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And on this day…

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And on this day..

Share kindness ~ hug your loved ones, pet your cat, walk your dog, water your plants, hug your loved ones again ~ and claim the goodness of life.

Plant seeds ~ of lettuce and zinnias, of peace and compassion, dig in the soil to see the worms who work in the darkness turning waste into fertile soil ~ and claim the hope of our faith in the face of despair.

Look for the face of God ~ in the smile of your spouse or the grin of your child, in the weary faces of medical personnel and security offers in Boston and Syria and Iran, in the tears of weeping family and friends, in the despair of bystanders ~ and claim the promise of God’s everlasting arms of love.

Pray ~ often, in song, as you drive to work, hard, with every breath, for all who are unable to pray ~ and be held by the Spirit who prays on our behalf.

Turn off the TV, the radio, the web stream of constant news and images ~ turn on your favorite music, read a story to a child, read the Beatitudes aloud to yourself, listen to the song of the birds singing spring into being ~ and hear the song of God’s faithfulness through the season, over the ages.

Weep with those who weep, mourn with all who mourn, hope for those who have no hope ~ and when this is too much, rest fully in the tender mercy of Christ whose love can receive all this and more.

Embrace beauty ~ the blossom of a daffodil, a kind word spoken in the morning, a child learning to play the piano, neighbors talking over the fence, the predictable rise of the sun announcing the gift of another day ~ and give thanks .

For we are all one, sharing joy and sorrow, love and loss, connected in this beautiful web of life.

Ancient Knowing

Christine is hosting Poetry Party #59 at the Abbey ~  The Threshold of Summer.  Come share the fun!

 

Summer’s delights are many:
   the sweet drone of the cicadas
   a canoe winding its way down the river
   trees heavy with green, lush leaves
   the smell of long-awaited rain
   sidewalks alive with children and chalk and bicycles and bubbles
   fireflies dancing a midsummer’s pageant

Each of these and more fill the summer’s nights and days
But this year, with simplicity and ease,
   it is the plaintive song of the loon
      that opens my heart
Calling forth the ancient knowing of all creatures
Beckoning all who listen to pause, and
   remember

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Doxology in Pairs

Paradox – it often shows up
just when I think I have something figured out
Paradox shows up to say
“it may not really be that way”
Paradox reminds me, again,
that faith usually believes in order to see
Paradox, an invitation to embrace dissonance,
to hold in tension two seemingly unlike events or ideas
Paradox, a teacher of doxology in pairs

Less is more
Gain one’s life by first losing it
Mustard seeds are more than enough
Thirst is quenched, but with more than water
Hunger is satisfied, but not with bread alone
Costly oil is to be used on feet
Boundary lines bring freedom
Salt, more than sugar, sustains life
A seed is buried in order to grow
Wholeness can exist in brokenness
Joy and pain both find a place in the same heart

And, empty is full:
Full of new life, hope, healing, love
as Mary and Joanna and Peter discovered at the tomb.

Such is the good news of Easter
as we discover it anew, day by day…

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday, holy waiting,

holy wondering, holy preparing.

With regards to Jesus, we know how the story goes,

so we know for what we are waiting, wondering, and preparing

But more often we are like the women at Jesus’ tomb

not knowing for what we are waiting, wondering, and preparing

We don’t know whether to laugh or cry,

what type of meal to prepare for

how to set the table

which music to choose

are the spices and anointing oils

for life or for death? for both?

New life means a new beginning

which also means an ending.

Behold, I create all things new,

          The old has passed away.

 

A day of transition, a day like much of life –

letting go and embracing,

emptying and filling,

dying and rising,

exhaling and inhaling.

So I shall empty, clean, and fill the bird feeders,

preparing the table for those

who have returned as they do every spring,

Telling of the great cycle of rhythm of life,

of God’s great work of love

that hope has the last word.

The birds sing from the treetops

as we prepare to sing Alleluia!!

So I Walk…

Like the pull of the moon when she is full of luminous light,

the ocean beckons me to her side

where the waves wash over my soul and the birds invite me to fly.

So I walk, step after step, step after step,

leaving more than a footprint,

‘shoulds’ and ‘ought-tos’ fall away,

tension loses its grip on my shoulders

the hamster wheel in my mind stops spinning

and, finally, I shed my shoes,

connecting sole with soul.

So I walk, step after step, step after step,

my fingers begin picking up shells almost without my awareness,

large and small, broken and whole,

compelled by the Artist within I place the shells in the sand

working out some arrangement between my soul and Spirit.

So I walk, step after step, step after step,

joining the community of all who share the beach,

who seek its refuge and beauty and healing,

our individual lives and smiles brushing briefly against one another

while the ahinga invites me to claim the solitude

that is inherent in such a walk.

So I walk, step after step, step after step,

strong waves crashing fiercely over the rocks,

breaking upon my ‘wanting to be certain’ grip,

splashing into the dark crevices for a thorough spring cleaning.

So I walk, step after step, step after step,

drawn to the piers whose walkways extends into the deep,

where fishermen and fisherwomen cast their lines and their hopes

and the birds flock to feed on leftover fish parts.

But it is the underside that calls out to me

as I find my way to the cloister on the sea,

finding sanctuary in the rhythm of the waves and the repetition of the structure

and the doorway at the far end.

So I walk, step after step, step after step,

watching the birds waddle down the beach as they search for snatches of food

and chase one another in a game of tag

and take flight into the strong winds,

wondering what it means for one’s spirit to soar

while being suspended over the sea.

And as I walk,

each step becomes prayer ~ for myself, for others, for creation,

and I enter into the mystery of creation and the

and the presence of our Creator.

And as I walk each step brings more wholeness and peace.

Poetry Party #55

Time to join in the Poetry Party again at Abbey of the Arts!  In honor of Valentine’s Day Christine has invited us to write a poem that is a love letter to something in our daily life.  Here’s my offering:

Letters of Love

Six days a week love is carried around town,

addressed to Ms. Sue and Mr. Tom

and Chaundra and Shawn

and Mr. and Mrs. Long.

Coming from across the country and around the corner,

these letters are written from the heart

or chosen with care at the card store.

They tell of

…a mother’s love for her daughter just starting college

…unspoken love after months of silent admiration

…gratitude after 47 years of marriage

…a sweetheart far from her beloved

…forgiveness after words spoken in anger

…love that is patient and kind and endures forever.

The good news is this love is not reserved just for Valentine’s Day.

With “Forever” stamped in the right hand corner,

this love is carried on paper and in our hearts.

The Rocking Prayer

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My newest upstairs neighbor,

at 12 days old,

is held in her daddy’s arms.

Rocking back and forth,

my ceiling sings a rhythmic

c-r-e-a-k and creak,

c-r-e-a-k and creak,

lulling her to sleep

and soothing her downstairs neighbor.

This is a prayer of sorts,

this rhythmic creaking:

Oh, that every new life

could be held and rocked and loved.

Oh, that every soul that knows fear and loneliness

could be held and rocked and loved.

Oh, that the world would know of Your love that

holds and rocks each of us.

C-r-e-a-k, I love you.

Creak, I love you.

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