Paraclete

         I will send you an Advocate from God,
         the Spirit of truth who comes from God,
         who will testify on my behalf.

               —John 15.26

When we say God is our judge
we really imagine God as prosecutor, judge and jury.
But Jesus says he will send us the Spirit,
usually translated “Advocate” or “Comforter.”
The word John uses is paraclete.
Paraclete is a Greek word meaning “one called along side of.”
Originally it meant a “legal assistant.”

God is on our side.
God is not the judge or prosecutor or jury:
God is our defense attorney.

When you judge yourself, God doesn’t.
God believes in you, and is on your side.
As you face the challenges of your day
trust that God defends you.

The truth the Spirit begins with
is the love of God and your belovedness.
Even if Jesus is no longer here to speak for you,
the Spirit will testify on behalf of Jesus
in your defense.

The Spirit says: “You can do this.
I’ve got your back.”

   —May 17, 2018

 

Tongues

         They began to speak in other languages,
         as the Spirit gave them ability.

               —Acts 2.4

I send these posts out daily through an email server.
Turns out it has a monthly message maximum.
Once I hit it, I try saying something, but the words don’t get out.
I hit “send,” but it doesn’t go.
So nothing went out for a week.

I wonder if God ever feels like I did?
What if God wants to express love but we’re not transmitting it?
What if God is still doing Pentecost?
What if God wants to say something through you?
Is it getting spoken? Is it getting sent?
What if you are the Word God is trying to get out?
What if you are the language in which God expresses love?
What if there are ways, even beyond your own knowing,
that others hear God’s good news through your life?

Listen deeply.
Speak boldly.
You are the blank page of the letter,
and God is the writer.

         You are a letter of Christ…
         written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God,
         not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
                  
—2 Corinthians 3.3

   —May 16, 2018

 

 

Something true

Something is true,
more true than most,
more to the root:
the love that founds you,
the joy that finds you
the peace that frees you
in the being beneath your doing.
It is the sun of the sunrise of you,
the song
that gives the singing of your life.
Let it be the music you dance to,
the drumbeat of your journey.
Let it be the path you’re on.
Let it be the one heart that believes
what is worth believing,
the one ear that hears
what is true in others.
It married you long ago.
Renew your vows and stay faithful.
If you lose it,
stop and listen.
Go with it, always with it.
Trust it deeper than any thing else,
except maybe the voice that utters it.

May 9, 2018

 

 

Open the windows

Love, open me to this day.
This is a day.
I need no words or categories─
rain or sun, clouds or wind─
only to see it, to feel it.
I want only to be open to this day, this moment.
I release all desire and attachment
to it being otherwise, to being elsewhere.
Open the windows of my heart
and throw back the curtains
to let this day in.
To notice and receive.
To be in this day,
shields down,
eyes open,
hands ready to be yours.
Love, open me.
Amen.

―May 8, 2018

 

 

Holding Oliver

I remember as a young father
holding little Daniel,
only months out of the swimming darkness,
late nights, early mornings,
feeling like a pitcher poured out,
incredulous that he was not as sleepy as I,
holding him as he wrestled with the dark
and stayed awake, I wrestling with the dark
and not staying awake, staggering
up and down the hallway, or half-slumbering
in the wooden rocker, waiting for rest
for both of us,
wondering if I’d live through it.

Awakening me before dawn,
playing at nothing,

his son holds me against the strange dark,
holds me, soothing:
Don’t worry Grandpop,
you will die,
and I will go on.

―May 7, 2018

 

Miracle

Every moment a miracle is placed in your hands.
It may be a flowering tree
you are free to notice or not,
or a sink of dishes,
it may be someone’s feelings,
or a newborn child,
or simply the unfolding of this moment.
Every moment there is another.

It is a revelation from God.
Attend, be amazed, give care,
and give thanks.

Granddaughter Maggie
came into the world yesterday.
She hasn’t been placed in my hands,
but the moment has.

May 4, 

Patience

Patience is not merely waiting;
it’s peace.
This moment is part of the story.

Hope is not merely wishing;
it’s trust.
The unseen is as real as the seen,

On this gracefully turning planet
the sun is already rising.

Breath prayer:

Now … the miracle

— May 3, 2018

Expectant

We are awaiting the birth of a grandchild.
We expect it’s a girl. That’s all we know.
But we already love her.
Already anticipate her, want her,
want the best for her,
hope for her what she can’t yet imagine.
She can’t see us, know us, suspect us.
But here we are, and our delight is real.

She hasn’t been born yet,
but she’s real. She’s alive.

She’s here. Just hidden.
But growing, listening.

You are here, even the part of you
about to be born again,
still becoming, still unseen.
And there is One you can’t see
or know or understand, who delights in you,
wants you, wants the best for you,
hopes for you what you can’t imagine.

Every one of us is so loved,
our arrival, even as we become,
so anticipated, by a God
so expectant.

   —May 2, 2018

Not too late

No, you’re not too late.
Just as you walk in
the trees are clearing their throats.
The day is rising,
the gentle breeze lifting
in you, bearing you up,
a migrating bird
among startled clouds,
among stars singing.
Even the stone seems changed.
Not a dream but wakefulness
stepping into the new day,
this blossom opening,
is just beginning to tell the story—

   —May 1, 2018