Beside the sea


I breathe beside the sea,
in and out.

The waves breathe in and out,
the tide, in and out.

The wind breathes,
in and out

under the sun breathing
in and out so slowly,

until it exhales
into the solar system,

until the universe breathes
in and out one last time,

though God keeps breathing
in and out

in me breathing
beside the sea.

—October 17, 2017

In the silence

Google Groups is still shutting me out, so I’m changing to a new email system. In the meantime I have to add recipients to the list one at a time). Think about that.

God has not forgotten you,
lost track of you in this vast, cluttered universe,
lost interest with so many other people.

God is speaking to you,
in the most invisible whisper,
the faintest handwriting,

and sometimes, like a mother with a child inside her,
no message gets through,
nothing in the silence but God herself.

   —October 16, 2017

Burning house

I pray for all those affected by storms, by fires, by civil unrest, and by so many private calamities.

Hurricane roars over the horizon
and they grab the most beloved things,
pack everything into the car,
one last trip through the house,
and they’re gone.

Soldiers enter the village, ravaging,
and the family leaves by the other road,
belongings in bundles on their heads.

Fire marches down the hill
with total disregard,
the eaves catch,
smoke drinks each room,
they reach for the treasures
and they’re out.

The world’s house
is always on fire,
God clearing out
with you under her arm.

– October 13, 20017


Whatever is true

Let these words of Paul guide you today:

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable,
if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing the things
you have learned and received and heard and seen in me,
and the God of peace will be with you.
                  — Philippians 4.8-9


October 12, 2017

Technical Difficulties

For those who subscribe to Unfolding Light by email I have used Google Groups for a long time. But since Oct. 3 Google Groups has failed to accept my messages. I can write to people only one at a time. (There are 2,716 of you.) I guess some algorithm thinks my writing is junk. And apparently it doesn’t think I’m going to improve: the failure seems to be permanent.

Until I get Google Groups fixed, or move to another platform, I can’t distribute. I’m only here on this website and on Facebook. If you subscribe to receive these by email I’ll add you to my list; you just won’t start receiving messages right away.

I’ve spent hours trying to figure out the Google Groups failure (instead of writing). There’s no reason, no explanation, no fix, and no help. An opaque puzzle. A box that can’t be opened. It’s been frustrating. I’ve learned a lot. Mostly about patience.

God help me to find you in silence,
to embrace you in mystery,
to know you in powerlessness,
to trust you in the darkness.

   —October 11, 2017

A prayer in dark times

God of mercy,
we cry, we cry to you.
Be with us in our darkness.
May your love prevail over all.
Shelter our broken hearts, hallow our grief,
put your arms around our sorrow.
Bear our losses with us, and receive our death.
Give us wisdom to bear both horror and hope,
to face our brokenness without blame,
and our fear without despair.
Give us grace to meet evil with goodness.
Give us courage to hold the fearful,
to heal the wounded, and to work for justice.
Give us the heart to be peacemakers in a troubled world.
God of mercy, give us mercy.
Sustain us with your love.
Raise us from our graves
and give us courage and mercy.

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.



– October 3, 2017


Worn spot

worn step.jpg

There’s a dip in the stone step
in the threshold of the old cathedral,
worn where thousands of pilgrims have stepped
as they entered the darkness to pray.

Even in the old country church
the railing is rubbed bare
where the faithful have grasped,
have leaned, have hoped.

There is a worn spot
at the threshold of your heart
where God has entered the silence
over and over, to pray and gaze at your altar.

You don’t have to hear the words.
You don’t have to understand.
Just step on the threshold,
touch the railing, and you know.                       

   —October 2, 2017

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