Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Come Clean

June 7, 2014 Leave a comment

Here is a short meditation as I have been thinking about 1 John 1 and reading the poem, Cleanse the Thoughts by Walter Bruegemann


Why do I try to hide

my secrets,

my sin,

When I am already fully known by You?

The Nakedness of Adam by Alan Falk

My secrets ooze out of the pores of my life,

despite my best efforts to keep them hidden.

My shame keeps me

painfully isolated

from You,

from others,

from the help that I so desperately need.

Your wooing voice cries out to me,

“Come clean.

Allow yourself to be known.

Join in the celebration with the saints,

our blood-bought victory,

our bondage-breaking liberation,

our friendship-restoring redemption.

Allow yourself to be known

by Me,

by others;

And to be loved

as a less-than-perfect

image-bearer of the King.”


O Love Divine in Five Senses

January 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Personal photo from Muir Woods

O Love, divine Love why do you lay siege to me?
In a frenzy of love for me, You find no rest.

From five sides you move against me,
Hearing, sight, taste, touch, and scent.
To come out is to be caught; I cannot hide from You.

If I come out through sight I see Love
Painted in every form and color,
Inviting me to come to You, to dwell in You.

If I leave through the door of hearing,
What I hear points only to You, Lord;
I cannot escape Love through this gate.

If I come out through taste, every flavor proclaims;
“Love, divine Love, hungering Love!
You have caught me on Your hook, for you want to reign in me.”

Orb Weaver spider by fiveeyesvik

If I leave through the door of scent
I sense You in all creation, You have caught me
And wounded me through that fragrance.

If I come out through the sense of touch
I find Your lineaments in every creature;
To try to flee from You is madness.

Love, I flee from You, afraid to give You my heart;
I see that You make me one with You,
I cease to be me and can no longer find myself.

If I see evil in a man or defect or temptation,
You fuse me with him, and make me suffer;
O Love without limits, who is it You love?

Matthias Grunewald The Crucifxiion

It is You, O Crucified Christ,
Who takes possession of me,
Drawing me out of the sea to the shore;

There I suffer to see Your wounded heart.
Why did You endure the pain?
So that I might be healed.

Jacapone Da Todi

Thanks Jonathan for a lovely Epiphany service tonight and for sharing with us this poem.

The Wise: a Christmas Poem

December 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Omnes de Saba venient by Salvador Dali

Saw this poem mentioned in Richard Swenson’s In Search of Balance and found it here

Miles across the turbulent kingdoms

They came for it, but that was nothing,

That was the least.  Drunk with vision,

Rain stringing in the ragged beards,

When a beast lamed, they caught up another

And goaded west.

For the time was on them.

Three wise men by Eric Gill

Once, as it may, in the life of a man,

Once, as it was, in the life of mankind,

All is corrected.  And their years of pursuit,

Raw-eyed reading the wrong texts,

Charting the doubtful calculations,

Those nights knotted with thought,

When dawn held off, and the rooster

Rattled the leaves with his blind assertion—

All that, they regarded, under the Sign,

No longer as search but as preparation.

For when the mark was made, they saw it.

Nor stopped to reckon the fallible years,

But rejoiced and followed,

And are called “wise”, who learned that Truth,

When sought and at last seen,

Is never found.  It is given.

Adoration of the shepherds by Bassano

And they brought their camels

Breakneck into that village,

And flung themselves down in the dung and dirt of that place,

And kissed that ground, and the tears

Ran on their faces, where the rain had.

The Power of Hope

December 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Following is a paraphrase of Romans 8:18-25 by Macrina Wiederkehr in the 1991 reprint of her book, Seasons of the Heart.

It appears to me that whatever we suffer now will show up only dimly when compared to the wonders God has in store for us.  It is as though all creation is standing on tiptoe longing to see an unforgettable vision, the children of God being born into wholeness.

Although creation is unfinished, still in the process of being born, it carries within it a secret hope. And the hope is this: A day will come when we will be rescued from the pain of our limitation and incompleteness and be given our share in a freedom that can only belong to the children of God.

At the present moment of all creation is struggling as though in the pangs of childbirth.  And that struggling creation includes even those of us who have had a taste of the spirit.  We peer into the future with our limited vision, unable to see all that we are destined to be, yet believing because of a hope we carry so deep within.

Wiederkehr writes the following as a reflection on Romans 8.

Could it be true
That some folks die
Because our hope is too small
To bring them forth?

It is good to remember:
We do not give birth to ourselves.
We give birth to others
By believing in that first, small spark of life
The spark we can barely see.

It is called hope.
Immensely hopeful
At birth.

After reading the above, I wrote the following confession:

Forgive me Lord for not having hope
Forgetting hope
not believing
not feeling
not trusting

They need the gift of hope I can offer them
And when I withhold hope
They suffer
Or may never be born
Forgive me Lord

A Prayer to Own Your Beauty

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Just back from a two-day silent retreat and while away, I found the following poem from Seasons of Your Heart: Prayers & Reflections
by Macrina Wiederkehr.  Still praying this!

O God

Help me

To believe

The truth about myself

No matter

How beautiful it is!


How many breaths do I have left?

October 13, 2011 1 comment

my sister Katherine next to her beloved van

How many breaths do I have left?
I always assume “just one more.”
And, do I assume or hope that I can decide when the last breath will be?
Jesus did but I am not Jesus.
Neither is my sister.
How desperately she wants to breathe her last breath.
But the breaths keep coming.

Why does God not allow us to decide when we breathe our last breath?
Maybe he wants us to learn at the end that we are not in control.
Never have been.
Never will be.

How many breaths do I have left?
Just one more until God says “enough.”
Just as he has my days numbered.
So my breaths are numbered.
Counted each one.
Valued in his sight.
May I value each one.
May each breath I take honor him
And others around me.

Thank you Lord for the days you give us on earth.
For the breaths we receive.
Each one as a gift.
Help me trust you
With each breath I take.
And with each one that is to come.

Update: I wrote this as we sat with my sister, Katherine.  She breathed her last breath yesterday Oct 13, 2011 at 1 pm.  For more information on my sister, you may watch a video here in which she talks about how she lived out her simple lifestyle or read about her artwork or view her artwork on her webpage.

Is my heart ready to play music for you?

October 7, 2011 Leave a comment

“Unite my heart to fear your name” Psalm 86:11

Whispers of wind
Cause you to dance.
Bars of silver,
Suspended in space,
Ready to play music
For all who will listen.

Is my heart ready
to play music for you?
Do I wait?
Suspended in time,
Ready to dance,
Ready to sing,
As your Spirit
Woos me
With breezes of love.