you have asked me
to get into your little boat of grace,
such a small boat on such wide waters.
So gently you say:
You don’t need to know where we are going.
You don’t need to believe we will arrive,
You don’t even need to trust the boat.
You just need to get in.
Storms and calm,
both category 5,
bringing beauty and danger.
Advisory warning for anyone
either traveling or staying home
by any means other than grace,
which will be unaffected.
—January 18, 2018
Holy One, Mystery of Deeps—
Sea of my travels, sacred margin,
womb of hidden surpassingness,
receiver of my drowning—
wash me, bear me, feed me.
Freewheeling One, Heaven’s Rogue,
Fish of divine slipperiness,
source of anointed diversions,
you who swallow me whole,
hold me in your darkness, keep me in your guts.
Risen One, Loving Confounder—
you who set me always to another side,
to unexplained revisions,
to miracles born of uselessness—
disorient me, re-imagine me, birth me.
—January 16, 2018
God of Martin and Rosa,
of Fannie Lou and Harriet,
Malcom, Mohandas and Cesar,
God of Tenzin, Desmond and Malala:
I do not ask to see the road ahead.
I do not ask for power or brilliance.
Give me passion.
Give me gratitude for my companions
and love for my siblings in this world.
Open my heart to my oneness with all people,
that I may work for justice and healing
not because I ought to,
but because I can’t keep myself
from my love.
God of all who have suffered,
all who have struggled, who have yearned:
we are millions; we are one.
I thank you.
Give me this day,
that I may give it back to you,
radiant with hope.
—January 15, 2018
Samuel heard the call
to speak the Word for God.
He head to learn to listen,
and learned that to hear
is to speak. And he spoke.
Dr. Martin heard the call
and spoke the Word.
Don’t listen for God
if you’re not ready to speak,
to speak for truth and justice,
for love and mercy.
With God, to hear is to speak.
This is why we fast and pray.
It’s not polite to listen
with your mouth full.
—January 12, 2018
Holy One, Root of Being,
you are not distant, but within me.
You are the core of my self;
you are the stem and I am the flower.
You are the love from which I radiate.
You are heart and nerve, and I am your flesh.
You know my pain; you walk each step;
you understand my mistakes from the inside.
You are the treasure within me
I have not yest discovered.
You are Presence itself: here, in this moment
and at the bottom of the sea:
happy, I am within you;
depressed, I am still in your heart.
I can’t hide from you, who live in my unconscious.
My awareness is the tip of your iceberg.
I flow from you like light from a flame;
you create me in each breath.
I do not understand this mystery
I simply celebrate your grace.
I open my eyes to see;
I open my heart to receive you.
My life is praise. I sing
with humility, gratitude and joy.
—January 11, 2018
—1 Samuel 3.4
so many voices call to me.
I turn so many ways.
They are not you.
Help me hear your true voice,
the clear, calm voice
at the center of every cry,
the quiet, steady voice
that knows my name,
the mystery that speaks
in ways only my deepest heart hears.
Help me hear the silence
within the noise
and turn to listen.
Speak, Holy One,
for I am listening.
—January 10, 2018
“I saw you under the fig tree”
the Beloved has seen you, unseen,
and fallen in love at first sight.
Drunk already with your loveliness,
they see in you what you can’t.
The rose has no idea.
They watch for you when you’re not looking,
plan as one consumed
how to happen upon you.
Your name drips from your Lover’s lips
like wine they are still tasting,
as if the first kiss has already been granted.
The Smitten One sees your life together,
but ever the humble suitor,
waits for you to ask.
Perhaps a musician from the orchestra
has told you what makes the music so sweet:
the longing is within you.
—January 9, 2018
Spirit breathes in you.
Does not take life from you,
doesn’t judge or measure,
simply gives you breath.
No matter your journey or struggles,
no matter your pride or shame,
the imaginary account you keep,
your wounds and the gaping holes in you—
Spirit breathes in you.
Each breath is God’s unfolding in you.
You may never hear the Voice,
or be sure you are following rightly,
never feel the Feeling,
or have whatever it takes to do
whatever you think you have to do;
you still breathe.
Spirit is still in you, making life.
Even when you die
it might take Spirit a long time
to draw that breath out of you.
—December 8, 2018
Just as he was coming up out of the water,
he saw the heavens torn apart
and the Spirit descending like a dove on him.
And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my Son, the Beloved;
with you I am well pleased.”
offspring of the delight of God,
spawn of light,
Bathe yourself in this grace.
You are God’s, in whom God delights.
Oh, yes, you’re screwed up.
You’re more screwed up than you think.
But you are God’s,
and God’s delight.
in the river water of this womb.
Go into the deep.
Let this be your balm, your healing,
Your only sin is your inability to trust this
in your bones.
Soak in it. Practice believing it.
Walk through this new year in faith,
dripping with heaven.
—December 5, 2018
Magi from the East came to Jerusalem, asking,
“Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?
For we observed his star at its rising,
and have come to pay him homage.”
When King Herod heard this, he was frightened.
Herod is afraid.
This is the root of his strutting, his meanness,
his cruelty to children, the poor and wayfarers,
his disdain of anyone who doesn’t adore him.
He is afraid. This is the well of his bluster,
the spring of his violence and hatred.
In his fear he will insult his critics,
threaten his neighbors and and assault the weak.
In desperate fear he will strain for every illusion
of his grandeur, his excellence, his power.
He is most afraid of light,
so he will sow darkness and veil the truth.
He is most afraid of love,
so he will grow a calloused heart,
and tremble at true gentleness.
He is most afraid of grace,
so he will send his army to slaughter.
But he has already lost. This is why he is afraid.
He is no match for love and light and grace.
His evil has already failed.
His victims are already resurrected.
We are not afraid.
—December 4, 2018