaac and Rebekah’s rivalry,
and they will entangle you in it.
You are two nations.
You are all people.

You “despise your birthright,”
deny your belovedness and belonging,
think you can steal it.
And you despise your brother,
think you can walk away from him,

escape your brotherhood.

But you can’t escape: you’re family.
All the hungry, all the un-belonging,
they are yours.

And why do you struggle?
To find yourself.
To set yourself off from those closest,
to be not-them,

yet bound.
It is to be reconciled, to achieve
that gift that cannot be purely given
but must be wrought, and then received.
You’re not trying to untangle the knot
but tie it tighter with that brother

who after all your wrestling
will fall on your neck,
and kiss you
and you will weep.



        Go and tell John what you hear and see:
         the blind receive their sight, the lame walk,
         the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
         and the poor have good news brought to them.

                  —Matthew 11.4-5

Healing works its grace within you, unseen.
Justice unfolds in this world, unknown.
Whatever happens, so does healing.
The Beloved is continually mending, mending.

Trust this mystery.
Hear and see with this confidence.

With this mind
you will know
the drawing near
of the Tender One.


Neither good nor bad

         I do not understand my own actions.
         For I do not do what I want,
         but I do the very thing I hate.

                  —Romans 7.15

“Sin” is not that we’re bad people.
It’s that we don’t know how to love perfectly,
even when we try.

We’re playing hard for the home team
but keep accidentally scoring for the opponents.

In the war between good and evil
we’re on the right side,
but we keep shooting our own with friendly fire.

God understands, and forgives us.
God delivers us from the hopeless battle:
we are neither “good” nor “bad;”
we are beloved.

When we let that grace course through our veins,
let that love move through our bodies,
become the bodies of that spirit,
then it is God who lives in us,
who loves perfectly through us.


Yoke mediation

         A mediation on Matthew 11.28-30

Come to me, all you who are weary
and are carrying heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.

                  Christ, I come to you.
                  I lay down my burden.
                  I rest in you.

Take my yoke upon you,

                  I share your burden,
                  your love for the world.
                  I am yoked with you,
                  your life and death and life.
                  I am one with you always,
                  side by side,
                  not running ahead of you,

                  not wandering off,
and learn from me;

                  Each moment I learn from you,
                  watching your eyes, your hands,
                  imitating your movements.

for I am gentle and humble in heart,

                  Yoke of gentleness, lay upon me.
                  Hold me in my anxiousness,
                  guide me in my impatience,
                  bring me along when I falter.
and you will find rest for your souls.

                  Rest of Christ,
                  soul’s belonging,
                  nothing required.

For my yoke is easy,

                  Not my worries,
                  but compassion for the world.
                  Not my effort,
                  but yours in me, yoked.

and my burden is light.

                  This burden lifts me,
                  this light.


The yoke of Christ

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
                  —Matthew 11.28-30

Jesus teaches no doctrine; he extends an invitation.
He preaches no creed; he offers a relationship.
He does not discuss theology; he practices a way of living.
He offers no reward, but his presence.

He invites us into the Great Work of being souls,
the Great Work of loving the world.
He promises to be yoked with us.

He offers the paradox of the labor that is rest,
the yoke that is freedom,
the burden that is light.

His Word is not an order, a threat, a pronouncement,
but a promise, an opening, a desire for us:
“Come to me.”

The burden we bear into the world
at his side
is not heavy; it is light itself, the light of God.


Stepping on God

All day long I am stepping on God.

I am breathing God,
I am walking under God,
I am hearing God in chatter and in silence,
I am avoiding eye contact with God
in the checkout line.

To be a saint
you don’t have to be perfect.

You just have to


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