Create in me

         Create in me a clean heart, O God,
         and put a new and right spirit within me.

                  —Psalm 51.10

In the beginning
your spirit broods over the waters of my soul.
You say, “Let there be light”
and you create in me a new heart.
You put a good new spirit within me.
With each breath I take you begin.

Your power to make me new,
your grace to make me faithful
is never diminished.

You mend me,
like light forgives darkness.

I behold the world you create in me,
the spirit you breathe into me,
and I am filled with wonder, awe and gratitude.

create in me.

   —March 16, 2018

Write your love

         I will put my law within them,
         and I will write it on their hearts.

                       —Jeremiah 31.33

Write your love on my heart,
God of love,
write it in your own hand.
Make your love my heartbeat,
my instinct, my brainwave, my breath.
Soften the stone of my heart;
and sculpt it with love.
Inscribe your ways
on my bones,
your love in my heart of hearts.
Write your love on my heart, Love,
and seal it with a kiss.

   —March 14, 2018


        Unless a grain of wheat
         falls into the earth and dies,
         it remains just a single grain;
         but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
                  —John 12.24


I let my

in the soil
of you

I entrust myself
to the spring
of you

I let the
of me
break the husk
of the me of me

and life comes forth

I let my
spill out

This dying
is birthing

seed of me
bearing fruit
of you


   —March 13, 2018


Fasting for a day or so:
at first the bite of hunger,
the urge,
the lack.

Then something more.
The beast curls up and sleeps
the less I feed it.

Beneath the ache,
the thrum of need,
a new vibration rises,
a freedom
from wanting and acquiring,
a peace,
a oneness
with your drawing-in,
a way that is a stillness,
closer to the darkness
at the core,
a way not of consuming
but of being.

Not hunger now,
but empty openness
to you.
Not my body now,
but yours,
our enormous joyful hunger
for each other.

   —March 12, 2018

John 3.16, a paraphrase

          For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
                    so that everyone who believes in him
                    may not perish but may have eternal life.
          Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world
                    to condemn the world,
                    but in order that the world might be saved through him.
          Those who believe in him are not condemned;
                    but those who do not believe are condemned already,
                    because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

                         —John 3.16-18

Infinite Love, heart of all life,
you loved this word into being
with such love
as to birth yourself among us,
Love begotten as the Beloved.

Opening ourselves to your love
we live beyond our mortal selves
and join your eternal Oneness.

Your presence does not separate but unites;
love does not push away, but embraces;
you do not condemn, but save.

Trusting this we know
we are loved, never rejected.
When our trust fails we are doomed:
withdrawing into ourselves
we aren't open to love,
the only source of life.

   —March 9, 2018


         Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
         so must the New Human be lifted up,
         that whoever trusts may have eternal life.

               —John 3.14-15

You have to look your evil in the face to be healed.
The snakes that plagued the Hebrews in the desert
were their betrayal come back to bite them,
their being Eden's serpent.
The cure was to gaze at their sin.

So we gaze upon the Crucified One, our victim,
and look our awfulness in the eye
and only there grasp forgiveness,
and only then become truly alive.

On the cross is lifted up
our racism, our violence, our materialism,
our deep seated me-first-ism.
Posted there is our last text to God,
“I'll let you know when I need you.”
We look at it, look at it hard,
to get free of the lie that we're just fine,
the lie that keeps us from knowing
how deeply we are forgiven,
how vastly we are blessed,
how infinitely we are loved.

   March 8, 2018

Ephesians 2.1-10 - A paraphrase

Face it: you were dead. A zombie, well dressed.
Junked, addicted to your distrustful stupor,
sucked in and thrown away by the world's lies,
self-shelled and painted with all the popular memes,
following the smell of anxiety you thought was good,
dancing, doomed, down a dead-end alley.
Fake happiness had its poison talons in you
the whole time, mummifying your heart.
That anger, that hollow despair we called toughness,
gold-medal swimming in quicksand—yeah, we all had it,
furious at our self-destruction, but looking good.

Then in that trash heap, with bricks for hearts,
in that graveyard we called life, Mercy itself
came with enormous love and grabbed us
and for no reason other than wanting to
just plain made us alive.
The Beloved, rising out of our garbage cans,
wrapped loving arms around us and ripped us out
into this life, this light, this being.

You've been salvaged.
Set up like a refugee in a place God fixed up for you
deep in God's heart, where you always belonged.
This miracle we saw in the Beloved,
this infinite kindness, lasts forever.
It's not about you—it happens to the worst of us—
you didn't do it, deserve it, ask for it
or even know it was happening.
It's pure gift, pure wonder, absolute mystery.

You are now what God created you—all of us—to be
from the very beginning:
pure goodness, alive.  Alive and for real.

Astonishing, huh?

   —March 7, 2018

Into the light

         This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world,
         and people loved darkness rather than light
         because their deeds were evil.
         For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light,
         so that their deeds may not be exposed.
         But those who do what is true come to the light
         so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.

               —John 3.19-21

you whose love is pure light,
the beauty at the heart of all things,
the truth of What Is that gives being to all:
bring me into your light, that all I do may be in you.

So much in me hides in the night,
urges and feelings, fears, memories and desires
move in the dark, whisper in shadows.
Be light in my depths, be the full moon in my night,
the rising sun among my secrets.
Let your light come into me.

I sit in empty silence, your early dawn rising in me.
Your love illumines my inward darkness.
Secret thoughts are brought to light,
the shadows emerge and speak,
my wakened mind befriends the night creatures.

Permeate me with your light. Let shadows fall
only where you keep them. Open my eyes
to what you would have me see of my inner darkness.
O light, may I live in you, and all my deeds
be done in you.

   —March 6, 2018


I prayed

for the time you blessed me

I prayed
and I could not sense you there.

I sat
and I did not hear you.

I waited
and you did not move.

I tried to know
but I could not know
that you held me.

Alas, I prayed for the feeling,
not for you.

Then, when I have given up,
something unseen descends,
something unknown arises,
something within emerges.
It is I.
It is you,
I AM, in me.

Sometimes still
I cannot believe.
But I can be here
and let you.

   —March 5, 2018


         “Take these things out of here!
         Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”

               —John 2.16

In fact, stop everything.

Get rid of all the Stuff,
even religion itself.
Shut down the hubbub.
Enter into the stillness
at the heart of everything,
the Sabbath that is the real temple,
the silence that is God.
Don't run in the sanctuary,
you can't hear the silence when you're busy.

There's no substitute for stillness.
The offering God desires is your presence.
         and wait upon the Beloved.

Breathe. This is the holy of holies.

Destroy the temple of doing
and let the temple of being
rise up from within.

   —March 2, 2018

A letter from God

                My Dear One,

As I walk with you I see your weariness. I know even bearing love to the world is hard work, and sometimes the joy gets worn down. I know there are days when it seems you are no good at what you do, or no one wants to receive what you offer. There are times it is clear your work has not changed anything. Times when your prayers are arrows that fall two feet from the bow. Times you think of quitting, not trying, not caring. Times of discouragement and self-doubt. I know what you feel. Because I am with you and in you I've felt that, and I've been at this forever.

But trust this: you have not failed. You have been present, and I have been present with you. That's all that matters. I want you to know you have done good work, and also that the work doesn't matter. You have been present. That is enough. What more do I myself do than be present and shine my light that few see? You are my creation, perfectly redeemed, and that is enough. You don't need to have given an offering. Jesus has shut down that temple.

In your presence, your trying, even your weak, fruitless attempts at love, even your feeblest shot at trying to pay attention, I have been present. My grace has been at work. People may fail to see it, and many resist it, and you yourself may doubt it. But it is there. I live and work among the unseen. Seeds sprout underground. Stories are told whose endings—happy endings—occur only later and far away. A single stone contributes to a mountain the stone can never know.

My Beloved, even in your discouragement I want you to hear my joy. You are a sparkling thread in my tapestry of the universe. Don't disparage yourself for not seeing what only I can see. I have imbued you with my grace, unseen even to you. You have given gifts you can never measure. In the end you don't give an offering. You are an offering. You have been present. That matters to me. I thank you. You will be present. That gives me hope. Let go of the outcome, forego judgment, and take courage. You are my child, my Beloved, in whom I am delighted. Be yourself, and let the universe be blessed.

                Love, God.

   —March 1, 2018

That beast

We fear it's always dissatisfied
with any but the finest,
so we feed it everything we love,

when actually it most desires
our trash, and when we throw it that,
it puts its head down and sleeps.

   —February 28, 2018


         “Stop making God’s house a marketplace!"
               —John 2.16

On your way into the temple
the priest greets you kindly, then robs you—
overpowers you and steals your offering
and everything you could possibly give to God,
takes even the slightest reason for God to love you,
pickpockets all your prayers,
demands your deeds,
seizes your righteousness by sword,
wrestles from you even the shred of morality
that separates you from a serial killer,
strips you naked— and then says gently,
“Now, go offer all you have
to the one who loves you.”

   —February 28, 2018


         The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.
         But who can detect their errors?
         Clear me from hidden faults.
                  —Psalm 19.7,12

The fracture runs deep beneath my garden.
A wounded man lives deep inside the apple tree,
murmuring its strange fruits.
I leave my tangled guts to their own ways.
I do not realize the knot is killing me.

The saints are no better,
they just stand still long enough
to climb out of the mirror.

There is this gift:
I can rise in darkness and sit until daylight.
I enter a light not my own
and see what I had not seen.
For this dreadful vision I give thanks,
and for courage to keep my eyes open.

And for this, that in that darkness
that remains dark to me, a light shines
unseen, and it is dark no more.

The pilgrim walks carefully,
clear that they don't know
what they've been entirely forgiven for.

   —February 26, 2018

Deny yourself...

         Deny yourself
                  and take up your cross
                           and follow me
                                                      —Mark 8.34

Abandon the illusion you're a self-contained individual.
         Be a part of this wounded world,
                  and find yourself with Christ.

Set aside your own desires,
         give yourself fully for others;
                  be the hands and heart of Jesus.

Renounce self-protection,
         accept your brokenness,
                  and reach out for love.

Let go of your own plans.
         Join in the healing of the world.
                  You will not be alone.

Follow your soul, not your ego.
         Follow it right into people's suffering.
                  Follow it right into the heart of God.

Pour yourself out;
         let the world pour in;
                  then you are one with the Beloved.

   —February 23, 2018

Repent and believe

         The time is fulfilled, and the realm of God has come near;
         repent, and believe in the good news.
                  —Mark 1.15

...In other words...

Turn and look: the glory is all around you.

Let go and trust: the promise is already kept.

Open your mind and see a new world unfolding.

God is re-ordering the world. Align yourself with a New Way.

This is God's world. Trust it. Stop being so isolationist and belong.

Surrender and give yourself in love. A new realm of compassion awaits you.

Come back and fall in love again. The Beloved is crazy for you.

Renounce your prejudice. Give your heart away. Join the new world of justice.

You live in God's empire. Change your loyalty and re-orient your compass.

Open your eyes. See what is happening. God is creating the world all over.

Step out of your fantasies. Return to the present moment. God is in it.

This moment is holy. Surrender your anxieties and trust the mystery.

God is here. Let your life continually changed by goodness.

   —February 22, 2018

Do you love God?

Do you love God?
Not watch out for God, like your boss,
not worship God like a god,
but desire God, like a lover?
Do you forget things because you're in love?
Do you want what's best for God?
Do you think of God at odd moments,
look for God everywhere,
plot how to bump into them?
Do you love being with God,
just hanging out, hearing her voice?
What do you love about God,
his sense of humor?
Their blessed shapeshifting?
Do you care about what happens to God?
About what it's like from their point of view?
Do you think God is just
the most beautiful thing in the world?
What kinds of things do you do for God?
Special favors?... little surprises?...
constant acts of faithful love and devotion?
Do you play jokes on them? Have a pet name?
Do you do stuff together?
Is God, like, totally inside your head?
Do you want God?
Do you want God for God, not just for you?
Do you love God?

February 21, 2018

The difference

The difference between me and Jesus
is the number of people
I wouldn't trade places with
                                for love.

Jesus, come trade places
with my fear, and bring along
                                your love.


                  —February 20, 2017

Take up the cross

         If any want to become my followers,
         let them deny themselves
         and take up their cross
         and follow me.
                  — Mark 1.34
Crucified One,
give me grace to enter the wound of the world,
to accompany those who suffer,
to willingly suffer for others' sake,
not for the purpose that I meet you there,
which gives me joy,
but that I meet them there—
not that they may be a means to my joy,
but that I be a means to theirs.
Help me trust that you are with me on the cross
not for my sake but for theirs.
Let your love in me overwhelm my fear
and transform my selfishness.
Give me true self-giving love,
which is the only joy.

   —February 19, 2018