Deep in

Quiet One
I am here
deep in the mystery of You
The sometimes emptiness I have felt
weary, fruitless
the silence
the absence
that was You
releasing me from old ways
old assurances
Unveiling me
Inviting me deeper
into the mystery of You

Running out of thoughts
running free
Falling out of knowing
out of all understanding
into being

Presence of the unnoticeable

Mystery
vague as fog
warm us sun

Womb

I am
Here

March 29, 2019

Hollowed out

O Incomprehensible One,
you have taken the sharp knife of this life
and hollowed me out.
Scraped my insides.
Everything taken. Scoured. Empty.
You have punched holes in me
in painful places.
Helpless.
The wind blows through me.

And what is this?
Flute music!

   —March 28, 2019

The father’s song

         His father came out and began to plead with him.
                  —Luke 15.28

My Beloved,
both of you,
come back to me.
You have distanced yourself,
walked away from the family.
Come back.
I want you.
My grace I give you,
my feast I give you,
come feast.
You are neither sinner nor righteous,
you are Beloved.
Nothing have you earned or forfeited:
my love is a gift.
All of my love
is yours.
Come in and feast with me.
Silence your impudent mind
and come in to me.
Here is my joy in you,
all of you, together.
Let me pour myself out at this table for you.
Come, belong to me.
Be mine.
Come.

—March 27, 2019

The older brother’s song

         The older brother became angry and refused to go in.
                  —Luke 15.28

I refuse you.
I resent somebody, and your love for them.
I want to be better, more deserving.
I won’t go to your heaven if he’s there.
He’s not my brother. Your kin, but not mine.
I denounce your party. I scorn your joy.
I won’t go in.

Yet you come out to me,
here in the far country of my bitterness.
Just like him I have left your side;
just like him you invite me back.
I am no more worthy, no more loving.
He came to that point of turning to you.
I have not come there yet.

Yet you come to me.
You offer perfect love.
Will I release my resentment?
Will I rejoin my kin?
Will I come in?
Will I come?

   —March 26, 2019

The younger son’s song

         “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;
         I am no longer worthy to be called your son;
         treat me like one of your hired hands.”

                  —Luke 15.18

Empty hollow husks and crusts.
Treasure spent and spoiled.
Sorrow, mess and brokenness.
That’s what I have to offer you.

Hunger drove me then and draws me home.
Oh, I confess I have not come for you,
to heal your broken heart or give you thanks,
but only beg another scrap.

And yet you see me not as beggar
or as thief but your Beloved,
lost and found, and dear,
a cause for your rejoicing.

How do I bear this grace’s weight,
this love around my neck, this gift?
I don’t. I let it lift me up beyond myself,
amazed, where all there is is you.

   —March 25, 2019

Repentance

         Let me dig around it and put manure on it.
                  —Luke 13.8

Life-Giver, you pronounce your judgment:
“Surely there is in you (I see it)
a fruit (it is your nature), a gift (I put it there).”
You call me to penitence:
“Here, let me give you more life.
Receive it.”

And this is my repentance: compost.
What was life, then death, turned to life.
Shovelfuls of fasting dug around me,
the hard blade, the removal.
The manure of the failed,
submission to being beneath the lowest.
Accepting offal as a gift of grace.

This is my repentance: I receive.
Deeply rooted, deeply fed,
my soul is satisfied as with a rich feast.
Bread which satisfies.

And then, little buds.
New birds in the branches.

   —March 22, 2019

Sinner

         Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way
         they were worse sinners than all other Galileans?
         No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did.

                           — Luke 13.2-3
                  

You do away with the notion
that good things happen to good people.
You make the rain fall on the just and the unjust.
So you do away with my need
to be better than some, those sinners.
There’s only one kind of human:
broken and forgiven. Redeemed.

I am a sinner.
I am in need of repentance.
Keep me humble, God,
and aware of my need.
In conversing with others,
especially those I judge,
remind me: I am a sinner.
Keep my heart open to your saving grace.
Amen.

   —March 21, 2019

Equinox

Light and shadow, night and day,
joy and sorrow, rage and serenity,
cruelty and compassion in Christchurch.

Light swells, breathes in, then breathes out.
Earth arrives at equipoise and moves on.
In Boston Spring begins, in Christchurch autumn.

It is not true in God there is no darkness at all.
The universe is mostly so, and beautifully.
A painting without shadows is mere paste.

We seek light, and to be light,
and accept with grace we live in a shadowed world.
Even in heaven there are shadows, and always the choice

to be light,
and to make of the shadows
beauty.

   —March 20, 2019

Reach

         Your faith has made you well.

A friend and I are walking with her boys. Ice on the path.
She’s ahead, I’m with Teddy, the three year old.
He slips and crashes to his knees,
feet splayed, face inches from the ice.

He doesn’t crumple, doesn’t wail. Not a sound.
Doesn’t demand that mommy come back.
No pleading, no drama. Doesn’t even look up.
He calmly raises his hand above his head.
He knows what will come next.

Behold.

What a Mother we have, that we have come to know
—we know—
we are accompanied,
we are in need and we will be helped,
all will be well.

Faith, Jesus showed, is not certainty, but reaching out.

   —March 19, 2019

Seek

Holy One,
give me grace
to reach out,

to seek you
in your usual
unlikely places:

the unfamiliar face,
the passing moment,
the fruitless interlude.

Deepen my trust
in the root beneath the snow,
the beckoning in the silence.

In the ordinary conversation
in the spaces between what isn’t spoken
you reach out with such a quiet hand.

The beautiful instrument,
you breathe through it,
it becomes my body.

The unsuspected pause
swells with your presence.
By your grace, I notice.

I notice again.
By your grace,
I notice.

   —March 18, 2019