Sparrow

            Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?
            Yet not one of them will fall to the ground
            apart from God.

                           —Matthew 10.29

Little one, most ordinary,
without bright plumage
or heroic migration or beautiful song,
I see you. I delight in you.
The sky you fly through is my heart.
The ground you pick at is my hand.
The seed you savor is my flesh and blood.
I love you not for your appurtenances,
but for your soul.
I know you from inside:
I am the Love that draws you into being,
and you are my love,
flown around the sky to return to me.
I have chosen to appear
as a sparrow among sparrows.
Yes, there are others. I am in them also.
With a sparrow's eye for detail
I know you. I go with you.
You will fly, and you will fall.
But you do not fly or fall apart from me.
Your flying and your falling is mine.
It is I.
Go, little one. In every moment
it is I.

        

                           —June 19, 2017

While we were sinners

         Look at God's love for us:
         while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
                  —Romans 5.8

Jesus didn't go get himself killed
so he'd be punished for our sin instead of us.
Our sin is our inability to trust God.
In our distrust we try to make and keep life for ourselves,
and hurt others in the process.
In love God is willing to stand in the path of our violence
with forgiveness.
God's love changes us, setting us free
from our distrust and violence.
Jesus embodies that love, even though we kill him,
offering it before we're willing to accept it.

Let God love you.
Forget all notions of your deserving.
Just allow yourself to be God's Beloved:
a sinner, yes, but beloved. Deeply loved.
That's all you need.
Let yourself be loved,
and let the love take over.

 


―June 16, 2017

Apostle

         Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples
         and gave them authority over unclean spirits,
         to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness.

         … These twelve he sent out....
                  —Matthew 10.1

                  The word apostle means “sent.”


We are not given a mandate to judge
or an obligation to convert.
We are not required to argue religion.
We are given power to heal.

We need not muster up the strength.
We are given authority.
Christ is in us to heal.

May I be a healer today;
may I set free those who are bound
by spirits that diminish life.
May I cast out fear with love,
cast out greed with wisdom,
cast out anxiety with calm,
cast out anger and bitterness with deep listening,
cast out hate with forgiveness.

May I bear your spirit of peace,
the authority of blessing,
the power of love.
May I be a healer today.

 


―June 15, 2017

On turnng sixty-four

            Will you still need me, will you still feed me
            when I'm sixty-four?
                        —The Beatles   

God, thank you for another year of this life:
for the journey, the continual unfolding;
for your unfailing companionship in every step;
for the Spirit that leads me on,
and the flesh that bears me as it can;
for wisdom that grows;
for love that endures;
for the long adventure of letting go;
for who you have enabled me to be,
and for who I am becoming.
I pray for the coming year,
that I will be more deeply present,
more gratefully trusting,
more fully willing to be led.
Grant me another year of wonder.
As a birthday present for you,
born anew in me each day,
I give you myself,
to enjoy and use according to your delight.
  


                           —June 14, 2017

Harvest

            The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
            therefore ask the overseer of the harvest
            to send out laborers into the harvest.

                           —Matthew 9.37-38


Maybe the harvest is not bringing people to Christ
but gathering the fruits of the Spirit
God has sown in you
for the sake of the world.

Maybe it's not an act of taking,
but receiving.

The harvest is plentiful
but few are the people who have gathered,
who have received the gifts, the grace,
the love growing in your heart,
and feasted on those fruits
to be strengthened to go out
and heal the wounded,
and be good news for the broken of the world.

The field stretches to the horizon.
There are more trees in this orchard
than stars in heaven.

What grace have you not yet harvested?
Go into that good harvest.
Here is a basket for your labors. Go.



                           —June 13, 2017

Offering

            
Beloved,
this moment I offer myself to you,
fully present for your sake,

and pledge to offer myself—
every encounter, every challenge,
every dull moment
an opportunity—

trusting
that every moment this day
you offer yourself to me.

Eyes, hands and hearts open,
we meet each other,
lovers coming together,
and we are glad.



        

                           —June 12, 2017

 

My whole story

For the whole story of my life I thank you, God:
for the Creation you've planted me in,
for the gifts and blessings and bright moments,
for those who have loved and led me, thank you.
For the whole winding path: each step
is part of the story, and you have been with me.
Thank you for the struggles and the times I was lost,
for those were times when I learned to be a pilgrim.
Thank you for the hurts and dark places,
for they're part of how I've come to know your love,
and know my need for you.
Thank you for my gifts and all I have to offer,
even those I haven't named or discovered yet.
Thank you for my wounds and weaknesses,
for in them I am more like Christ;
they evoke your grace and call out the gifts of others.
Thank you for my rough places, by which I discover
how my jagged piece fits in your jigsaw grace.
And for all that is to come,
that I will experience and that will unfold in me,
I give you thanks and ask your blessing.
Not that you must be implored but I must open myself,
I ask your help. For the challenges to come
(some are welcome and at least one I dread)
be my courage, my wisdom and my strength,
my patience, my healing and my compassion.
My whole story is the story of your love.
I thank you for your blessing;
I ask for your help;
I trust your grace;
I rejoice in your goodness.



                           —June 9, 2017

Three In One prayer

In awe of my Being
I sit.
I breathe.
I am You.
Eternal and infinite in this time,
this flesh, this place,
I am.

In awe of my Belonging
I receive.
I receive from You.
I receive Your forgiveness, healing and delight.
I receive myself.
I am myself in all Creation,
cell in your Body,
member of Your family,
sibling in holiness.
You come to me.
You speak to me.

In awe of my Becoming
I surrender.
I let your light unfold in me,
in the mystery of my becoming,
in my many gifts.
In compassion for all people, all living beings,
I give myself to the world.
My giving is my becoming.

In you I become.
In you I belong.
In you I AM.


                       ─ June 8, 2017

In plain sight

The Beloved can think of nothing more beautiful
         than her children running toward her
so she stands a bit away
         so we will come to her.
But she is not waiting in faraway places:
          no, it is in people whom we least suspect.
In the stranger, even the person we dislike ―
         Ah! There she is.

She gives us this gift
         for our own delight.
The Beloved has hidden us
         in one another,
waiting for us to see
         and come together, astonished.


                       ─ June 7, 2017

Holy Trinity

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and peace to you.


            The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
            the love of God,
            and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

                        2 Corinthians 13.13


God is not a guy.
God is the energy of fire, the movement of wind,
the flow of breathing, the unfolding of creating,
the the loving of Love, the being of Being.

Love is God: the Lover, the Beloved,
and the Love that flows between.
This is the Holy Trinity.

God is the Source of all energy, and the energy itself;
and that energy made matter among us,
Word made flesh;
and God is that love in us, burning, singing, loving.

God is One, yet not a single thing,
nor a loving couple—with no way in for us—
but community.
God is the many, the All.

When you love you join them;
you are part of the Eternal.
Look how tenderly they love each other.
Look how there is room for us.
You are the fourth person of the Holy Trinity.
Find yourself there.

            The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
            the love of God,
            and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

         


                           —June 6, 2017

 

Vulnerable

When terror strikes,
random, cruel hearted
in our own places,
it shakes us.
We feel unsafe. We crave security.
The Dreaded could happen any day.
And so we rejoin our family.
We rejoin the vulnerable,
who never had the illusion of security,
who labor in danger,
who live at risk every day,
who are targeted,
and have no protectors.
They hold their funerals
and they live their lives.
They are our lives.
We are one body, one spirit.
We can't walk away.
No matter how safe we can be
we can't walk away.
We have to be there for each other
in the unprotected places.
That's why we're here,
not to walk away safe
but to be here for each other.


                           —June 5, 2017

I belong

I walk in woods,
look up into leaf-spangled sky,
pass among new ferns opening their psalm books,
pray with birds' chants and incantations,
choose my way among rocks and mud.
Early light clings to the side of a tree
like a bird.
Bugs bug me.
Everything belongs.

This is the world I belong to,
the mud I am from.

Before I resist those who would kill it for money,
haul its body off in well paid rail cars,
before I worry,
I belong.

With every breath it becomes me.
With every step it receives me,
holds me in gravity's love.
With every step we marry.

The great tide of earth's history
moves through me.
I am the chalice of the universe.
I am one of you,
the body of God.
All of you are the rest of me.
I am yours.
I disappear.
I become the Milky Way.

Now I will get to work.


                           —June 2, 2017

River in you

            “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me,
                        and let the one who believes in me drink.
            As the scripture has said,
                        ‘Out of the believer’s heart
                        shall flow rivers of living water.’”

                                       —John 7.37-38

Christ, I drink deeply of you.
I drink of the clear water
flowing from your heart,
waters of Creation,
Spirit brooding,
welling up from eternal depths.
I take you into myself.
I drink deeply, and savor.

And behold,
up from the earth of me
flows a river,
the river of Christ,
flowing with healing waters,
powerful, life-giving waters,
river of the waters of life,
bright as crystal,
gushing up to eternal life,
flowing for the healing of the nations,
flowing out from me.

Christ, you are the river;
I am the riverbank.
I drink deep.
I let it flow.



                           —June 1, 2017

A dream

Colors swirl around in you,
blues and greens, mostly,
like rivers, like flames, or a planet,
thick and vibrant.
To you they are beautiful.
To someone they are survival.

Outside a child walks by, crying.
Not your child.
You don't have to respond.
The colors need framing.
Crying, and walking.



                           —May 31, 2017
 

Pentcost

You breathe in.
You breathe out.
You breathe fire,
the making of stars,
the winds of creation.
You breathe a Word
that goes out
and lays hands on people
to heal and bless.
You breathe God in.
and God out.
You speak grace
in tongues you can't know.
Look at us,
walking around,
glowing embers.






___________________
Weather Report

Fire,
in the atmosphere
and in your heart,
which is to be expected
when you live
in the heart of a star.

                           —May 30, 2017

Memorial Day prayer

I pray for all those who have given their lives
serving in our military, and for their loved ones.

I pray for soldiers of other nations,
who also have given of themselves.

I pray for civilian victims of war and militarism.

I pray for those who have sacrificed
for the sake of peace and non-violence,

for conscientious objectors and protestors
who have given their lives for the sake of healing.
I pray for Rick Best
and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, who both died,
and Micah Fletcher, who was injured,
acting for nonviolence in Portland.

Give me courage and compassion, God,
to devote myself
to nonviolence, healing and reconciliation,
in the name and spirit of Christ,
who met violence with love,
the Gentle One, the Crucified and Risen One.

Amen.


                           —May 29, 2017

The rose opening in me

God, I awake to my life.

I am in awe at the wonder,
the gift that is my life,
this mystery that is you unfolding.

You are the rose opening in me.

You are my freedom,
you are my beauty,
you are my future.

I receive you.
I become you.

Grateful and open,
I step out into this day


―May 26, 2017

Ascension Day

            People of Galilee, why do you stand
            looking up toward heaven?

                           —Acts 1.11

Well, he came back from the dead,
which was very cool—
and now he's left again, for good,
which was totally unexpected.
I mean, yeah, the whole thing
is in the realm of the absurd...
but he's risen, right?
So he could have stayed forever, right?
Right?
Couldn't we have had just a little clinging?

But, no. He's gone.
As if this whole resurrection thing
has come apart in our hands.
The life he leads, and gives us, is full
of letting go.
And now we're left with... what...
bewilderment... and grief....
and this strange unfinished feeling.
We're looking up in the air
because that's how we feel.



God
of unexpected changes,
open us
even in loss
to the next
miracle.


                           —May 25, 2017

 

We are not afraid

We don't hide from the cries of the oppressed.
We dare to listen for God there.
            
We are not afraid of the world's sorrows.
Their agonies are the seeds of our compassion.

We are not drawn into the violence of cowards.
We are fearless in our love.

We do not need the fortifications of the privileged.
We are unafraid to live in the world.

We face the world's cruelty;
we walk forward in love.

We are not intimidated.
We entrust ourselves to the Crucified and Risen One.

We are not discouraged on the road
that winds to justice and does not end short.


                           —May 24, 2017

Ascension

            As they were watching, he was lifted up,
            and a cloud took him out of their sight

                           —Acts 1.9


The Beloved has not gone
up so much as out,
risen now not into one flesh
but all.

The lilacs I smell every morning
have faded; their song has gone out,
has gone out,
and it sings to me everywhere.

By your Spirit
I would pass out of this flesh
and disappear into my love
for all the world.




___________________
Weather Report

Release,
as love-laden air
condenses at times
into showers of mercy
and evaporates again
into the atmosphere.


                           —May 23, 2017